Sickle Cell and Poverty (1)

Published July 27, 2019

Tola Dehinde
I like it when I am able to share someone else ’s story with you , as it makes me to see how strong (psychologically ) people born with sickle cell disease are . I hope it encourages you as you read this life story of a young woman with SCD .
My life as someone suffering from sickle cell anemia has been tough . My name is Hope Adewale . Ours was a family of 11 at the begining ; nine children , with mother and father, making 11 . There were six children with SCD (five girls and a boy) , two children with AS genotype and one AA genotype . But right now , we are only three left with SCD , with our parents , making eight of us.
My parents got to know we have SCD in year 2007 but before then, we were called all sorts of names like : emere, ogbanje , abiku etc. People called us all sorts , abused us , told my parents to go and drop us somewhere and abandon us there . But my parents refused to do such. Due to the frequent sickness of my siblings and I , there were times when we would be ill at the same time.
We suffered a lot , due to the fact , that my parents didn’t have money to take good care of us . We were living in a bad accommodation , the environment was equally not conducive to our health , we were all in one room , the vicinity was neither perfect , as it was a face – me- I – face you type of rented house .

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The room was tight for eight people. The front of the house was where every tenant dropped their refuse . The environment was dirty , rough , full of mosquitoes , not conducive for cooking with firewood . It was truly a sorry situation that we were in .
We survived sickle cell in poverty and any time I was away in school , sent on an errand or went to church , I detested having to return ‘ home ’ because I disliked the house we were living in and its surroundings . None of my parents was working as they are pastors. This meant , they had no stable , constant salary , to look after us .
My mother is a petty trader and after a while , her business folded up because of all I mentioned above . However, through the help of some benevolent people, she started her petty trading again .
Anytime I was sick growing up , I cried , and regretted saying all sort of insulting words to my parents, for giving birth to me. I would shout , scream at them , tell them to take me to the hospital, but they would not , because they had no money to pay the bills . I was of the opinion that in hospital, I would get relief to the excruciating pains that I was going through , instead of them keeping me at home , and making matters worse for me.
Sickle cell made me absent from school a lot , sometimes , over a month, especially during my secondary school days . I would be off school , in pain , in agony due to being looked after improperly at home . My parents would give me all sorts of medications and herbs . My siblings and I suffered so much . And this was how it was , until I graduated from Nigerian Certificate of Education in 2007 .
By this time, I moved away from home , in order to start fending for myself . I work as a nursery school teacher . This has meant , giving myself the best that I can afford and the little treatment I can afford to buy for myself and it’s been so , till now .


When I am sick , I have a hospital that I go to get treated and I pay the doctor when I can . This works for me, as I have only got to think of looking after myself . The positive aspect of living alone is that I am not sick for weeks on end any longer . I am able to go to the hospital , compared to my younger siblings , still living with my parents. Nowadays, within five to six days , I am out of the hospital, after going in with a sickle cell crisis .
My younger brother, Samuel, does not like to be taken to the hospital, because he is used to being looked after at home . As such , he and my younger sister stay at home , much longer , off school .
I am going to stop this story as there is still quite a lot to come . Next week , we will learn a bit more about Samuel and the reason why he does not like going to hospital . Until then, do take care .
Today , I would like to talk about the benefits of oranges: Oranges are well known for their vitamin C content which is a powerful antioxidant , helping protect our cells from damage . Just one medium orange will provide the RDA ( Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin C for adults .
Oranges are also a good source of fibre, B vitamins, vitamin A, calcium and potassium . Vitamin C , which is a vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system , is good for preventing colds , and infections . While the basic nature of oranges is acidic before you actually digest them , they have a lot of alkaline minerals that play a role in the process of digestion .
Oranges are a rich source of carotenoid . The vitamin A present in them play an important role in keeping the mucus membranes in the eyes healthy . Vitamin A is also responsible to preventing age – related mascular degeneration, which in extreme cases can lead to blindness . It also helps eyes to absorb the light. Oranges have both the soluble and insoluble fibre. This helps in keeping your intestines and stomach function smooth , preventing irritable bower syndrome . Additionally, the fibre helps to treat constipation to a greater extent.
Orange peel actually contains higher amounts of certain nutrients than the flesh, so using recipes that incorporate the zest of an orange will give your diet an extra boost.
If you would like to get in touch with me, please do so on : t . dehinde @ yahoo .com or do visit my blog for more information about food good for people with SCD :
www . howtolivewithsicklecel . co. uk

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