Thinking About Dating a Sickle Cell Warrior
The first thing you must check before even considering asking a person with sickle cell out on a date is your genotype. If by now you still don’t know your genotype, just walk into any lab near you and have a hemoglobin electrophoresis test. Check the chat and make sure you and your partner are compatible before you make any moves. If the match is perfect, congratulations, but if not, be strong enough to walk away.
People living with sickle cell come with a lot of unique needs. These needs include diet, managing capabilities, making the most out of the non-sick days, fulfilling their bucket list, type of water, medication, allergies, and more.
If you decide to date or marry someone living with SCD, you need to understand that your partner is unique, complicated, and not like everyone else. Be able to accept and convince yourself that you are ready and prepared to live with that. Acknowledge the fact that because of sickle cell your partner needs special care.
Its automatic for sickle cell patients to think that you are going to be there all the way. Note that it is essential to play your role effectively, just as you would in any other relationship. It is also very important to as much as possible give room to your partner when they need it.
Thinking about the long term
Let your mind process the fact that your partner can die at any time, and be prepared for it. It is OK to discuss options regarding the demise of your partner. In case your partner loses their life, who would qualify to handle the kids or replace him or her? Is it OK for you to move on after the demise of your partner or not?
Some sickle cell patients are comfortable enough to discuss how they want to be buried.
You can also discuss bucket lists, partner's dreams, whether or not to have children, short-term goals, though it is totally OK to discuss long-term goals, too.
But don't forget the short-term
From experience, I would advise that couples concentrate more on short-term goals. Acknowledging and accepting the fact that anything can happen, incapabilities, capabilities, disabilities, strengths and weaknesses, favorite things to do, dreams and aspirations, etc.
Always try to arrange things in order of importance, fastest to access, easiest to reach, whatever works for you. Remember also to take it one step at a time. Bear in mind that sickle cell patients mostly want to be treated like everyone else.
Sickle cell warriors aren't the only superheroes
I always like to think that people that have the strength and courage to date sickle cell patients are superheroes. To see all these complications, weaknesses, and imperfections and still walk into it with all love and desire is a superpower.
What else can you do to support warriors you love
A few ways you can support crescents that you date:
- Cultivate the habit of reading and learning more about sickle cell as the world evolves and things change frequently.
- Constantly check on your partner's mental health. Sickle cell can lead to depression, and as we all know, suicidal thoughts can be hidden in happy smiles.
- Try, as much as possible, to know your way around your partner's medication, first aid, pain relievers, allergy medication, etc. in case of any crisis or attack.
Feel free to discuss options that will suit both you and your partner, so everything is fair.
Spread the love
Sickled or not, everyone is marked with imperfections. Learn to be accommodating, open-minded, understanding, adaptive, and tolerant with everyone. Spread the love, and with time the world would be a better place.
Just like every other person out there, sickle cell patients also deserve all the love and attention, care and pampering, romance, and all the good things in life. Don't judge us before you even get to know us. And trust me, you would be amazed about how wonderful, amazing, fun, loving, caring, hard-working, and adventurous we can be.
If you’ve already found that person, congratulations, and I wish that best comes out of your union.
What awareness month activities do you plan to get involved in?