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5 Lessons Sickle Cell Has Taught Me

Life is the best teacher, they say. I totally agree with that because in every situation we find ourselves in life, there is something to learn, and living with sickle cell is no exemption.

Yes, you can learn from living with sickle cell.

Sickle cell life lessons

I have lived with sickle cell for over twenty years and I sure have learned a few things about sickle cell and life in general. You may be curious as to what these lessons are. Don't worry, I'll share them. These lessons are something you might have learned, too, but are not aware of.

I've always seen every day and every situation as an opportunity to learn something.

Anyways, here we go...

1. I am responsible for my life

Having sickle cell has taught me that no one but me is responsible for everything that happens in my life.

Living with sickle cell might not be my choice, but how I live with sickle cell is totally up to me. The things I do or do not do are totally up to me and I need to own up to that. No one will give me the life I dream of, no one is going to pardon me for having sickle cell, and most importantly, no one is going to manage my health on my behalf.

It is important for me and when I realized this, I made a decision to take full responsibility for my life. I decided not to use sickle cell disease as an excuse, but instead use it as a motivation to become my best.

It is easy to use sickle cell disease as an excuse but it is not good enough.

2. Pain is temporary 

Sickle cell pain is so unpredictable and can make one think it's never going to end. I realized that pain is temporary no matter how long it seems to linger. Living with avascular necrosis made me see this to be true.

During the first few months, the pain in my hip was so unbearable. I could barely walk or do anything. But gradually, the pain became something I could manage even though I still feel it.

If it doesn't kill, it'll make you stronger.

3. Life is short, so do it now

Truly, life is short. Anything can happen at any time. I am unfortunately an overthinker and by default, I procrastinate. This is not really good because sickle cell disorder is unpredictable.

Pain can come at any time, or fatigue creeps in when I least expect it. Death can even happen, so I have learned to stop procrastinating and do things immediately. Although it's been hard whenever I remind myself of the fact that life is short, I get things done faster without overthinking.

4. It's all in my head

I don't know if it comes with having sickle cell or not but I used to be scared of social gatherings. I barely had friends growing up because I don't know how to make friends. As I grew older and started developing myself, I wanted to face that fear. I began to try talking to strangers but each time I try something tells me they'll mock me because I have sickle cell and I am skinny.

Guess what?

I tried regardless and I found out that it was all just in my head. People are actually nicer than what the voice in my head tells me. The same goes for other fears you might have, it is just in your head. Give it a try and see if what you fear is real.

5. Death is inevitable

One of the greatest lessons sickle cell has taught me is that death is inevitable. Actually, this lesson is for everyone. As long you live, you will die. And this lesson has been a push for me to not waste my time doing things I will regret. It can be a reminder for us to live our lives the way we want and not please others. After all, no one knows when they will die.

If you ask me, I think it is very important for everyone to keep this particular one in mind always.

What keeps you going?

To conclude, these five lessons are part of what has kept me going with sickle cell. I hope they help you as much as they helped me too.

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