Recovering from Heart Break

I have a broken heart. It’s crazy because I genuinely thought I was done with those. I thought I had met and was finally with the man I was going to marry. But long story short, it was great until it wasn’t.

That seems to always happen. See, I’ve never been the type to date just for fun. My religion and parents make it very clear that I’m not allowed to date. But I am a hopeless romantic and I love love.

What does compatible really mean?

I never imagined my life would involve heartbreak. See, when you have sickle cell, you have to think about things in a potential partner that maybe others do not. Like, what’s their blood type. You’d be surprised how few people actually know their blood type.

I guess, if you don’t have a disease, there’s really no reason to learn or remember what blood type you have. Luckily, in the US, everyone is screened for sickle cell at birth, so they really should know if they have it or not. But that doesn’t apply to people who weren’t born here or most of the rest of the world.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Genetics sometimes get in the way

It's important to know if your partner has sickle cell disease or trait because your combination of genes determines your child’s genetic composure. So as someone with sickle cell anemia, hemoglobin SS, no matter what I do, all of my biological children will have sickle cell trait. But if my partner has even just one hemoglobin S, that puts our future children at risk of inheriting this disease. Honestly, I decided a very long time ago that I would not let that happen.

What I look for in a partner

In addition to making sure they don’t have any sickle cells in their blood, there are other things I need from a partner too. Like someone who is willing to care for me when I’m sick or slow down with me when I need time to recover. I have never thought these were big asks, I mean, the vows people take say in sickness or in health, but reality is different.

Talking to a partner about SCD can be hard

I’ve never been the best at talking to partners about me having sickle cell.

I always let them know early on but in my head and my heart, I want to believe it shouldn’t matter. I can and always have taken care of myself. But then, when I am in a relationship, and I get sick, I’m not always sure how to communicate my needs.

It’s little things like making sure I’m staying hydrated, keeping warm, and getting a message that really helps me. I always thought those were things anyone would do for someone they love who’s sick, I would, but I guess things are easier said than done.

It's getting better

Anyways, what’s getting me through is focusing on myself. Leaning on my friends and being for myself all the things I had hoped they’d be. I can’t help but wonder why dating has to be another hard thing. Isn’t having sickle cell enough.

When will I finally meet someone who just takes me, all of me, as I am and is eager to fully understand and better care for me? So yeah, right now, my heart aches a little, but every day it gets better. I find more of myself again and something new to look forward to.

A hopeless romantic

But I’m a hopeless romantic, you see, so I won’t give up or settle ever. I know I deserve the kind of love that is as soft, gentle, and warm as my heat pad – I really love that thing. I know, with time, I'll be ready for love again.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.