A person saying something hurtful, a hand with a pin about to pop the speech bubble

Things You Should Never Say to a Sickle Cell Warrior

Last updated: October 2022

When I was labeled as having HIV/AIDS as a child because of how skinny looked back then, I didn’t make much of it. Especially because I didn’t even know what it was I suffered from myself. So I tried not to judge other people's ignorance as I was very ignorant myself.

How society treats sickle cell warriors

Years passed and this is still happening as warriors all over the globe are still being called names after all the education and explanations on what sickle cell is. Well, maybe it’s just me, but I’m not liking it one bit. Enough is enough. I guessed I broke my own heart into thinking that things will level up and get better in some years to come.

I’m so grateful to myself and the very few people around me who actually love me for who I am and don’t make it worse for me. But my concern is for the masses. The health workers, friends, strangers, and even family members still would not accept us like humans. Yes, some of these things cannot even be accepted to be said or done to animals. And yet, we are compared to them. It’s unfortunate that the world is becoming colder and the love we so much preach about is getting more lost by the day.

What not to say to someone with sickle cell

As sickle cell warriors, we go through too much already. The goal is to make the world a better place for us all to live in peace and joy. So if you can’t say kind, encouraging, and uplifting things to people, it’s better to keep mute. The following are just a few of the things you should never say to a sickle cell warrior.

1. "You are useless and good for nothing."

First of all, No one is born useless but I remember my own aunty calling me useless over and over again. It was like she woke up every day just to remind me that I have sickle cell and may not achieve anything in this life. Thankfully, today, I’ve been able to prove her wrong. I had to continuously encourage myself and fight her words out of my mind. Trust me, it took a lot of strength to do that.

I am grateful I didn’t give up on myself even though it was obvious she had given up on me. It is really uncalled for to put such words into the minds of someone who is already suffering from sickle cell and its attacks. Try to Say kind things like you are special instead.

2. "You could die at any time."

I don’t only find this statement disrespectful but funny as well. It is also very untrue. I had an aunty who told me I’ll die soon. Guess what? We buried her 3 years ago and I’m still here breathing. Sickle cell warriors are already aware of the possibility of a short life span. We don’t need to be reminded. Besides, some warriors have aged really well so this is not entirely true.

3. "You’re just a drug addict."

This is one of the biggest problems we face as warriors. The pain we face demands strong pain medications, but when we ask for them (especially at the hospital), we are tagged with addiction. Meanwhile, there are some health workers who use our painkillers to get high for no reason and no one is talking about that? And yet, it is sickle cell warriors who actually need them that are addicts. The irony.

While I can go on and on about it, I’ll end this here.

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