DAY 28 OF SICKLE CELL AWARENESS MONTH

 

SICKLE CELL AWARENESS MONTH


IMPORTANT THINGS YOU MUST KNOW IF YOUR PARTNER IS LIVING WITH SICKLE CELL DISEASE



1.EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT SICKLE CELL DISEASE


There are multiple ways to be a supportive darling to your partner and most importantly, it begins with knowing about sickle cell disease, the way it impacts us, the medications we take and hospital reviews. That’s a fundamental way to be supportive to a partner with any chronic illness.

Actually learning about sickle cell is a sign that you care and want to be of help. Personally, any effort my husband puts to assist me in this regard means a lot to me. Remember that your knowledge of sickle cell will help you to handle the resulting complications.

2.DON’T TAG SICKLE WARRIORS “FRAGILE”


One of the best ways to support your sickle cell warrior partner is not to regard him/her as a partner that is capable of nothing without your help. The fact that we live with SCD which sometimes limits our ability to do some of our daily activities doesn’t mean that we can’t handle these activities all the time. So avoid babying your partner because of his/her sickness. A lot of people living with SCD can equally do basic tasks though sometimes it can be quite challenging.

Our dream is to meet and live with a person who can encourage and push us to do what we can instead of treating us like glass doll. Giving us such help and independence to do what we can, gives us confidence and support. The society usually views us as fragile and that's not cool.  If you’re dating a person with SCD, they will expect your support and equal treatment.

3. WHEN WE NEED HELP, WE WILL ASK FOR IT


Any time I need help with basic needs like taking my meds, being accompanied to hospital, going for checkup, I will ask you for help.
Allowing me to ask for your help lets me feel independent and offers you the right opportunities to help me. Besides, when you know and understand your partner very well, you can know when they need your help even if they don't ask for it. It's all about studying their personality, body language and pattern of doing things.

Additionally, many people habour the misconception that warriors don't ask for help. In spite of trusting you, we will ask for help even in handling basic tasks.

4. COPING WITH SIDE EFFECTS

When you date a sickle cell warrior, your experience extends beyond their pain. Warriors also experience mental and physical side effects even from medications. Some experience effects like anxiety, anger, depression, sadness and mood swings. So partners, kindly avoid downgrading the side effects we experience but be ready to deal with them patiently.

5. THE BAD DAYS

Remember that dating a person with SCD comes with bad days that can test your relationship. Such days may include dealing with excruciating pain, hospital admissions, canceled schedules or plans and requiring assistance in everything. With bad times like this, obstacles may challenge relationships. So as a partner, avoid letting this ruin the relationship. Be patient and wait on your partner. Be supportive consistently during their hardship as these are times they need you the most.

Remember that bad days are not permanent. So turn the bad days into a relationship strengthening opportunity. Sitting through this helps them trust you the more.

6. BE THERE FOR THEM

You have to be there for your sickle cell disease partner as it’s one of the biggest ways to show that you care. Be there for their doctor’s appointments, tests, surgeries and even when things get worst. Being there in such hard times helps you to experience how living with sickle cell disease feels. It is a basic way to be supportive to someone with SCD.

It can be both easy and difficult to help support a partner with SCD especially with their doctor’s appointments, tests and more.

7. DON’T BE AFRAID


Being a strong person all the time, motivates us. It's obvious that things like painful episodes, myths and misconceptions can make living with a sickle cell partner quite scary.  However, we need you to be strong all the time. Such as when there is a medical emergency or an upcoming surgery, we will need your support. You need to be the strong one because millions of things can be going through our mind. Also, by you being the strong one, it gives us the confidence to know that things will be OK.

8. DON'T TURN SICKLE CELL DISEASE TO A WEAPON IN THE RELATIONSHIP


Avoid blaming your partner's sickle cell disease-related inabilities or flaws in the relationship. In no way should you make it appear like your relationship with your partner is doing  them a big favour. With or without SCD, all relationships have challenges and overcoming the difficulties depends on the conduct and personality of the couples. So never use your partner's sickle cell condition as a wild card to get out of the relationship.

9.THE SIMPLE THINGS WE ADORE


Here are a few examples of the things in question form that light up our hearts:

“How are you feeling?”

“Have you taken your meds?”

“Did your appointment go well?"

“Have you taken some time to rest today?"

These caring questions always make my day whenever my partner employs them. They make my day because they reveal that my partner is keeping my illness in mind and especially my overall well-being. Besides, sometimes  I need little pick-me-ups from my husband.

If you have the right person in your life, you can't be a burden to them. As your sweetheart, they love and care for you especially in bad times.  Remember that sickle cell disease shouldn't be a reason for a failed relationship as love is a complex aspect of life that can come with many problems though you have good health.