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My Journey With Sickle Cell Disease SCD - Health - Nairaland

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My Journey With Sickle Cell Disease SCD by Mysine: 3:47pm On Oct 17, 2018
We are starting with what I will describe as the ‘Story of my life’. This story will be told using three fictional names to represent three real people. The reason is just to make an interesting read. The setting is real. The people were/are real. And the story is true.

Jabez’s mother gave birth to her first daughter Ruth, in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria. Jos acronym (Jesus Our Savior) was the first choice destination of European and American missionaries and other professionals because of the temperate climate of the Plateau. Jos is also the headquarters of Sudan Interior Mission in Nigeria (SIM). It also situates reputable secondary schools founded by missionaries such as Hillcrest School, Baptist High School of the Southern Baptist Convention USA, St Murumba College of the Roman Catholic Church and St John’s College of the Anglican Dominion. Presently, there are also many reputable schools founded and managed by Nigerian individuals and educationist.

Ruth was born at the General Hospital Jos. The hospital was government owned but has many expatriate doctors. It was at the hospital that it was discovered that Ruth has the SCD. All the parents noticed was that she cried at lot and had tender joints, which swells and are painful when touched. The parents called it ‘aromolegun’ in Yoruba dialect which means ‘arthritis’ but direct literal translation means ‘disease that makes the bones painful’. Ruth also has yellow eyeballs that neighbors will describe as ‘yellow fever’ and will prescribe different types of ‘agbo’ (local herbs), which, should be cooked, and Ruth should sit in front of the steaming pot covered with blankets. The vapor, it was believed will cure her of the fever and the pains. She was also made to drink capfuls of the ‘agbo’ three times daily after meals.

However, after laboratory tests at the General Hospital in Jos during one of the many admissions Ruth had at the hospital, the ‘oyinbo’ doctor told Jabez’s mother that Ruth was suffering from SCD. And that Ruth inherited the disease from the parents. The doctor requested that he wanted to meet Ruth’s parents.

When Ruth’s parents met the doctor, he explained that Ruth inherited SCD from the parents. Ruth’s father – Anthony protested. He was a healthy man and never got admitted into any hospital. The only illness he knew was malaria, which was treated by the dispenser at the Government Dispensary with bitter pills, called chloroquine. How then will the doctor say that Ruth inherited SCD from him and the mother? The doctor explained what genotype was and how it affects children born by parents who are carriers of the disease. He asked them to go to the lab and get tested. When the result came out, both parents were AS, AS.

Unknown to Ruth’s mother, the doctor had to a certain extent solved the issue of suspected promiscuity going on in Anthony’s mind. Tony as his friends referred him to had thought that Ruth was not his child. Though he has no reason to suspect his wife, he could not just come to terms with the fact that Ruth inherited a disease from him when he was a very healthy man. He did not accept this reality and this led to strains in his relationship with his wife that further led to complications that we will discuss very soon.

Concluding his advise to Ruth’s parents, the doctor advised them to limit the number of children they would have. This was to reduce the risk of having more children who will suffer from SCD. Observing the frown on Tony’s face, the doctor further said that it the decision to limit the number of their children will not affect their intimate relationship as they could avail themselves with the various family planning methods available at the hospital.

Unknowing to the doctor, he had touch a sore spot on Tony’s body. Shaking his head but with no words coming out of his mouth, Ruth’s father thought, ‘this white man must be mad’.

for more visit www.thessjourney.com

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