My Sickle Cell Journey: Twenty Five Years Transfusion Free and Counting.

Hello Good people, I hope everyone is doing great and well. I know, it has been a while I wrote something here. Life has been a little fast on the roller coaster rides recently, but I am thankful to be kicking still and well.  I hope you are all ready to dig deep into the topic of interest today. Let’s read on.

 There are certain things which come to mind when most people hear about sickle cell disorder. Many conjure hospital stays, resulting from severe pains commonly referred to as sickle cell crisis and other complications people with sickle cell are prone to suffer from.

Others conjure us with blood bags constantly dangling from our hands, giving us that blood sucking vampire like look. And to be sure, there are many warriors out there who hate these frequent blood transfusions many believe is our lifeline without which, we cannot survive.  Due to this belief, the question has continuously been raised … can someone living with sickle cell survive without blood transfusions?

As someone who has gone through the two stages of treatment with and without blood transfusions, I can answer without fear of contradiction that yes, people with sickle cell can and do live without being dependent on blood transfusions.

This is by no means a single story. I have read a lot on both sides of the divide, of those who are strongly for transfusion and those who are determined to keep their blood counts up through herbal and other alternative ways.

As a young child, I used to believe my life depended on frequent blood transfusions and though I couldn’t  do anything about it because I wanted to live, I hated the thought of being transfused each time I went to the hospital and ended up being admitted. However, a lot of things happened during my teen years and the more I learnt about my health, the more I was determined to explore alternative means to build my limited blood supply and keep it up as much as possible. I wanted to live, but I didn’t want to live dependent on blood transfusions. Thus began my quest for such alternative blood builders, which have kept me transfusion free for the past twenty-five years and counting.

It took a lot of hard work, commitment and dedication to explore the alternative herbal blood builders and a lot of patience to train my taste buds and sense of smell to the tastes, smells and mixtures of these blood builders. Thankfully, and coupled with the fact that medicine has improved along with the kind of  care some of us are fortunate to have, it all paid off very well.  Another bonus is that, these years of experimenting with alternatives to blood transfusion has greatly helped me minimize the exposure and risk of iron overload which comes with repeated blood transfusions and are not friendly to our organs in the long run.

I have written some articles on alternatives to blood transfusions here, detailing some of the things I do to keep my blood count up naturally. I will also try to highlight some of the things I do.

* Eating healthy has been a great boost. Focusing more on plant based foods and proteins have helped to fortify my immune system, thereby limiting the frequency of my crises and thus keeping me far away as possible from hospitals and the need for transfusions.

* Being consistent in making and drinking my herbal alternatives to build my blood up has been very helpful. I make it a habit to have at least one blood tonic weekly even when I am not sick. That way, my blood count is always up and when I fall sick, it doesn’t drop to the point of needing transfusions. Even while sick, taking the blood builders daily helps. Remember, opting for alternatives doesn’t mean I am on some kind of suicide mission. I want to live. I just don’t want to live dependent on blood transfusions as we have been made to believe that is our life line.

* Taking my regular drugs and doing my best to stay loyal to appointments and follow ups has generally contributed to the overall wellbeing of my health.

* Learning as much as I can about my health, understanding my body and trigger factors and taking note of the dos and don’ts cannot be over emphasized.

Staying true to my appointments and following my regular drugs routine plays a huge role.

Living with sickle cell has been both challenging and fulfilling.  Of course, there is no fulfillment in living with a life time of pain. There is however, fulfillment in knowing you can defy the odds and myths successfully, through the knowledge you acquire about what you are going through and the positive steps and actions you take. I didn’t do anything magical. Or maybe I did, by taking charge of my life and not letting sickle cell call the shots. We all can do that … be the ones in charge, all we need is to understand ourselves and follow some basic steps.

It is not all about debunking the myths around sickle cell. It is about living positively and well, so that your life style and action speaks louder in debunking the myths.

My life’s journey tells me with just a little more effort and focuses, people with sickle cell can and do live without blood transfusions and after twenty five years of going without, my fervent wish is that I do not have to deal with transfusions again for as long as I live.

Knowledge and good care goes a long way.

Keep reading, keep sharing and keep commenting. We are inspired by your visits and comments, thank you.

ARREY-E.AGBOR-NDAKAW

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Maureen

Your plates of food are always to die for. I have learned that despite the presence or absence of a chronic disease, nutrition and lifestyle are capital to staying healthy.
Your blog is always a good read.