A Warrior’s Musings: How I Maintained a Positive View Dealing with a Life Long Contract.

Hello good people, it has been a long while I posted here. I hope life has been great so far.
Life has been a real roller coaster ride these past few months in this journey we call life , giving me a kind of merry go round around writing a blog post. Nevertheless, here we are with my first post after a spell and the very first in 2018.

Are you wondering about the title of this blog post? Don’t worry. Read on you will understand what I mean about a lifelong contract.

When you get a new job, you are usually given a binding contract to sign. Sometimes, it could be for a few months or for a few years renewable. In the event that you didn’t stay true to the contract, it might be terminated before its due date. Furthermore, sometimes, you the employee have some say in how it plays out. You may decide you love the job and would work hard to ensure the contract is renewed when it is due or you might decide to move on at the end of the contract in search of greener pastures.  One way or the other, the contract may eventually end.

In a similar way, many today see a lot of things as contracts. A case in point is marriage which many today view solely as a contractual union. When terms and conditions of the contract expire with no feelings developing between Arrah and Ashu, they terminate the contract and move on.

For the Sickle Cell Warrior, there’s a permanent life contract we all deal with. Love it or hate it, there’s no way out we are stuck in it.  You may wonder what life contract I am talking about. The love-hate relationship we have with hospitals. I call that a contract for life because while some may never step foot into the hospital especially those born at home by traditional midwives, we have to revisit the hospital again and again in our sometimes rough rides through rough terrains in this journey we call life.  While some may never step foot again into the hospital the moment they leave the maternity ward with their parents, we have to make constant trips to the hospital sometimes, just to make sure we are good. Oftentimes and most often the reality, screaming our heads off in excruciating pains as we are rushed into the hospital again and again.

Like I said above, love it or hate it, there’s no backing out of this particular contract for us warriors. And since it is an inevitable journey we have to make again and again, how do we deal with this permanent yet, sometimes unpleasant life contract?  These points below have helped me maintained a kind of acceptance yet, positive view towards this life binding contract with the hospital.

A Healthy Sense of Humour.

Graphics by Lobga Derick

Laughter and a happy heart are medicines to the soul. While some warriors view the hospital as a prison, waiting for the slightest moment to experience prison break or getting out of jail, I see it as my own favourite rest house. An active imagination helps me picture myself in an exotic rest house being served by chefs and assistants in pristine and overlapping coats. The antiseptic smell of the hospital I think it as an exotic smell from a strange land. Yes, that’s just me. Sense of humour and an active imagination has helped me cope with the hospital experiences even though I go there fighting and wondering if each present battle would be the last.

Personal Care

Taking care of me has been great in reducing the number of times I have to revisit this contract. I realized that eating healthy, staying hydrated, keep warm especially with the uncertainty of weather today due to climate change… in fact, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a great boost towards minimizing the frequency of crises which necessitates regular hospital stays. This is because a healthy lifestyle strengthens and builds up our immune system thus protecting us against situations that could trigger crisis.

Maintain a Positive outlook in life.

Granted, it is difficult to stay positive when most often, your waking moments are clouded by pains. Yet, it is doable. Pity parties and feeling sorry for self only makes us discouraged and even depressed… leading to more crises and more hospital stays. So think positive. Hold on to your God and faith. LIVE. DREAM. Take the breaks when the pains come calling but otherwise, LIVE!  A positive mind is a healthy mind… and thus a healthy life. So stay positive and minimize the hospital stays.

I am sure there might be other things some warriors do to minimize the frequency with which this life binding contract is respected. One thing for sure is, when faced with challenges, we can decide to let the challenges overwhelm us or we  develop what I love to call coping mechanisms and deal with them head on.

Our permanent life contract with the hospital is not going to end anytime soon. Let’s make the most out of it even as we embrace our battle for survival in the contracted battle ground we had no hands in signing and press on with life.

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