Growing up, I used to go to one hospital after another. I was always sick but I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me. When the weather gets cold, I’d get rheumatism. There were times I still got rheumatism when the weather was hot. I was constantly in pain but people always accused me of exaggerating what I was going through….CONTINUE READING
Name any sickness you can think of, I suffered it. Jaundice, typhoid, and any ailment accompanied by severe pain. The only disease I never suffered was malaria. There was never a reason for why I was constantly sick. So I took to research. I always read about the human anatomy and what causes one to fall sick, so I could avoid getting sick.
It is my search for knowledge and information about my body that led me to my career in IT. After school, I struggled to get a job because of my health challenges. But eventually, I landed a role as an assistant Administrator of a school. I gave it my best and worked my way to the position of the Administrator. In the end, I am thankful that my career was not affected by my problems.
However, when it came to my love life, it was a different story. I grew up investing my time and energy into books, so I only started dating after I completed university. My first relationship was amazing. We were so in love that we started talking about marriage. Everything was going smoothly until I found out that although my boyfriend looked healthy, he was a ‘sickler’ just like me. I was shattered. To think that we couldn’t be together because of our genes and nothing else was so heartbreaking.
It was difficult, but we decided to call it quits for the sake of our future children. Moving on, I decided that whoever came my way, I’d have to know the person’s status before things got serious. Can you believe that four consecutive men came my way who were all either AS or SC? The painful part was that we were friends who decided to have a relationship, only to find out that we couldn’t be together because of our genotypes.
After the fourth guy, I decided that next time I wouldn’t ask for a man’s sickling status. “I can’t stand another heartbreak,” I said to myself. The next relationship I went into was with a very close friend. After a month or two, I couldn’t bear not to know, so I asked him. He checked and it turned out he is AS. Yet another heartbreak because of incompatible genotypes.
I was so drained that I decided to stay off relationships. I became very sure that any man who came my way would end up being someone I could not be with. That was until I met Kojo. The first thing I asked him after he proposed was, “What’s your sickling status?” I was even ready to reject him before he would give me an answer. He, on the other hand, looked at me with confusion because he felt I was asking a weird question.
I explained, “Before I can consider your proposal, I need to know that we are compatible.” He smiled and told me, “I am AA.” I refused to take his word for it until he showed me proof. That was when I opened up about my challenges with my health. “Now that you know my status, do you still want to be with me?” I asked him. He just smiled and said, “It doesn’t change anything for me. I love you so you are the one who has to decide if you want me.” I beamed with smiles as I said yes.
Six months after his proposal, we got married in a beautiful ceremony. God being so good, we had a beautiful healthy baby girl two years into our marriage. I delivered through C.S. only to realize the next day that I couldn’t walk. What is wrong again? That was the worst attack to happen to me yet. They call it avascular necrosis. This is a wear and tear at the joints of a person as a result of no or less blood circulating around that joint. It wears all the cartilage off at the joint and now the two bones meet causing excessive pain and mostly the person limps too.
“It commonly happens to sickle cell patients,” said the doctor. “Oh, not again!” I thought. All this happened at the end of 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. I had lost my job by then. I managed the best way I could until my baby girl got a little older. Then I decided to find a job. I found out that it wouldn’t be easy.
By and by, a friend got me a job. He said the job was mine if I passed the interview. I did every background check about the position and did the best I could at the interview. I passed and went for the next round of interviews. That day they saw me limping, and that was the end. These people promised to call back but I never heard from them. I called them repeatedly but they only gave me excuses. The friend who got me the job assumed I didn’t get the position because I probably didn’t do well at the interview.
From 2019 till date, I’ve not had a secured job. Nonetheless, I do a few businesses here and there which keeps me going. And my husband also takes care of us so I am alright.
Why this long story? I’m sharing my story because of Phoenix. I want him to understand that despite our challenges, love finds us eventually. As for the suicidal thoughts, I had it too. But thankfully, I am better. The journey is hard, but when you surround yourself with true friends, it becomes bearable.
What most people don’t know is, because of our limitations we study a lot. This enables us to do so well in our field of work. Don’t give up, Phoenix. Another beautiful and flexible job will come your way soon. Use this time to build yourself and acquire new skills. Forget about what people say about you and just live your life. Our situation is not easy, but we can survive it. Keep in mind that we are God’s special people, at least I know I am….CONTINUE READING
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