Editor’s Note: Many thanks to our guest blogger, Monique, for graciously agreeing to share her story with us all. I was truly touched upon reading it and now have a better understanding of what those diagnosed with Sickle Cell go through on an ongoing basis. The details are just heartbreaking and I pray that your testimony encourages someone. I am in awe of your strength and will to let everyone know that Sickle Cell disorder does matter!
“God birthed purpose through my pain, and I look nothing like what I’ve been through!” – Mo’Nique
Here is her story:
What if I told you that since the age of 12 until my current age of 34 that every day I live my life in pain? Could you imagine waking up and going to bed knowing that no matter what you will always be in pain? Well, that is my story. At the age of 3 I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia (Hemoglobin SS) which is the worst form of Sickle Cell Disease to inherit. I remember the painful episodes that would come over my body which always seemed to happen at night while I was asleep. At least to my recollection it seemed this disease was drawn to interrupting my sleep. I recall the countless times I was awaken by sharp bolts of pains through my joints and back. One minute I am sleeping peacefully and the next I am screaming for my mother to come rescue me from this torment. I don’t know the exact age when I started having pain episodes but I know of the many hospital stays during my elementary school days.
This life I live is not an easy one but I learned that complaining solves nothing. So, I smile through the pain and I use my life as a testimony. No matter what you are going through there will always be purpose for your pain. You just have to learn how to properly make your pain purposeful. I am not strong because I chose to be. I am strong because it is the only choice I have. I am fearless in this fight because my God is faithful to me in the midst of it all. I do not take a day of life for granted. I never know what day will be my last. The words “tomorrow is not promised” is a reality I face with my son from minute to minute, hour to hour, and day by day. I will continue to tell my story. It brings the much needed awareness that is needed. I want to remove the stigma that this is a “black persons” disease when it affects ALL races. This illness has nothing to do with race and everything to do with genetics. Maybe then we will get as much attention as Cancer, Heart Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, etc. I just want the world to know that Sickle Cell matters too! Many children and adults are losing their lives to this disease and we deserve a cure and to be treated fairly by healthcare professionals. Until they understand our pain, they will continue to judge what cannot be understood without walking in our shoes.