Friday, December 5, 2008

Work and SC

Most people are defined by the work they do. A fireman will boast about how many fires he puts out, a doctor will describe a perfect surgical procedure she has performed, or a singer will sing songs that people love to hear. Work is good, and a job well done always feels good too.

People living with Sickle Cell Disease, if they can work, press past the pain and limitation of their bodies and try to earn a living like everyone else. We take our medications and pray for painfree days. We get up eachday and give life the best we have. When Sickle Cell Disease, however, takes a more prominent place in our lives, work seems impossible. Simple tasks, like getting up and getting dressed can take all our energy. When this dreadful day comes, a person's sense of worth can come into question. They might ask, “Do I still matter?”, and “Am I of value to anyone or anything?”

I asked myself these questions when Sickle Cell Disease came and took my career away from me. No longer could I answer the question, “What do you do for a living?” I was sick and in pain, that’s all. The career I worked so hard to achieve for over twenty years was gone. Even though my mind was willing, my body and Sickle Cell Disease said “enough!” Since that time, I have made peace with Sickle Cell Disease. And I have concluded, I do matter, despite my illness. I have value, even if I don’t have a career to boast about.

The complications of Sickle Cell Disease are: (pneumococcal pneumonia,gallstones, enlarged heart, heart murmurs, myelofibrosis, anemia, enlarged spleen/destroyed spleen, enlarged liver, oxygen deprivation, high Blood pressure in the lungs, pulmonary hypertension, avascular necrosis, stroke and pain) should also include the loss of work, career, value, and worth.

Despite these losses, people with Sickle Cell Disease have to fight each one of these complications, and we must live on….anyway.

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