Bloody Nail Clippings

On this auspicious day, I want to talk about sickle cell anaemia. Now I know that there are 2 types of people reading this, the curious and the affected so while I’ll try to make this an interesting enough read for the curious, I’m definitely going to leave the affected with several tips also.

Basically, sickle cell anaemia happens when someone inherits the abnormal S hemoglobin from both of their parents. In other words, where the normal red blood cell looks like a capsule you take to get better or a round fried ball of unhealthy goodness, the sickled blood cell looks like a nail clipping.

Photo courtesy of Google. YourGenome

As it is an anemia, a condition where there is not enough blood to carry oxygen round your body, people who’ve inherited this disease often find themselves experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, and an inability to breathe.
When I was in secondary school, a sickle was defined as a tool used in farming for harvesting grain crops. And when I first heard about sickle cell anemia, I thought that something used in providing food could not be so bad. I shake my head at my 8 year old self.

The defining feature of this disease is basically that your body works against you. The sickled blood cell blocks the passageway to the organs it is meant to provide blood to. When one blood cell blocks the passageway, no other blood cell can enter. So they split apart and cause a lot of pain to the affected person. The affected person may find that their kidney, liver, brain and major body organ functionality is decreased. The affected person may also find themselves experiencing joint pain, leg cramps and multifarious infections among other things. That’s the most simplistic definition I can give to a sickle cell crisis. 

Now that we’ve gotten a basic definition of what sickle cell anemia is and what a sickle cell crisis entails, let’s talk about living with it and managing it.

The key to managing sickle cell anaemia is to note that prevention is ALWAYS better than cure. Recognize your triggers for what they are, triggers which if not properly managed can lead to a sickle cell crisis lasting for a couple of hours to a lot of years.

A common trigger for females afflicted with sickle cell anemia is their menstruation. Do I need to define what menstruation is? Okay. Menstruation is your body’s way of reassuring you that you’re not about to embark on a 9 month journey. At least not yet. No cute kids in your 9 month future. Try again next month. 

Still, menstruation involves shedding of blood from your uterine walls and can be slightly to curled- in- the- foetal- position-on- the- floor- painful. When a sickle cell affected female starts her menstrual cycle, she is shedding blood at an alarming rate. The rate of blood shed in women with sickle cell anaemia and women without it is like comparing Game of Thrones to How I Met Your Mother. Now, remember that an anaemia is when there is NOT ENOUGH blood in your body, so losing the blood you do have is definitely a trigger. In both sexes, too much exercise and stress are other known triggers. 

Now that we’ve identified some triggers, let’s talk about managing them. First of all, HYDRATE. Drink water. Drink plenty of water. When you wake up, drink water, after you pee, drink water, make games out of drinking water. Have different colored water bottles. I know someone who never climbs up a staircase without a bottle of water in his hand. I know yet another person who has different colored water bottles, orange for the office, yellow for her car and white for home. Whatever it takes, ingest H2O at any and at all costs. Drinking water should be a lifestyle. Not only does it help to keep your blood circulating, it gives you clear skin, flushes out toxins from your body and mutes the effects of alcohol in your bloodstream.

Which brings me to my second point, limit your alcohol intake. And don’t smoke. Please. Narcotics are especially bad for anyone with sickle cell anaemia. So limit intake to the barest minimum or just quit as fast as you can before lung or liver function is compromised.

Exercise is good, it bolsters your health but be very careful not to exercise to the point where you’re gasping for air or become really tired. And when you’re exercising, HYDRATE!

Recognize that stress is the enemy. Manage your stress levels. You can work very effectively without stressing or worrying yourself. And since worry is stressful, STOP WORRYING!

Wash your hands before you eat. With soap and water. Wash under your nails, wash again if you don’t feel like all the dirt is gone. This is a lesson I learned in 2014 during the Ebola crisis. Regular hand washing prevents infection. Infection prevention is a very very very good thing. How many times did I emphasize the very?

Speaking of infection prevention, vegetables and fruit have to be part of your daily diet. Eat your vegetables. They are actually really delicious. Eat them with fries, eat them as salad, grow your own vegetables and be test subject zero for yourself, whatever you have to do to make fruit attractive enough to eat, do it. Take blood tonics and supplements after you come out of a sickness/crisis. They could be the major difference between going back to Egypt or proceeding to the Promised Land. 

Okay, last but not least, SMILE and be happy. While you do have problems, the singular best way to counteract your problems is to focus on the things that bring you joy.

Kisses and hugs for the affected. Read up on sickle cell anemia if you want to know more, for the curious. Google is Your Friend. And not in the sarcastic way The Police is Your Friend has come to sound.

Meme: Sourced from Twitter
Peace.

Also, please look at Stem Cell donation as a treatment. There is hope yet.

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Now, let’s talk about why I wanted to talk about this today. 

You all know I had 2 younger brothers right? Well, this lesson was sponsored by Nebolisa Anselm Ayalogu, whose death at the age of 12 from complications arising from sickle cell anaemia that lasted 4 years ensures that I will always remember to talk about this disease to as many people as I can. Know your genotype. Know your genotype and for the love of pancakes, please do not subject any child to living with sickle cell Anaemia. 

Bohboh, life passes by whether you are having fun or not. So, I intend to have as much fun as possible. Rest in peace. You were such a happy person and even though you didn’t get to grow up and impact as many people as possible, you definitely impacted my life. November 15, 1995 – December 9, 2007.
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Lyrically Speaking (3)

I like Leona Lewis. Very much. She has a really nice voice, she’s a vegan (I’ve always admired vegans) and she sang Bleeding Love. One of my favorite soulful songs. 

But I love this song for a reason. I was about 16/17 when I heard this song for the first time. It was an insomniac night (they pretty much all were honestly), NEPA had brought light so I was watching MTV/Trace/Soundcity and I watched the video for this song.

The video concept was incredibly interesting, she met and liked a guy, we see them falling in love and then we see her in a wedding dress. As the chief bridesmaid. 

*my chest*

But I like this song for the lyrics. I like this song for the words it says. And the way the words makes me feel. Honestly, Ryan Tedder and Leona Lewis were such a bomb team.💣💣💣💣. Their collaboration on the Echo album was so good! (I was a bit of a music nerd, as you can probably tell.)

While I walked back from Night of Worship the next morning, I was listening to half the songs on the Echo album on my phone (it’s been a while since I had them on my phone) and I remembered once again how much I liked her voice. And how much I love this song.

Release an album like Echo again, Leona. A fan urges you.

The song is Happy by Leona Lewis.

Enjoy!

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[Verse 1]
Someone once told me that you have to choose
What you win or lose
You can’t have everything
Don’t you take chances
Might feel the pain
Don’t you love in vain
Cause love won’t set you free
I can’t stand by the side
And watch this life pass me by
So unhappy
But safe as could be

[Chorus:]
So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out out of ground
I gotta find my place
I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
Cause i’m just trying to be happy, yeah
Just wanna be happy, yeah

[Verse 2:]
Holding on tightly
Just can’t let it go
Just trying to play my role
Slowly disappear, ohh
But all these days, they feel like they’re the same
Just different faces, different names
Get me out of here
I can’t stand by your side, ohh no
And watch this life pass me by, pass me by

[Chorus:]
So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground
I gotta find my place
I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
Cause i’m just trying to be happy, ohh, happy, ohh

[Bridge:]
So any turns that I can take
like I’m a stranger on this road
But don’t say victim
Don’t say anything

[Chorus:]
So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground
I gotta find my place
I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me

[Outro:]
I just wanna be happy
Ohh, yeah, happy, ohh, happy
I just wanna be, ohh
I just wanna be happy
Ohh, happy

*

Notice: 

Lyrics obtained from http://www.azlyrics.com. Huzzah for them!

Edited by Obianuju Ayalogu.

Article Recommendations

http://portableisthenewhot.blogspot.com.ng/2016/09/dear-future-husband.html?m=1- awesome blog. I especially love the GirlsChat series.

http://demorrieaux.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/conflicts-within/- This article should be read and this blog should be followed. It just makes sense. She’s a fantastic writer and she reflects God in a beautiful way in her writing. So, do yourself a favor, follow her blog. And mine 😉.
💓💜💛💚💙❤💟

Rounding Up and Running Away

I started both my blogs for me. For myself. I started the original blog as a compromise to an urge to be sociable, something I knew from experience that I could not execute for really long periods of time. 

There were not so many people I felt comfortable showing my real face to. And that was okay. It meant that I treasured the friendships I formed, but it also meant that I needed incredible amounts of downtime from people. 

The original blog was my way of being sociable, but on my own terms. That’s why I kept myself anonymous. That’s also why I started this blog.

While my old blog was my concession to sociability on my own terms i.e. being anonymous, this blog is my concession to my personality. That’s why one of the first things I ever posted was My Multiple Person Disorder. An explanation of sorts to you. The old blog was started by Obi. This one was started and is run by Obianuju. That’s why this is the blog I care about most. That’s why this is the blog I promote more. Because this blog is a reflection of myself and my personality in its entirety. And vain though it might seem, I want it to get all the accolades and admiration due it. And me.

But there was something I didn’t quite bargain for. I didn’t bargain on meeting people just like me, facing the exact challenges, and constant monsters I faced. Laughing at the not so funny things I laughed at, chalking it up to my weird sense of humor. If I have a weird sense of humor, then I’m in good company. I didn’t expect to find friends, even substitute big sisters. But I’m glad I found them and I’m glad my relationship with them is growing.

I present to you one of the most amazing and greatest writers of our generation. 

This is not an exaggeration. 

Adaezenwa constantly blows me away with the quality of the content she posts. I’ve never read a blog post of hers and come out without thinking, laughing, crying or humming. She is also a tremendously amazing human being and I hope she knows that. Because it’s difficult to recognize sometimes that you are amazing. That you are loved. That you are worthy of praise and envy and admiration. 

But even if she may not recognize it from time to time, that’s what I’m here for. Because that’s what friends are for. Because friends remind you of you.

*

By the way, 👇👇👇👇 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. From Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Please take some time to meditate on it.

9. Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; 

10. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
11. Again, if two lie down together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?
12. And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Meditate on the passage, guys and eliminate all friendships that don’t conform. 

Because life is too long to have useless/ bad friendships. – Obianuju Ayalogu

I convinced Adaezenwa to write a post for me. It’s the first time she’ll be appearing on my blog, so show her some love everybody! 👏👏👏. 

By the way, she is currently a contestant in a writing competition and needs as many votes as possible to win. Please read the story, and if you love it, like I’m sure you will, click on the blue heart in top of the story to vote. Read and vote here 👉 http://sgnt.media/home/clash-of-the-titans/kolanut-palava-ezeada-ezenwa/. 

Thank you!

And now, without further ado; her contribution.

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When I was a child there were many times I wanted to run away from home, I’d even selected my running away clothes- my blue t-shirt that had a beach scene at the top half and white and black horizontal stripes on the bottom half, my yellow skirt that was excellent for twirling, my red top canvas boots  with the blue trousers and blue shirt that went with it (I saw a picture of me in that outfit recently with my trousers hitched to my chest like an aspiring palmwine tapper) and my favourite pyjamas which was an ivory and red flower printed concoction of perfection. 

I never did run away, even with all the annoyances that came with being my parents’ child (they put the over in overprotective) and the call of wild adventure in my blood that came from the children’s books I read (my aunt brought bags full of Canadian children’s books from her boss who was a Rotary club chapter president). For one thing I had no idea how I’d survive despite how easy it seemed in those books, I (wisely, in retrospect) decided that Canadian methods might fail me in Nigeria but I didn’t stop dreaming of grand adventure, I still do. 

Growing up is the biggest scam, you think when you get bigger and have freedom then you get to do the things you want, when you want to and however freaking way you want to. Life sits at a corner and laughs like a maniac as the child that was you plots a better life. If that isn’t your story then you are extremely lucky and you have got to show me your BaBa… 

The urge to run away still lives in me, this time it is almost as strong as my need for oxygen. I want to go away, far from home, from my many problems, from unfulfilled expectations and disappointing realities and most of all this crushing recession that makes the Naira almost become attractive for use as tissue paper… yes I said it. I want to leave Nigeria for a country I have not decided on yet but the United States- yes even with Trump as president, Canada (for all the books I read as a child and their superior educational system for Adaeze jnr and her siblings) and Ireland (because I was an Irish storyteller and pub owner in another life…) as top contenders. 

I was talking to Obianuju about it on WhatsApp, about the options I want to explore that would make emigration possible. One strong reason for my wanting to leave is that the things I want to do with my writing and pharmacy are not feasible in Nigeria, plus the access to better management of PCOS makes me want to leave so bad. Unfortunately due to the downward slide of the naira, it is getting harder and harder to even make such plans- a real catch-22 situation. 

“Write about it and send it to me” she ordered… 
And I began to write. 

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http://minimalbelle.com/2016/11/15/five-tips-for-the-workplace/- Not because she followed me. Because it’s so true!

http://www.hattylolla.com/2016/10/how-to-use-vision-board-to-get-whatever.html?m=1 – It’s a really good article. Lots of tips to implement.