Did you enjoy reading Mills and Boon and all about falling in love in those good old days? The dashing tall, dark and handsome men who were to charge into our lives with panache and sweep us off our feet (drool). Some of us got these our ‘Prince Charmings’ (on white horses, to boot) and some of us not. But, hey hold it…this post is not about that!
It is about the things that love supposedly makes us do! I checked up an online dictionary and it defines love as an intense feeling of deep affection. Hmm! Then I went a step further and checked up the meaning of blindness and this online source tells me that this is a state of being sightless and unable to see. So, if love is blind, it prevents anyone with this feeling of deep affection from seeing…literally and figuratively! Hmm, thought to ponder. I’ll leave this discourse here for a bit and move on to another issue.
Parenthood is a huge job. It involves a human being literally sacrificing all for another. You want to protect your children from pain, hurts, losses etc even when you know it is impossible. When they are ill, you want to take over the illness and leave them well. So imagine if you were the parent of a sickler, who has to deal with crises after crises, in pain and really sickly most of the time. You’re constantly praying to God to please let this crisis pass, please reduce the pain and indeed you are in the hospital more often than not with this child.
How did this happen? Well it was when two sickle trait carriers (people with AS) decided to get married. This automatically meant that for each pregnancy, they had a 25% chance that the baby would be born with genotype SS. This is a mathematical probability and so it could very well be that none of this couple’s children would be SS or it could very well be that all or half of them could be SS! So imagine starting out on a journey of parenthood knowing that your heart is going to be broken again and again as you deal with your child’s continual visits in and out of a hospital.
Now where does this link up with the first? It was World Sickle Cell day, afew days back and it got me wondering about this thing called love.Well, methinks that love should not be blind…not in these days where there are all sorts of sources for generating power :D. More seriously, love really has no choice than to be pragmatic these days. And so before marriage, a couple should be sure to carry out tests. I’m not talking about those carried out by churches to confirm pregnancy at al 😉 but a serious desire by couples to seek answers as they make the decision to undertake a voyage together. This should ideally be done or known by both parties early enough in a relationship before emotional investments are made on either side.
If two people are carriers of the sickle cell trait, it is only pragmatic not to marry. Before you all lynch me, I know it is not as easy as it sounds. But marrying because you’re emotionally invested is really exchanging one type of heart break for another…because your heart will surely break when you have to watch your child go through the pains of the many crises he or she has to deal with or have them die in your hands.
If I were to choose, I most definitely know what the choice would be for me. It may not be an easy choice but we’ve got to break the trend of these increasing numbers of sicklers in our communities. If ignorance is the problem, let’s spread the knowledge; if love being blind is the problem, ladies and gentlemen, please bring a flashlight along and show the light!
Here’s to a healthier generation and a healthier you!
In my final year in Medical School, I watched a woman who had had to give up her job because her daughter (she had a son first and then when the crises began with the 2nd child, she refused to have any more kids) suffer day in, day out. She had a really bad case of SCA. In my 1st year at University, I had a classmate who when she was in pains, we all were in pains. Her father had to transfer her her to another University closer to home so she could be monitored. I eventually lost touch with her. As a practising doctor, I handled quite a number of sticklers brought in with one form of crisis or the ther and it always made me wonder- did the parents think it was worth it to bring these kids into this world to suffer, with their marriages being affected too!
As a Christian, I believe in miracles because I personally know 2 people whose genotypes changed to AA. I do not believe that 2 people should come together knowing that they carry the gene and say, ‘God will do it’. Why don’t you use that faith to change your genotype BEFORE marriage? It’s not worth the pain that everyone has to suffer at the end of the day.
My advice- people who carry the sickle gene should visit these Sickle Cell centres, visit the hospitals and experience first-hand what those with SCA go through then make an informed decision to either go ahead with the marriage or split amicably. Wisdom is the principal thing and with all thy getting, get understanding!!
I couldn’t have said it better! Thanks for sharing Simbo…especially for the spiritual angle to it. It is a heart wrenching experience to watch sicklers pass through crises. As you said, everyone is affected. This is a communal call to action.
Sorry, noticed a couple of typo errors!
Insignificant typos 😀
I have always said to the “blind lovers” not to choose that long, weary road to perpetual heartbreak and emotional trauma except they have not only experienced such SCA sufferers in terrible agony “live” but also are convinced they have all it takes to convince the sufferers they end up bringing to the world that they, the ‘blind lovers’, are not to blame for their suffering.
It truly isn’t worth the risk.
On the other hand, we pray medical knowledge advances as regards stem cell transplant in sickle cell disease to enhance care and healthy living among patients with SCA.
An emotional piece. Well done.
Hello Sunny, your comments are so apt. I pray along with you for speedy advances in stem cell research. Anything that improves the quality of life of Sicklers will be a wonderful step in the right direction.
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