Remember the last time you had a bad day? You know what I’m talking about—those times when we come home and plop down on the sofa—and devour a huge piece of chocolate cake or ice cream? Okay, maybe an entire tub of classic hummus and chips?!
Well, for people who live with sickle cell anemia (SCA), a serious disease that causes intense chronic pain and anemia, they have lots of bad days because there is no cure.
There are however ways to manage the disease and accompanying symptoms, but for many people, they’re still stuck with feeling tired; the pain, especially during a flare is intense. So when I heard about an African American man who resides in Arkansas who REFUSES to give into SCA, I got fired up! You can watch the video here.
Why was it so striking?! Honestly, he had me at ‘hello’ when he said, “When I feel pain coming on, I get busy.” When he has a bout of intense pain, he gets moving (physically) to try and focus on something else. And he knows what he’s talking about because he’s had a lot of experience with SCA.
When he was young, he had overprotective teachers and perhaps family members, who although kind, apparently may (I’m not sure—may) have tried to prevent him from doing things out of fear he’d harm himself if he did too much physical activity.
Well, it makes sense. That’s what parents and teachers do. But long ago, he decided he wanted to live a full life despite the disease. So he started riding motorcycles, he built race cars and developed a love of horses and began riding them, too! Now in his 60s, he’s not ready to slow down but has joined a program at a local clinic that is helping patients like him and others to better manage their disease in a multifaceted approach. Amazing!