Sickle Cell Disease hitting close to home

I have a brother who has the recessive trait of sickle cell. He has a son Derrin, who has the complete sickle cell disease. Derrin is the sweetest two years old I have ever known but, because his cells are shaped like a sickle, he can’t walk. His mother has the recessive trait as well which when she and my brother had him they knew their son had sickle cell from the beginning. Derrin isn’t sick everyday but when he does get sick, he is in the hospital for days. The doctors are mostly trying to get him to sleep while working on the pain to resolve within his body. He cries a lot so we as a family never know when he is in pain or not. The doctors say whenever he is screaming and crying, then he is in pain. He takes three different medications daily in the winter time because he has asthma as well so they do not want anything making him worse with the cold weather. Derrin has to be held all the time because he can’t tell us what’s wrong with him. My brother and his son’s mother are black, which is why this book hit home for me. Just for the whites thinking that this was a black person’s disease was absurd. Derrin’s mother and my brother did not want to get tested for sickle cell while she was pregnant because they feel as though they already knew the outcome of the results. This is exactly what the people did in the book and they lived longer through the pain and this disease because this disease is actually fighting off Malaria. On Thursday, my group has the number five issue with how race was invisible then they paid attention to sickle cell and then it declined. In doing this class exercise, it gave me more insight after I read the conclusion and had the discussion in class about how at first the doctors wanted the black people to be able to work but they also needed some blacks to be sick so that they could experiment on them to see how to cure this disease. Once the healthcare was becoming more and more funded by federal and private dollars the healthcare industrial complex began to grow. Once that began to grow, doctors began focusing on more prominent diseases such as cancer and so forth pushing sickle cell downward in the decline in attention to this disease. In this book, dying in the city of the Blues I realized plenty dealing with the south that I had not known about Memphis before. I thought Beale Street was for black people and now I barely see blacks on Beale except for a weekend night. I learned plenty about sickle cell trait and disease that I did not know before. Things like they claimed it to be a black people‚Äôs disease. I also learned that Vas Crump was helping blacks as we were helping him with his voting and his machine. This was an interesting book and topic. I am happy to share my story.

One thought on “Sickle Cell Disease hitting close to home

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