By the age of seven I was all too familiar with a extremely sever sickle cell crisis. The long nights in pain, my parents taking turns through-out the night massaging me with warm baby oil and having me drink jellow-water, tossing & turning in unthinkable pain for a child. I just could not figure out how such a painful thing could be inside a little body like mine, causing so much termoil.
I would sit on the the top steps in our two-story home for days holding my favorite doll waiting for the pain to show up…..”I Know it’s Coming!” I would always tell myself as if it was creeping around the dark corner getting ready to scare the crap out of me as soon as I closed my eyes.
Damn, as I think back I was terrified just about each and everyday holding my breath waiting for the pain to arrive and turn my world inside out. And it seemed each and everytime my little mind would forget about it for a split second and I go play in my uncles backyard full of plums that fell from the tree….the pain would come slamming into me like a truck out of control down hill. I would scream, kick, cry, and just roll around in pain. My poor parents did everything possible to ease my pain which would show up just about every month.
One afternoon as I layed on the patio chair in the back yard around mid summer, I woke up in a full crisis. I had to be around fifteen years old. For years I was always scared of them (the sickle cell crisis) showing up, scared of the pain taking me by surprise and catching me off guard, keeping me out of school and that particular summer day as the pain flooded my entire skinny body, I finally came to terms with having this horrible diease and said out loud as my dad was picking me up to put me in the car for a trip to USC Medical…”I Know Your Coming & You Dont’ Scare Me”…stupid sickle cell!!