Sickle Cell Disease: Mike’s Story

Hi, my name is Mike. I’m 18 and I have
sickle cell disease. I like to skateboard, play
guitar, rap, draw, play games, and just hang with my friend’s. I experience pain most in
my lower back and my jaw gets some throbbing. And that’s how I know it’s not
just like a cramp or something, it’s sickle cell. Me and my parents we use
the number scale 1-10. Anything from 0 to 3,
I’m still able to do everything I need to. Even sometimes skate
4 or above, that’s when I’m usually like I
don’t feel like doing this. If he gets any higher, than I’ll
probably just stay in the bed. What gets me through
the pain is trying to find methods to
get my mind off of it. Playing games, listening
to music, movies, anything besides
just laying there. Because if I’m
just laying there, I start thinking about it. And that’s going
to make it worse. When I come back from a
crisis and going to school, I’m still tired and down
from all the pain and then the medicine. Getting off the
medicine, getting back to the normal flow of
things is kind of hard. The counselors and
the head teachers try to give me extra time for
my work to be in if I’m out. It’s important to
take your medicine and see your doctor
because you don’t want to slip up too
much because that could cause you to have more pain. I’ve been seeing my
doctor since I was 3, so I have a pretty good
relationship with him. If I have a bad
crisis and I don’t know whether I should try to
hold it off at home or go in, I’ll call them to
tell me what to do. Things I do to stay
healthy, I stay away from drugs and drinking. But I also stretch
and I exercise. I like to skateboard. I’ll do that as often as I can. I’m not suppose to
over exert myself, which depending on
the temperature, like if it’s cold
out, I really can’t go for a long period of time. And I focus more on my music
and my rapping and stuff. For people that
have sickle cell, don’t let it stop you
from doing what you love. You’re no different
than anybody else. Always looking
forward to the future. Something new everyday.

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