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I Love My Eyes! #worldsicklecellday

I have two eyes, just like you do So what if they’re sometimes a yellowish hue? They see just as clearly, and water just as freely As yours, they open and shut just as quickly Don’t make fun of my yellow eyes I’m not a lesser being, please realize My cells may sickle and cause me pains But the same red blood flows in my veins Your limbs may be stronger, mine are longer Thus my embrace wider and my reach farther My heart may beat faster but that’s no disaster

The fact that it beats is the heart of the matter You may choose to label me ‘sickling’ Or call me a sad, sorry weakling A shame indeed, for it takes great strength To fight daily battles that span life’s length To face a disease that you’d rather deny To choose to live when it seems easier to die But to do all that and surpass the norm By constantly ranking top of the form Is a feat that’s worthy of great applause Not something to gloss over with nary a pause To smile while I run a difficult race Can only be done by a divine grace If we traded places, you just might find A walk in my shoes makes life rather unkind So don’t make fun of my yellow eyes Gaze into them, and you’d be surprised At the beauty beneath the seeming flaws Of my eyes, which are as priceless as yours!

Poem: Don't Make Fun of My Yellow Eyes

I wrote this poem about a decade ago, not long after the release of my memoir and my first book, Yellow Eyes Gone White! An Inspiring Journey of Triumph over Sickle Cell Disease. Today, June 19, is #worldsicklecellday, and I honor all survivors—and those who love us! Over two decades ago, I lost my older brother to this genetic blood disorder, and I carry him in my heart, always. If you have a loved one with sickle cell, then here's an excerpt from my memoir you might find meaningful:

"How to help a person with sickle cell disease who is in a crisis:

  1. Reduce the pain: Give whatever pain reliever has been prescribed, as prescribed. Furthermore, applying heat to the painful areas will help relieve the pain—use a heating pad, hot water bottle, etc. Better still, if possible, soak him/her in a hot bath, with water as hot as he/she can tolerate for as long as necessary to get relief from the pain. In my experience, soaking in a hot bath is one of the fastest non-medical ways to ease the pain of a crisis.

  2. Improve blood circulation and general comfort levels. Get the person as comfortable as possible. Remove any and all tight clothing have give him/her wear loose comfortable clothing, and then sit or lie down in such a way that blood flow around his/her body is not obstructed in any way. Make sure the temperature in the room is neither cold nor hot, but moderate.

  3. Improve oxygen levels. Hook the person up to oxygen if you have access to the proper equipment. If you don’t and are in a clean environment with moderate climate, open the windows for fresh air. Also encourage him/her not to cry, but to take deep breaths instead.

  4. Rehydrate: Ensure the person is drinking a lot of clean water, not cold water, but room temperature.

  5. Be encouraging: Stay positive in your speech to help the person not to be overwhelmed by negative thoughts. This is difficult, but do something to take his/her mind off the pain, if possible. Find a way to reduce the mental, emotional, and/or physical stress on the person in a crisis.

In summary, if you have a relative or friend in a crisis, then do you best to help him/her with the understanding that he/she is in a life-threatening situation. So act fast, apply the above tips to the best of your ability, and ensure you get the person in a crisis professional medical attention as quickly as possible. Finally, if you forget everything else you should do, don’t forget to pray—prayer works wonders far beyond human capacity!”

— Lady InspiroLogos, Yellow Eyes Gone White! (Pages 62-63) Dorrance Publishing, 2012.

P.S. Show some love to someone living with #sicklecell today, and every day!

~ Lady I.

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