"The US is not like our backward Nigeria my dear. Everything works in that system. They research and make discoveries like no man's business. Managing Sickle cell shouldn't be a problem there at all. Their healthcare system is superb!!!"
This is the most ignorant statement i have ever read in my life
No seriously, really?! So is "abroad" or US supposed to be this magical perfect place? People in Nigeria who think like that need to disabuse themselves of that notion. I'm irritated by it because the patient i JUST finished typing up the discharge summary has sickle cell disease. I just want to cry just thinking about it. Nobody should have to live like that all because their selfish parents decided to take a chance. My play cousin had sickle cell and passed away in 2007. If she wasn't in America, she would without a doubt have died at least 10 years earlier than she did but did that take her suffering away? NO!
If my patient wasn't in America and lived in Nigeria, I have no doubt in my mind that said pt would be dead. This is the first sickle cell patient i have managed and i was horrified (for lack of a better word). I remember my cousin always being in the hospital most of the time but i was a little kid and she left Nigeria a long time before we did. So even though i knew her's was bad, i can't say i have a first hand experience of it, except a few times my mom had to take her to the hospital writhing in pain.
Looking at this patient's hospital records, they have been admitted to the hospital every month this year, sometimes multiple times. Their sickle cell disease is managed by exchange tranfusion, iron overloaded as a result of that, on ridiculous amount of pain medications,multiple pain medication for that matter, avascular necrosis of shoulder, just yesterday, started complaining of hip pain, that i can bet is AVN of hip. Then of course functional asplenia, which can make them susceptible to bacterial infection. Sickle cell disease makes you hypercoagulable, so think of everything else that comes with that. It affects every system of the body, kidneys, lungs, joints, everything. It's not a freaking joke!
I walk into the room some mornings and this pt can't even talk to me because of the pain, forget about touching them to do an exam. They can't even bear the light touch of a stethoscope. I just feel so bad thinking about it. This is after 6 days of being in the hospital. I don't think it's fair that anyone should have to live like that especially for something that is so preventable. Back in the day, people didn't know. Now we know, why take that chance and sentence someone to a life of pain? It's not fair and it's such a selfish thing to do.
I don't think i had a clue about this disease until i managed this patient. I was clueless.This patient has to show up at the sickle cell clinic weekly and be closely followed. I kept asking my senior resident and attending...Is this a typical sickle cell patient? I wanted to believe that he was worse than normal because what i was seeing couldn't be what the average sickle cell patient went through. That's what i wanted to believe. But they all said, yeah! It's typical. What about my close friend who only has like 2 crisis a year? He probably doesn't have HbSS, might have HbSC or a higher percentage of normal RBC to sickled RBC. Hmmm....
I didn't really read the details of that post (although the gist of it seems to be taking a chance and going abroad to treat if he has a child with sickle cell) or subsequent comments, but i just felt the need to talk about this because it's something i have been affected by for the last week and to see someone make such an ignorant comment, i couldn't let that go, like i go a lot of the nonsense medical questions and advice i see on that blog.
Are the Sickle cell patients in America better managed than the ones in Nigeria? 100,000 million times, yes!!!! BUT that doesn't not take the suffering away or make it okay. It doesn't! No one should ever have to live like that especially if it's preventable. Our parents and grandparents had the excuse of ignorance. We don't have that excuse.
With that being said, two of my very close friends who are both AS, within the last couple of years have married AS partners. The first gave birth in Feb and the other one in Sept. They both did CVS. Of course, that means that abortion was an option for them. I'm just throwing it out there to let people know that they have options. The only other option i know to have a biological child if you are against abortion and don't want to take the chance you would have to have one is to do IVF and they can check the genotype before implantation, otherwise, you can marry and adopt a child or remain childless. It's not written anywhere that only people who want to have children should marry or every married couple should have a child.
*CVS is done in Nigeria too. Second couple did theirs in Nigeria. There might be other options. This is not my areas of expertise. Educate yourselves.
*America is not a magic place where everything is kisses and rainbows.
*I would also like to point out to anyone who thinks otherwise that there are A LOT of sickle cell kids in America. I am shocked at the amount of black people who do not know their genotype. All those baby mama/baby daddy things do you think they sit down to talk about genotypes? (Forgive me for this but it's the truth).
Better stop that rough play and rid yourself of ignorance. It's not cute.
*I understand proper grammar rules but i did not want to reveal the gender of said patient, so forgive the use of they instead of he/she. I have no desire to violate HIPAA. That is the main reason why i don't talk about my experiences with patients. Too much of a hassle.