MY EXPERIENCE AS A SICKLE CELL CARRIER & BOYFRIENDS
As a carrier, its been very difficult to have a relationship because naturally we both are thinking about where this is going especially being into each-other and wanting to take things to the next level. I've been truly in love with only 2 guys in my life and both shared the same AS genotype as I did. With my first true love, I was not really thinking about it as much because I was young and in love and could not see myself with anyone other than him. We dated for about 3 years but the relationship came to a sudden end when my boyfriend just stopped communicating after moving to another city for work; of course I was thinking maybe he was seeing someone else but it turned out to be him emotionally checking out because things were getting serious and he had seen my reality as a sickle cell sibling with strong concerns from my family. It took me maybe a good year and a half to recover from that heartbreak.
This is a situation a lot of us have to deal with and it can get to be incredibly frustrating. So I wonder, if I, just as a carrier of the gene,am going through this struggle, what are the people who have the actual disease going through? I have had to always check with a potential partner what his blood type was before even getting to know him as a person. Having said that, the truth is this is really something people are struggling with and while many want to believe that the love they share will make things okay (females are mostly guilty of this), others are forced to walk away from love because of external pressure from family and friends. The idea of bringing kids into the world who have the disease is one that not many people want to do because its not fair to those children to have them go through a lifetime of pain and suffering and in some cases, dying from the disease at the end of the day.
So in reality, we all want to know what to do if we find ourselves involved with carriers or sicklers and things are becoming serious. Research tells us that if both parents have the sickle cell trait, there is a 50% chance that the child will also have SCT if the child inherits the gene from one of his parents. If both parents are carriers, there is a 25% chance that the child will have the sickle cell disease but there is also that same percentage that the child will not have SCD or SCT. If one parent has SCT, there is a 50% chance the child will have SCT and an equal 50% chance the child will not have SCT. 1 in 4 kids from 2 sickle cell carriers will have the sickled gene or a 1 in 2 chance that the child will have SCT but there is no way to tell which child it would be; it could be the first or the third. For more details on how to find out if your baby will have SCT or SCD, visit www.babycentre.co.uk
At the end of the day, couples need to figure out how to move forward with their relationships or whether to part ways based on this issue and not just cut off unceremoniously from a partner without talking things through. It is a sensitive subject and family and friends need to be supportive and encouraging during these times as well.
Thank you for visiting as always and look forward to hearing if you have had any relationship experiences with sickle cell.