Reality shows are my guilty pleasure and that's a known fact. The foolishness and the drama is so entertaining that for the one hour when the show is on, I forget all the worries that trouble my soul.
However, on the off chance that you catch me watching something else (and I do), it will either be something on Reelz or Dr.Oz. Every other week or so, he focuses on crime and the role that medicine has come to play in solving many of them but primarily he talks about health issues in all the ways that people deal with it today. For instance, in their foods, their lifestyle choices etc.
Late last year, Dr Oz talked about sickle cell and on the show, his guest was artist and member of the music sensation group of the 90s, TLC, Tionne Watkins aka T-Boz who is known to have sickle cell disease. She shared how she deals with chronic painful episodes when they occur and described her pain as being similar to knife stabbing in her joints, gasping for air, leaving her so delirious that she often will not recall what happened or where she was afterwards.
At age 7, T-Boz was told along with her mother that she would not live past 30, would never be able to have children and would be disabled her whole life but today, she has a beautiful 16 year old daughter and an adopted son who she credits for her resolve and fight to live despite having sickle cell. She tells of a cousin she had who also had SCD that was given the same bleak prognosis she got at 7 years old. Instead of taking control of his health and choosing life, he allowed himself to be consumed by his condition and ultimately died from the disease. Tionne chose to reclaim her life by being her own advocate and understanding her body. She says when you think sick and talk sick, you have given up on yourself and are just sitting around waiting to die. She maintains that rather than do that, live your life to the best of your ability, work with your doctors and fight for your right to live everyday. I guess in his own way, that's what my brother did and what my sister is still doing today.
Dr Oz Talks Sickle Cell and Tionne's story can be found HERE and you can also read up on the basics of sickle cell disease: it's description, cause and symptoms.
Do you think that having sickle cell disease is a death sentence? How would you advice someone living with the disease to go about living their lives? Comment Below.