GROWING UP WITH S.C SIBLINGS
First things first, welcome to a brand new month guys and as we get closer to the end of the year, I hope we still maintain the same focus and determination to achieve any goals we may have left to conquer. Secondly, the giveaway comes to an end today and wow ya'll...nobody cared for my little bag of goodies. I would say my feelings were hurt but not really, that's because I get to keep all that stuff for myself. It will make me feel better..😜
On to today's post, I start with this prayer for inner strength because that's really one of the main things that got my family through those early years of having to take care of two kids with sickle cell at home. As you all probably know by now, my brother and sister both have sickle cell anemia and growing up with two siblings with the same disease but suffering different complications was absolutely gruesome to say the very least. I can not begin to explain or describe what it was like for my parents, especially my mom having to care for a son and a daughter with SCD. All of the fear and worry, along with the endless doctor visits, hospitalizations and medication then coupled with watching them suffer through horrendous pain and crisis was what my older sister and I had to watch my folks try to handle growing up. If it was not easy caring for them when there were 2 parents in the home, then you can only imgine what it was like for my mother when she and my dad got divorced. My sister was only but a toddler when they initially decided to seperate and my mom was absolutely not going to leave without her. The rest of us ( my brother being a teenager at this time) were given a choice and naturally we all chose to leave with mom. I'm sure it must have been tough for my dad but looking back now, I think we all made the right decision.
Mom became solely responsible for the primary care of 4 kids and there were countless days and nights that we experienced both my brother and sister in pain and in hospital- at different times and sometimes at the same time. The scary times would be when the crises would hit in the middle of the night and we would have to wait till the wee hours of the morning before we could get to our family hospital or in my sister's case, once when she was walking home from school and collapsed on the way as a result of the tremors she was suffering at the time. We were so grateful it didn't happen as she was trying to cross the road or near a gutter where she could have easily fallen in. As they grew older, the worry with my brother became about trying to get him to keep his stress levels at the barest minimum with work, all his social commitments and his own efforts at trying to be a normal young man. With my sister, it was about making sure she was also taking care of herself and knew what to do if she ever felt the onset of a crisis and none of us were close by. This was important for her particularly when she was attending University in Ghana but eventually had to stop mid-way because of all the complications she was experiencing and at the frequency they occured.
As with any mom caring for a child with health issues, my mom was always worrying and understandably very protective. As older sisters, my sister and I also had to step up and help out with caring for them and staying at the hospital with them when mom had to work or just to give her a bit of a break. She never liked to burden my sister and I claiming that it was her responsibility to care for her sick children but of course, that never stopped us from helping and when we started working, we were able to pitch in with bills around the house to ease some of the financial burden also on her shoulders. It truly truly was not easy in those times but we got through it with prayers, the love and support of good friends and extended family members. We all needed to play a role and although my brother did eventually pass away, I think we are all slowly coming to the realization that we did everything we could have possibly done for him and it was just time for him to go and be with the Lord.
Do you know anyone dealing with caring for a child or sibling/s with SCD? How are they coping and how are you supporting, if at all? I hope you share in the comments.