Nobody could have visualised what the year 2020 would be like. I for one was knocked left, right and centre as I started to recover from another trauma inflicted on me by my friend sickle cell disease.
Yes I have finally come to realise that I need to start treating this chronic illness as a friend. I don’t like this friend, in fact I can even go as far as saying I detest this friend, but this friend has clearly helped to make me the person that I have become. Every experience has made me a stronger person and I appreciate life and living enormously.
I have been so blessed in so many ways and counting my blessings actually makes me a completely grateful person even through my difficult times. I acknowledged a while ago that I had so much to give of myself to raising awareness of sickle cell disease and encouraging every sufferer especially the young ones. Believing in yourself can be so difficult when this controlling disease continuously knocks you down.
Everything I seem to do in my life when I was younger was a struggle. I was never given that opportunity to achieve and there was no point being excited about any wonderful events that were coming up as my friend always made sure it made an appearance at that particular time.
I have worked on many projects during this lockdown and shielding period and part of me has truly been fulfilled. I feel as if I can achieve anything and all things because of how strong God has made me. Everyday I feel his love, comfort and strength.
It is so important to work on yourself and almost difficult and near impossible when you experience that awful pain called a crisis. I often wondered why they called it that but they couldn’t have chosen a better name.
Feeling spiritually stronger has helped my mental health and enabled me to really value my life and everything that I have been through because of sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell disease caused me to be so angry and even now sometimes when I feel low I question “why me?”. That voice then whispers in my ear “if it wasn’t you it would have been somebody else”. Then I humbly take that thought back because I would not wish sickle cell disease and what I have gone through on any body else.
I was born a fighter, I am living as a fighter and I will die a fighter. I will continue to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in whatever way I can because although sickle cell disease is not I… it is part of me and I need to take ownership so that it does not take over my life.
I am recovering nicely from my hip replacement and have taken back my duties as master chef, (my husband is over the moon) bread baking is now one of my skills.
I have been working on 3 children’s books for sickle cell awareness, yes 3, and realised maybe one at a time would make more sense.
Zoom meetings and interviews have been part of my weekly routine and telling the world about sickle cell disease has truly become a significant part of this period.
I am back at work in September but will continue to be an advocate and spread the word about what sickle is, how it can effect the sufferer and what everyone can do to support and help people with this condition.
My job is just beginning.
You can find more from Laurel here: @laurelbrumant