Why is genotype test important before marriage? [My Life Story]

Its World Sickle Cell day.
June 19
I want to share my story of how growing up as a Sickle Cell Disease patient was for me. This is not a pity party please, it’s just to bring more awareness to you. I was a sickly child, and I got called all sort of names for that.

I still remember some of those names. My first 10years was manageable, but shit got real afterwards. I got into Jss1, I was in the hostel. I cant count how many times I had to be admitted in the school clinic. Sometimes I stay at my guardian’s place. For me, it was always bone pains, always.

Why is genotype test important before marriage?  [My Life Story]
A sickle cell survivor who is a Paediatrician explains the importance of genotype test before marriage from personal experience

That went on throughout secondary school. One day you are fine and kicking and the next day, you cant manage to get yourself to the loo without help because you are in severe pain. No word can describe a sickle cell crises. Excruciating is just skimming the top.

I found myself asking God why me? What did I do wrong to deserve this kinda pain. I blamed my parents secretly and openly one day when I couldnt take it anymore. I remember praying for death to take the pain away.Infact it was a regular prayer for me whrn I have crisis.

One day my mum heard me and burst into tears. Then I got into medical school and it just was like, my condition worsened. I was always having one pain or the other. I didnt take life serious because I always had it at the back of my mind that I would soon die anyway. The talk then was that once you get to the 30th birthday mark then you have escaped sickle cell disease but I always thought I wouldn’t even get there. Now am there and I know better. Sickle cell doesnt leave . It’s in the blood. I had a change of mind in 300level, I decided I didnt wanna..die anymore, I stopped praying for death to come, I started taking my studies serious, I told myself even if I ended up dead, I want to make an impact helping others like me. My condition is not as bad as some others but that doesnt make it less painful.

When I tell people my genotype, the response is always you dont look like one, are you sure and I say I have Vasooclusive crisis to show for it. I remember falling ill while prepping for final exams. It’s still the worst crisis yet, I had stressed myself and pushed beyond my limit. I was on admission for several days. Doped up to the brim. Funny how those days are still on the list of my happiest moments in life, not because of the pain of course, but because I realised I had great friends and I was deeply loved by them. I remember waking up from ..one of my opioid induced slumber to see @sogensis looking at me with soo much worry.

I gave him a ‘high’ smile and said stop looking at me like I’m going to die, dont worry I ain’t dying just yet, I will be around to torment you for a long time. @yakinzz12 was called The owner’ because he was the one who stayed over every night. @Reasonabledoc would come over to take over by 5am with breakfast ofcourse. @delejosh @HaybeeMD i was able to pull through those times because of you guys. Thank you.

Things got a little better after school, I had fewer crisis then got myself my own personal physician and Le hubs @flayedDr(my husband). Pregnancy was not without its troubles but yes I scaled through. Then I started having the worst possible crisis in labour, I kept shouting that I was having bone pains and they all thought it was labour pain. I know the difference for goodness sake. Labour is super painful you would agree with me but this was more. Baby came out and that was when they believed me because I was still in pain. I got pain relief afterwards.

Over the years, I’ve learnt to manage the pain, avoid triggers and live the best life, kicking butts while at it. I’m not letting this limit me. So, do you know your genotype?, what about your partner’s. Are they compatible? You dont wanna subject your children to this kind of pain believe me, you dont. Has my story made you see why is genotype test important before marriage?

And it’s not just the pain, a lot more can go wrong. I will be doing a thread on sickle cell disease everyday for the next one week or more. Stay tuned and learn more before you commit to that person.

The purpose of this article is to make you understand why is genotype test important before marriage. Don’t make silly mistakes for the sake of your unborn children.

Rory’s Mum (Medical doctor and Sickle Cell Survivor)


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