My name is Jonathan Ssetumba I have put together a small account on Sickle cell anaemia and how I have coped with the illness.
I am 19 years old and I am on treatment at St Georges Hospital for the symptoms of sickle cell. I receive five weekly transfusions to help relieve the symptoms, which have are linked with the epilepsy that I have been suffering with.
I am on the following medications for sickle cell and relief from the pain associated with it:
a) Folic acid
b) Codeine for pain relief
c) Naproxen for pain relief
d) Ibuprofen for pain relief
e) Aspirin to help with my blood circulation
I additionally take epilim to suppress the epileptic fits that I suffer with. Four tablets in the morning and four at night.
I take my medication on a daily basis as it helps to keep my health in balance. The medication does not stop the symptoms altogether but does give some relief when I am in pain. I see a specialist at St Georges Hospital and get regular advice on how to cope with my illness.
I am in hospital as an in-patient up to four times in a year but generally I am well as long as I maintain my medication and keep a careful watch on how I feel.
I have had great help and encouragement over the years from the Hospital at St Georges on Blackshaw Road, Tooting. They have looked after me from the age of about 9 upwards. I was a constant patient on Fredrick Hewitt wing and Jungle ward until I reached my 17 th birthday and went on to Adults.
I know all the nurses on these wards on a personal level as I spent so much time on the wards. I still keep in touch with them to this day. I make a point of going up to the ward when I go to the Day unit for infusions.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OTHER SUFFERERS:
I would like to encourage other sufferers of sickle cell disease to take courage because with the right care and attitude they can live a pretty normal life. Of course there will be times when that is not possible but life is what you make of it. They can still go to college, university, and even get decent jobs. They can do the sports that they like to be involved in and still manage to do all the other things that they would normally do if they had not been sufferers of sickle cell disease. They would need to make sure they take their medication regularly and remember to take extra care of themselves because being a sickle Cell sufferer does not mean the end of the world.