Wednesday March 19 2014

He proposed, but we are both sickle cell carriers

The problem
Dear Heart to Heart, I have been dating my boyfriend for three years now. Recently, he proposed to me and I said yes. Since we were moving to the next level in our relationship, I chose to open up to him about everything, among which was the fact that I come from a family with a sickle cell background. He told me that one of his brothers passed away from sickle cells. We went for a test and results showed that we were both carriers. I have watched my siblings go through pain and I am not ready to watch my babies go through the same. The doctor said we were likely to have a baby with sickle cells, but my boyfriend says he is ready to go through it as long as he is with me. He says he doesn’t want to lose me. I know he loves me and I love him too but I will not stop blaming myself for my children’s suffering yet I could do something to stop it. I am confused, please advise me.
- Vanessa.

your solutions
Dear Vanessa. You don’t have to worry. There is a remedy for it and your children will be well. Drink large amounts of water and eat a lot of raw food. Avoid concentrated foods as these tend to dehydrate the red blood cells and make the blood thicker and heavy. Concentrated foods include all animal products such as meat, milk, eggs, and cheese, and other foods that have a high calorie concentration like nuts, wheat, oil, margarine, mayonnaise, fried foods, free sugars, and most refined foods. Regular exercise is good for sickle cell patients, as the appetite for food is better controlled and the appetite for water is promoted and it helps oxygen enter all tissues better. It should not, however, be overdone. The diet should be well-balanced; fruits, vegetables and whole grains. All other food items should be taken sparingly, as the influence on the water content of the red blood cells and the capsule must be carefully guarded.

Vanessa my friend, Sorry about your condition. It is bad to do something well knowing the outcomes of the same, but because you love each other, you have nothing to do. Just accept that these are all God’s plans and there is nothing you can change. It is not guaranteed that your children will be affected and with God’s mercy things may turn out different from what the doctor told you. So, go on with your fiancé and just put all these problems in the hands of the Lord. May the Lord bless your marriage and may all the likely problems be swept by the Lord’s broom. Amen.

Hi Vanessa, it is unfortunate that both you and your friend are carriers of sickle cells. However, not all hope is lost. Don’t change your mind about settling with your friend as a married couple for fear of having children with sickle cells. Children have never been the number one reason for getting married. You two are getting married or will get married because you love each other, and that is what matters. If you really want children you can always adopt, but please don’t lose your happiness because you are a carrier of sickle cells. You deserve to be happy and do not let the fact that you are a sickle cell carrier take that away from you. All the best.

Dear Vanessa, as an anointed man of God, I speak complete healing in your situations. May God intervene by healing both of you. None of your children shall have sickle cells in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen! I have to applaud your boyfriend for encouraging and being there for you. There is power in the tongue, so confess positively in your life and your children to be born. I really don’t know your level of faith in God but I tell you, nothing is impossible before Him. It is not good to expect bad things to happen as before. Change your attitude. Expect that things will be well and life will be great no matter what doctors say. Don’t listen to the devil’s whisper, go for your man and trust God to help you. Remember, you didn’t create yourself – God did. He holds your future, and among them is a beautiful marriage with lively and healthy children. If you can, pray about your situation and always go for medical checkups to re examine yourself. One day, the same doctor will say you are perfectly healed.Pr. Allan

My dear, that’s such a heavy burden! I pray with you.

Dear Vanessa, your story is sad, but every challenge has a solution. I know you have been made to believe that you will never be able to have your own healthy children. However, you do not need to give up. Accept your fiancée’s proposal because he already knows your state. Do not let this opportunity slip away because you can’t let fear hinder you from getting married. Do not ever blame yourself for the complications in your life, but go back to God. He will perfect all that concerns you. If he was able to heal the woman with blood flowing for 12 years, don’t you think He can give you new cells? Yes, it is true you lost your brother, but do not let the past hinder you from going to greater heights, if couples with HIV are able to have healthy children and lovely relationships, what about you? Stay away from anybody with negative thoughts.
N. Ojambo

Hello Vanessa, sorry about your situation. I can only imagine what you are going through and I must commend you for disclosing this to your partner, yet you know the repercussions your union could have. I also like the way he stood by you after you said what could happen. I am no expert in medical problems but I wish you go do more tests and find out for sure how bad it is. All the best.

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Counsellor’s take > David Kavuma, Adonai Counselling Services

D ear Vanessa, having sickle cells can take a toll on your life and those you love, and there is a 95 per cent chance that your baby will have sickle cells. This issue requires the two of you to sit down as a couple and talk about your future and that of your children.
Sickle cells is not an easy thing to tackle if the situation is only handled by only one side. In such a case there is need for team work, understanding and commitment as a couple and not as two individuals thinking separately.
I advise the two of you to seek more medical information about sickle cells and see how the two of you can handle it together as a couple. You need more sensitisation on the challenges that the two of you are likely to face in the near future and how you can go about it.
I also think the man needs more awareness on this matter so that he can know the costs involved and the challenges that the two of you will face in the future to avoid pointing fingers at each other.
This will help the two of you keep your relationship smooth and avoid blaming each other in future when things go south. That is why there is need to see a psychologist to explain to you how you can live with this issue, that is in case the two of you decide to go through it together.

Compiled by Winnie Kibelebele