Welcome to Disabled But Enabled.
My name is Adetutu Emmanuel and I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and a Sickler. I was born with Sickle cell anaemia and I have had to live with the effects of this chronic disease for all of my life. So far, medical science has not found a cure for Sickle Cell Anaemia, although medical research continues to find ways to manage this condition and also extend life expectancy.
As a result of this disease, I have a spleen that doesn’t function. I have had blood transfusions and blood exchanges. I have had bi-lateral hip replacements due to avascular necrosis (a direct effect of sickle cell). In other words, I was born disabled and I have lived with the disability all my life.
One of the most interesting thing about living with Sickle cell is the impact it has on the life of each individual that suffers from the disease. This could vary and apart from a blood test, the tell tale signs differ from one individual to another. One thing that is common with every single person that has sickle cell anaemia is that there are good days and there are bad days. People with Sickle Cell go into severe episodes of pain (known as crises). A crisis occurs when the red blood cells get stuck in the blood vessels of the chest, belly and joints due to their sickle shape and stickiness resulting in lack of oxygen, which in turn can cause intense pain. This pain can last anything from a few hours to a few weeks.
I find that as a sickler, the emotional effect it has on my loved ones and I is more painful than the crisis episodes that I experience from time to time. It is hard enough trying to live with the everyday challenges of having a disability but having to deal with being accepted by family, friends and the society at large makes it ten times harder.
Disabled But Enabled is dedicated to celebrating every disabled person regardless of their disability; to encourage him or her to rise above the challenges of the disability and accomplish their heart desires. We aim to appreciate all our loved ones that have stood and are still standing shoulder to shoulder with us as we explore the realities of being disabled and encourage ourselves to switch on the power within and use every stumbling block as a climbing stone.