Nocturnal Emissions:Chronic Insomniac
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2001-09-11 10:28:31 (UTC)

Thank Goodness

Welcome to my twisted world.This is the first of MANY entries.For I am one truely MESSED UP CHIC,as you will soon find out.
As I mentioned in my diary title,I am a chronic insomniac and have been for some time.I think it has something to do with the fact that I have a life threatening disease plus,I'm afraid that if I do go to sleep,I won't wake up.Go figure.
My cousin suffered from this same disease and she is gone now.I think that's when I really stopped sleeping at night.The disease I speak of is Sickle Cell Anemia.
I have suffered with this disease from birth.I didn't get to go home immediately after my birth because,I was ill.
Let me tell you a little about Sickle Cell.It's a disease that affects the blood cells.Most cells are round and shaped like doughnuts.Sickled cells are not,they are shaped like cresent moons or "sickles". Thus the name "Sickle Cell".
These cells carry oxygen to the body.Sometimes these sickled cells tend to get caught in the vein or bunched up in a joint.When this happens a "crisis" occurs.The cells get caught because of the shape of the cells going through the veins.
When a "crisis" occurs,you begin to feel pain,because you're not getting oxygen to the part of the body that the sickled cells are bunched in.
Most Sickle Cell crisis' occur in the joints.The arms,elbows,knees,and hip area.Although,they may occur in other places,these are the most likely spots for bunching to occur.
When I go through a crisis,depending on how severe it is,I may be put in the hospital for treatment.
Treatment consists of IV fluids,oxygen,pain medications and, sometimes antibiotics.I am more prone to having infections because my spleen doesn't work.
Hospitalization can take up to a month,again,depending upon how severe the crisis is.There are times when I am in so much pain that I can not even cry.I just lay there staring at the ceiling praying to get some sort of relief from the agonizing pain,or begging to die.That's how bad it hurts.
Most "sicklers" have terrible veins,from all the sticking they do to run tests and other things.I too,have terrible veins,so much so,that they had to implant a device called a "port-a-cath" to gain IV access.A Port-a-cath is a small device implated under the skin that is attached to an artery.The ideal place for a port-a-cath is in the chest area.They are very prone to infection and/or blood clots.I have had 5 "ports",all in my chest area.Now I have one implanted in my thigh,which is attached to the femural artery.There was no other place to put it.
I know you might be asking,"man,is there no cure for that disease" or "I thought they found a way to cure that disease"? Well,you would be half right.There is treatment for Sickle Cell but no cure.They have been experimenting with different things but,nothing concrete as of yet.
Here is what some people are calling a "cure".It's a procedure where they replace your bone marrow with healthy bone marrow. Another one is transfusions,replacing sickled blood with non-sickled blood.Both of these procedures are not viable to older sicklers because of extensive organ damage.
OK,that's my life in a nut shell.Now you see why I can't sleep? Check back often and if I miss making an entry,I'm probably in the hospital.So,bare with me.Tomorrow I will tell you about all of the people who I've lost to Sickle cell.
OK,OK,break it up,there's nothin' to see here...