That is Pain…the thoughts of a sickle cell sufferer

Pain…like pins poking in your veins

Pain…like all your dreams channelled down the drain

Pain… living with it is simply insane…it is dying that seems like gain

You said you want to understand it? Well this is it…and so much more…


When it starts, and you hold a smile on your face, worried if to let it show, for first you might be doubted before attended… that is pain!


When the doctors are asking you to rate it on a scale of 1 – 10, and you wish they had the option of infinity as the scale of 1 – 10 doesn’t just cut it when it comes to this… that is pain!


When your bones feel like they are in the grinding machine, and the nurses act like you are exaggerating a headache… that is pain!


When you have the needles endlessly being poked into your veins in vain and the nurses piercing and fishing through the tissues; acting as though there is no issue… that is pain!


When you are living on codeine and morphine, and the penicillin, pumping on your dependency and lowering your self-sufficiency; giving you nightmares when you sleep… that is pain!


When you begin to itch endlessly like you have got leeches in your blood…that is pain!


When your birthday parties are within the four walls of a hospital and your guest is always the doctors…who barely know your name, yet they smile ever so often, as though you have been best of friends… and you know the truth… that you are just their job… that is pain!


When you know you are just an extra burden to the exhausted nurses who think you don’t see their irritation as they tend to you but you try to kid yourself that you’d get used to that, but truly, you know, you’d never get used be being seen as an opportunistic disabled despicable burden… that is pain!


When you take the folic acid day after day, yet it seems like the bones will never be drained of acid…that is pain!


When the pain is so excruciating, that you look into the eyes of God with your jaundiced eyes and wish time could be reversed so you weren’t even born in the first place so you wouldn’t have to live with this curse… that is pain!


When you feel guilty to play and act normal soon after a recovery, as your loved ones will look at you suspiciously as though you had faked the illness in the first place, and you have a dark wish for a split of a second that maybe they should have taken your place… that is pain!


When you can’t get into school cos you missed the entrance exam, and when you get in, you can’t pass so you can get out, cos you missed half the lectures and you have to self-study,

And even if you do pass, you can’t get a job, cos you were sick on the day of the interview

And even when you get the job you can’t even hold it, cos you are not there, not even for your review… that is pain!


When everyone around you thinks of you as a weak opportunist, waiting for people to do things for you… that is pain!


And you finally give up; you take your dreams and ambitions to the auction house,

And your disease is the highest bidder…

You relinquish to complacency, cos it’s no point fighting to be normal when another episode is just next door

To bring reality to your face that you have got the disease… that is pain!


When people look at you as though it's business as usual, but you are walking around with a death wish and smile on your face… that is pain…and much more


You cannot understand it now, can you?


Uche Iloka ©  July 2013

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© Uchenna Iloka