Meet Robbie! He’s a very cool and adventurous little guy. He’s a red blood cell. He travels through the body carrying oxygen where it’s needed. Robbie is normally nice and round; think of plump round babies when you picture a healthy Robbie. His nice round body can squeeze everywhere even in the smallest little spots. It’s all an adventure to him.
Robbie is a lot of fun. When a red blood cell gets sick though, it’s no longer able to have fun. They turn a different shape, like a sickle. No longer nice and round, their new sickle shape is sticky and has a hard time getting through small capillaries, causing traffic jams and a lot of pain. This pain is called a sickle cell crisis. When these poor little red guys get sick, they sometimes need a trip to the doctor to become hydrated or to get new blood.
Not to worry! The doctors usually make them all better and before long they’re back to sliding through our bodies unnoticed.
This is a loose recollection of the content of the book as we are in the hospital where T.’s sickle red blood cells are getting the fluids they need to help the pain go away. The book is at home, where we hope to be soon.
Truth is we don’t think about what it takes for our bodies to function properly, unless we are adversely affected in an area. Though I carry the trait, in the past year, I’ve learned more about red blood cells and sickle cell disease than I’ve had my entire life.
Ty knows more about the illness than any other 6-year old we know as well. Being the brother of a child with sickle cell disease, he has seen the pain and hurt that the disease brings on. Since he is young, we do our best to keep his exposure to a minimum while affording him the opportunity to understand and support his younger brother. Reading Robbie, The Red Blood Cell has been one way we teach him about sickle cell disease.
T.’s Experience with Sickle Cell Disease and our Strength
In just one year, T. has had three hospitalizations and three pain crises. I will prayerfully discuss how God has strengthened us in these periods of illness. He is faithful and He gives us hope through it all. He further assures us that we are His Children and Jesus Christ has already conquered sin, illness and death. Our son’s identity is found in Christ, not the illness in his body.
Hope for You
If you arrived to this page because you struggle with sickle cell, be encouraged. God is Sovereign over every cell in your body. He can command your illness away if it is His Will. And if He calls you to live with the pain, He will give you the grace to do so. Remain planted in Him and be a good steward of your body.