Long term health conditions

Mica - Interview 16

Female
Age at interview: 17

Brief outline: Mica has lived with sickle cell anemia since birth. Her Mum and her brother also have the condition. Her mother has played an important role in helping Mica and her brother to develop a positive attittude towards having sickle cell anaemia. Mica says that she now feels in control of her condition.

Background: Mica lives with her mother, a brother and a sister. Mica is at college studying for her A2 levels. She does Drama and Dance and in the future plans to go to university to study childcare. Ethnic background/nationality' Black British

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Mica has lived with sickle cell anemia since birth. She says that one of the most difficult things about having sickle cell anaemia is that you cannot go and do all the things that you want to, you need to plan ahead and there are restrictions. But planning ahead is not always easy to do because as a teenager you want to do all the things that your friends are doing. 

When she was about 15 years old she stopped taking her medication for more than a year. Every morning she was in a rush to school and forgot to take them. Also, she thought that folic acid and penicillin were not helping her. Her mother kept reminding her and she started taking them again after she realised that her tablets help her to stay healthy and away from sickle cell attacks. 

Mica says that she had the worst sickle cell attack (crisis) ever when she was about 15 years old and had drunk a small bottle of vodka all by herself. She says that the pain was unbearable. Mica has not drunk any alcohol since. 

Mica says that now she feels in control of her condition; she takes her medication and wears lots of warm clothes in winter. Now, whenever she has a sickle cell attack, her attitude is not to dwell on the pain and to think about other things. Her mother and sister encourage her to walk and do some stretches and massage her with oils. Her mother and brother also have the condition. The idea that her brother also experiences pain distresses her. She says that her mother never complains of pain when ill.

Her mother has played an important role in helping Mica and her brother to develop a positive attitude about having sickle cell anaemia. Both have been encouraged to do what they want to do and be responsible about taking care of their condition. The whole family is active in a sickle cell support group. 

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