Sickle cell is a painful genetic condition that disproportionately affects our people. There’s no cure for it, and without proper treatment, it’s deadly. Most terrifying is what happens from the time we hit the emergency room door...
Instead of being treated quickly and with care, we are subjected to longer wait times, tedious questionnaires about our condition, and accusations of lying to get pain medicine. Why is this happening?
It’s racism. Emergency room doctors are not well educated about this “Black disease.” On top of that, the staff are often exposed to teaching materials full of negative racial stereotypes, and this combined with assumptions about black bodies translates to, less access to pain medicine, and showing us kindness won’t help our conditions! The hell?
The truth is white people are the ones who are more likely to be addicted to pain pills and to lie to get them.
What’s more, the CDC even admits their guidelines are harming sickle cell patients. So what can we do?
We have to advocate for ourselves and family members. Above all, we must continue to push for racism to be treated as a public health issue in order to garner more research funding, training, and ER treatment for sickle cell sufferers!