KRISTI'S WORLD

Oct. 15, 2015

A Few Thoughts About Ignorance
Published on August 17, 2015 by Kristi Gee

Hey y’all! First, allow me to address the fact that I haven’t posted in
several months. I know this blog is very new and still in its infant stages.
A big part of what readers expect when following a blog, is consistency.
I’d like to apologize for my lack of consistency and I want to make it
clear that although I just started this blog and this is only my third post,
this site is very important to me and I plan to act accordingly. Outside of
health issues, there have been a few hurdles I’ve run into since creating
this blog. One of these being that I still have SOOOO much to figure out
about designing this blog and making sure that everything runs
smoothly and makes it a pleasure to visit my site. The biggest technical
issue I have to work out is how to allow readers to successfully subscribe
by email. But…the focus of this post is on a different topic: ignorance.

If you haven’t read the About Me section yet, let me give you a quick
introduction to who I am. My name is Kristi Gee, I am in my mid-thirties,
and I suffer from a life threatening disease called Sickle Cell
Anemia(SCA). This is why I refer to myself as a “sickler”; which is a term
used by medical personnel to reference a person with Sickle Cell
Disease. Being that Sickle Cell Disease (which includes many illnesses
such as: Sickle Beta Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anemia) is more
prevalent in the Black community than any other, Sicklers don’t get the
concern, treatment, respect, and understanding that we deserve; the
way sufferers of other diseases do. I believe that it is my calling to
advocate for my illness and for my fellow sicklers. It is my mission in life
to spread education and awareness about Sickle Cell Anemia, to fight for
better treatment of sicklers, and to show that we live, love, learn, and
experience life just like anyone else, except we deal with the added
hardship of chasing a sense of normalcy while fighting to be healthy
enough just to deal with everyday life. We fight to experience what so
many people take for granted on a daily basis.

That being said, I’m never surprised when I encounter people who have
never heard of Sickle Cell Disease, especially those outside of the Black
community. I expect a certain amount of ignorance from those who
have not only never heard of SCD (Sickle Cell Disease), but have
absolutely no interest in finding out about it, nor compassion for those
who suffer from it. Although I’m used to people having a lack of
knowledge regarding SCD, I still tend to get my feelings hurt when
people show such a blatant lack of interest and compassion for us
Sicklers.

I recently created a Periscope account (@asicklerslife, check me out!) and
have been enjoying watching the scopes of people I follow on Twitter, as
well as experimenting making a few broadcasts of my own. Earlier
tonight I decided to check out a few people scoping around the country
and to see what they were talking about in their scopes. I clicked on a
user in Texas and began viewing his live broadcast out of curiosity. He
was an 18 year old Caucasian male living in Texas and although I don’t
believe in judging a book by its cover, I have to say (for description’s
sake) that this guy just had a look about him that automatically made
me think he probably has a pickup truck on monster wheels with a
Confederate flag license plate cover. I know that sounds very
judgmental of me and like I was stereotyping this dude but to be honest,
that’s just the image that ran through my mind at first glance. As soon
as I started viewing, he acknowledged me joining the broadcast and
chuckled as he read my handle:@asicklerslife. He said, “A sickler’s life…
that’s funny. What’s a sickler?” I replied that it was a reference to
someone that suffers from Sickle Cell Disease, and asked if he’d ever
heard of that. He said that he hadn’t, and I told him that it was a major
illness in America. He then responded, “A major illness in America? Well
I’ve never heard of it.” I then advised him to google it and to check me
out because I spread awareness about SCD. His response was, “Maybe
later.” I went on to let him know that I didn’t mean to google it right that
minute and that I clicked on him just to check out his scope and see
what he was talking about. He quickly copped an attitude and was like,
“I don’t talk about anything, I just get on here to meet new people and
talk to people around the world. I have SO many new friends now from
all over and none of them are talking about anything, just making
friends.” Right then I realized that I was dealing with an attitude from an
18 year old kid in Texas who didn’t like the fact that I tried to share a
little knowledge with him after he specifically asked what a sickler was.
So I exited the broadcast and reminded myself that there are plenty of
people who aren’t gonna be interested in my story, my struggle, my life,
or my illness.

While my initial reaction was hurt due to the way he responded to me
with a condescending tone, I quickly checked myself and decided that
from now on I refuse to let ignorance, lack of interest, or even
opposition cause me to question whether or not I should continue to
spread my message. Everyone is not going to be interested in what I
have to say or the knowledge I have to teach, that’s just reality. But my
story is valid, my life is valid, and my message of education, awareness,
prevention, and compassion needs to be heard. So I won’t let anyone or
anything stop me from doing what I feel is imperative, and that’s
showing people the good, the bad, and the ugly about a sickler’s life and
living life to the fullest even when living with Sickle Cell Anemia. So, to
those of you who actually want to learn more about SCD and SCA in
particular, and have an interest in what my life and experiences are like,
I welcome you, I appreciate you, and I thank you. You, and my fellow
sickle warriors, are who I write for and who I fight for. Be well and Come
Back Soon!!!!

And P.S., isn’t the whole point of Periscope to see what other people are
doing and are talking about?! Duhhhh!!! That dude was an idiot. He got
offended because he felt like I was implying that he should be talking
about something in particular. Ha! LOL! I guess I’m supposed to believe
that he never clicked on someone’s broadcast thinking, “Hmmm, let’s
see what this one’s talkin’ ’bout.” SMH. A mind is a terrible thing to
waste.

Aug. 27, 2015
Aug. 27, 2015

Who needs enemies when you have family?

Hey everyone.  With this being one of my first posts I was hoping that I could start out on more of a positive note and ease ya’ll in to learning about me.  That being said, this is a personal blog.  This is my online journal and I’m here basically to bare my soul.  So, my soul has been hurting the past couple of days and here’s why…

I’m an only child, and because of this I have considered my sisters and brothers to be my very close friends and/or cousins.  One cousin in particular I’ve been extremely close to.  She knows my darkest secrets and my deepest fears, and I know hers as well.  Recently, I’ve found that she is constantly putting me down and trying to lecture me about my life from a place of negativity and meanness.  I’ve overlooked it a few times and tried to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps, I was just being sensitive?  Maybe she thought she was actually helping me somehow.  Instead of nipping it in the bud, I let it linger, and build up internally… which was wrong of me.  So yesterday, she starts in again and right aways I let her have it.

I’m sure this came as a shock to her because I’m known for always being the nice one in the family, read: passive.  So as soon as I assert myself and let folks know when they are offending me, then I become the bad guy.  I won’t go into all the gory details because that would just be exhausting, but what I will say is that instead of acknowledging her insensitivity or apologizing for hurting my feelings, she began to belittle and disparage me.  Of course, my anger grew and my hurt deepened.  Regardless of the petty childishness she was sending my way, I refused and still refuse to stoop to her level.  I will not disrespect the bond that we once had or divulge things to others that she told me in confidence simply because she has hurt my feelings beyond repair.

The deeper theme of this post, is growth and positivity.  I have been on a new path of positivity, self discovery, self love, and taking leaps of faith toward my dreams.  Starting this blog being one of those dreams.  So it is so sad to me that now that I am improving my outlook on life as well as walking the path that I feel God is directing me along, all of a sudden I have opposition and hate and negativity flying out the woodworks aiming at my head!  Apparently, I must be doing something right.  I do not believe in coincidence and even if I did, I would know that it is no coincidence that I’m being tried and tested by waves of negativity when my purpose is to be all about positivity now.  The old ones say that family will hurt you quicker than a stranger off the streets.  I was always reluctant to believe that and I still don’t think that refers to any family as a whole, mine or otherwise.  But I must admit, there are a few characters in my family that deserve the title “enemy” more than “relative”.

Wishing you peace and positivity….

K

Aug. 22, 2015
INTRODUCINNNGG KRISTI GEEEE....

Hello there Everyone! It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you all into my world! I’m so delighted that you stopped by and it is my sincere hope that you will stay for awhile, look around, and get comfy! Many thanks to you for coming by and checking me out.

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Kristi Gee, and I am a Sickler. What the heck is a sickler? Well, I’m glad you asked. The term “sickler” is not one that you will find in Webster’s dictionary; nor is it a term that the average person living in America might happen to run across randomly. Sickler is a term used by most medical personnel to describe a person who suffers from Sickle Cell Disease. I happen to suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia which is the most severe form of Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle Cell Anemia is a genetic blood disorder involving the mutation of the red blood cells thereby causing the shape of many of the red blood cells to be oblong with sharp ends, much like the shape of a banana or sickle. I will be going into much more detail about this disease and discussing what it is like to live with.

Other than the fact that I have a severe, life threatening illness, I lead a pretty “normal” life, whatever that is. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I guess what I’m trying to convey is that I’m a Black woman in my thirties living in America trying to navigate my way through life as I love, hurt, observe, question, wonder, philosophize, discover, and feel. I am a creative person and writing is my passion. So, this is the place where I will attempt to express my thoughts, feelings, ideas, experiences, and much much more. This blog is a window into my life, my heart, my head, my soul, and pretty much just MY WORLD.

While I will frequently be discussing my illness and how it affects my life, that is definitely not all I will be posting about. This blog is not an attempt to teach you all of the medical background and knowledge regarding Sickle Cell Disease and if you are interested in knowing more detail about the medical side of Sickle Cell Disease then I definitely encourage you to research it. This blog will not be providing all of the details and definitions of each type of Sickle Cell Disease. I will be writing about MY experiences and a few of the experiences of people I know suffering from these illnesses. Mostly, I will be talking about my everyday life experiences and part of what makes them so unique is the fact that I’m living with this disease.

So, I guess that’s enough of an introduction…I’m ready to just get to it. I can paint the picture with my words, better than I can explain or define what this blog is all about. I hope that you will be intrigued, interested, provoked, stimulated, inspired, educated, and mainly motivated to check me out regularly as well as comment and ask questions. Feel free to ask me anything!

Oh, and I guess I should let you know that I don’t really censor myself when writing, so I do use profanity, slang, and language that many people would definitely not consider “politically correct”. I certainly don’t intend to be offensive or insulting, so if I ever come off that way, let me know and understand that it is in no way intentional.

So, all that being said… let’s get to it!!!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your visit into my world!

WELCOME

Peace and blessings,

Kristi