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Sickle Cell Disease: Background information when reading A Kind of Madness

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A Kind of Madness

by Uche Okonkwo

A Kind of Madness by Uche Okonkwo X
A Kind of Madness by Uche Okonkwo
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    Apr 2024, 224 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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Sickle Cell Disease

This article relates to A Kind of Madness

Normal round blood cells under a microscope along with a sickle cell which is shaped like a bananaIn the story "Milk and Oil" from Uche Okonkwo's collection A Kind of Madness, Soty, a girl befriended by the main character Chekwube, has sickle cell disease. This fact is revealed to Chekwube slowly through certain habits and rituals that seem part of a foreign and sometimes strangely privileged world: Soty avoids the sun, drinks a glass of milk every day, and receives oil massages at home.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder affecting the hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells. The hemoglobin of people with SCD causes cells to be formed in a way that prevents them from effectively carrying oxygen to tissues. This results in the blockage of blood vessels and the movement of blood, and can cause a number of symptoms and complications. These include anemia ("sickle cell anemia," sometimes used interchangeably with SCD, refers to a common manifestation of the disorder); pain from blockages known as "pain crisis"; eye, kidney, and bone damage; acute chest ...

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