This week’s Warrior in the Spotlight is a published inspirational author, who goes under the pen name Jessie Xavier. In addition to writing, Daisy Mitchell has lived an extraordinary life with sickle cell, and is now 50! WOOHOO!
Daisy would like to dedicate this interview to her father. “To my Dad Daniel Watts who all of my life has seen me as a warrior!”
Awww, that’s so sweet! Your Dad must be so proud! Hello Mrs. Mitchell! How old where you when you found out you had sickle cell? I was misdiagnosed I was born in 1960 so my family was told that I had the sickle cell trait. I was 35 when I was told that it was SC disease.
Wow, I can’t imagine having pain crises for 35 YEARS and not knowing what was going on. That must have been extremely difficult. How were you able to cope with school and sickle cell? I had my first crisis when I was 11. It was hard for me going through school experiencing pain crisis and not understanding what they were. The doctors would say there was nothing wrong with me and that was really frustrating.
How did your childhood and your parents influence you in your choice of career? My mom was awesome and would not allow me to put limits on myself. I was able to pursue a number of career choices. I was a hair stylist for years. As I got older I did not have as much energy as I did in my youth so I begin to write and publish books.
Your first published novel came out in 2007 and is entitled, I Blew God a Kiss. What kind of experience and schooling does did you undergo and how would one become a writer? I have an AA degree but I am pursuing a Psychology degree with a minor in Christian Counseling. I believe that if you have a story to tell you can become a writer. It is great to have some knowledge in the genre that you choose. Taking writing classes are helpful.
Great tips! Describe a typical day on your job. I work from home and I start my day with prayer and scripture reading. I am currently working on another book so much research is put into the work before the writing begins.
How do you manage SCD and still maintain a thriving career? I learned years ago that whether you have a chronic illness or not. We only have one body and to get the best mileage out of it you must take care of it. I do not eat meat and I eat tons of vegetables and fruit. [stextbox id=”alert” color=”000000″ bcolor=”000000″ bgcolor=”0a84f4″]Stress is an enemy to SCD so I make sure that I maintain a lifestyle of peace and a stress free environment. I have learned to resolve issues quickly with my family and friends.[/stextbox] When something is going on with my body I have learned to check it out completely. Pain does not always mean I am in a crisis so I find out what is causing the pain and I take care of it. I drink plenty of water, I swim and walk. I take vacations at least twice a year.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to join your profession that has sickle cell? The advice I would give is, do not put limitations on yourself. Follow your dream and write about what you are passionate about. If you have an idea in your head write it down. A book starts with one word.
Has sickle cell limited any areas of your life? I had the desire to be a teacher and because I was unable to keep up the pace I had to resign that idea. Now I teach in my writings.
When you do reach obstacles in your life, what helps you through it? I am a strong believer in God and Jesus as the Lord of my life. He gives me the strength to overcome the many obstacles that I have faced. I do not quit even when the pain is so bad that I can’t think. I remember that the Lord brought me through the last crisis and he will bring me through this one. I remember the good times. I remember my family and how much they love me. I remember what a wonderful gift life is.
Do you have regular pain (more than 2x a week)? How do you cope with this when you are working? Yes I do have chronic pain I have Avascular Necrosis and had a recent hip replacement. I also have it in my left shoulder. If the pain is higher than a 6 on the pain scale I take medication to bring down the pain otherwise I work with it. Sometimes I have to stay away from the computer until the pain eases.
What is your daily medication regimen and what medications do you take when you are in pain? I take vitamins and folic acid daily when I am in pain I take Norco 10/325.
How has sickle cell affected your personal life? I am married to a wonderful man who has been a blessing. He understands SCD and we have experienced a lot of complications with it together. They have made us stronger as a couple. We have 3 children the youngest is 21 years old.
Your husband sounds very understanding and perfect for you! God is good. Looking at the 14 year old version of yourself, what would you tell him or her if you could…? Don’t be in a hurry to grow up so fast. Enjoy being a kid.
Is there anything else that you would want to tell other sickle cell warriors? Laugh a lot. [stextbox id=”alert” color=”000000″ bcolor=”000000″ bgcolor=”0bf3c4″]You are not alone and you are not being punished. Learn to take the challenges to make you better not bitter. [/stextbox]Give you time to someone else who is suffering.
That is the best advice! Thank you for doing this interview! To learn more about Daisy Mitchell aka Jessie Xavier; visit her website at http://www.jessiexavierbooks.com/