Today, June 19th is World Sickle Cell Awareness Day. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder, with varying degrees of severity. To keep it simple, normal blood cells are round in shape, which easily passes through the blood vessel. People with SCD have sickle (curve) shapes blood cells which can get stuck and block up the passageway when travelling through the blood vessels. This can affect joints, muscles and/or organs. Many people who have the disease live their life with no health issues. While others, on the other end of the spectrum, are regular hospital attendees. Learn more about Sickle Cell Anemia/Disease. Or here.
Stay hydrated. Whether you are having a crisis or not. During a crisis, this is a must, even if you are hooked up to a Saline and 5% dextrose (this may vary) drip.
Stay away from alcohol. None of us will die without it. At the very least do not drink when you are in the midst of a crisis or feel one coming on.
Get rest & try to get and stay on a sleep schedule. Summer is around the corner and you may have plenty of activities planned. But you know your body. If you don't have the energy for a 6-hour hike, it's okay to say no. Try a relaxing picnic instead.
Ask for help. None of us can get by without help at some point or another. This could mean having a friend or family member collect groceries for you. Or even driving you to the hospital. That's what they are there for. The good and the bad.
Let your employer know about any health issues that may arise. Or contact your HR department. Sometimes it's hard to let people know about our perceived "weaknesses" but if an employer knows ahead of time, they may be able to work with you when you need to take time off from work.
Exercise in moderation, while listening to your body. If exercise makes you even more tired, lighten up. If you are having trouble breathing or recovering your breath, stop.
Have consistent contact with a healthcare provider. This may mean travelling a small distance but do not neglect doctors visit's! They are vital to keeping you healthy and living a full life!
Till next time,