We know how excruciating the pains that come with sickle cell crisis can be. At times, you may find it hard to move your legs or even get up from the bed. Sometimes, you just stay there waiting for the pain to leave. Here are few things you can do, during a sickle cell crisis.
Talk to somebody:
When you are in pains, you may find it very difficult to do certain things, and as excruciating as these pains can be, we know that most times, only a sickle celled patient can really understand and relate. When these pains come, talk to someone about it. Please, do not bottle up those pains waiting for it to leave, talk to someone. They may not be able to take the pains away, but you sure will feel much better. You might also need someone to prompt you to eat and take medications. You need help to access things around you, so you won’t have to look for them when you are in pain.
Although it may not be easy, but try to pay little or no attention to those pains. Get distracted. Play a game on your phone, listen to your favourite songs, see a funny movie, or call a friend. Just do what makes you happy.
- Think Positively: Sickle cell crises can be so frustrating and challenging, at times, you try to imagine how blissful your life would be without sickle cell, you get drowned in the sea of thoughts and wishes but the truth is, these thoughts will not help you in any way. You have to change the way you think, it may not be easy but you have to. When you change the way you think, you will be able to look after yourself keenly. When you think positively irrespective of what is going on around or with you, it will help you pull through tough times.
- Adequate rest: Weakness comes with sickle cell crises, automatically. Do not get involved in too much work or many activities, it will wear you out. Rest well till you recover fully.
- Stay hydrated: When the symptoms start, take water. Stay hydrated. You can take a warm bath, it would help in easing you of the pain. You should try a massage too or other relaxation techniques. Painkillers can be very helpful too, you should get some. Eat, eat good food. Loss of appetite can come with the crises, but you have to force yourself to eat something. Your body needs nutrients, so it is expedient to eat even if you do not feel like.
To my warriors, keep pushing hard!
Five symptoms of sickle cell you should know.
Signs and symptoms of sickle cell usually vary from person to person and most times, they change with time. The signs and symptoms are:
- Consistent Infections: Sickle cell can damage some parts of the body, like the spleen, making you more exposed to infections. Little children are given antibiotics to prevent terrible infections that could lead to death.
- Swelling of some body parts: Like the hands and legs, this swelling is caused by the blockage of blood flow to the hands and feet, by sickle-shaped red blood cells.
- Pain Crises: This is the major symptom of sickle cell anaemia. These pains occur as a result of the blockage of blood flow through tiny blood vessels to your abdomen, chest and joints. This blockage is caused by the sickle-shaped red blood cells. Pains can occur in your bones too. Although, these pains vary, they may last for hours, days or weeks.
- Excessive fatigue or irritability: You begin to feel extremely tired and unnecessarily stressed. You may not even feel like doing anything, you might just stay in bed all day.
- Bedwetting: Kidney problems are associated with sickle cell, although it is not applicable to everyone.
Ways to ensure sickle cell warriors live their best lives.
You can live a normal and active life when you have sickle cell disease. Below are ways to live your best life as a warrior before and after a sickle cell crisis.
- Get involved in activities: You can take part in the same activities as others. You can join clubs, hang out with friends, learn a trade or acquire a skill. Just get involved in one activity or another.
- Sleep adequately: Get enough rest. Do not stress yourself out. Get some rest, have time for yourself. Your health matters a whole lot.
- Exercise: Getting involved in a physical activity helps you to stay healthy. Ensure you exercise often, but moderately. Simple exercises like, biking, walking, skipping, would help you stay healthy.
- Take your medications: Ensure you don’t skip your drugs, take your prescription drugs as directed.
- Eat Well: Eating right is very important. It is advisable to stay off junk foods and focus mainly on fruits, vegetables, cereals or grains and proteins.
- Avoid heavy physical labour: Although it is good to exercise moderately, but very strenuous exercises that can exhaust you should be avoided
- Contact your doctor: Always discuss your symptoms with your doctor and find ways to ease your pain. This may include therapy or other relief methods.