Help Dealing with Sickle Cell Anemia

Hello everyone,

I have had sickle cell anemia my entire life.

I used to go the hospital very often, but now I only go about twice a year to be admitted.

I have; through research, asking around and other such things; found different ways to deal with the pain of my disease.

To avoid pain:

Wrap up warm (The cold triggers sickle cell crisis)

Drink hot drinks (Increase your internal warmth)

Always take your medicine

Don't do too much strenuous activities (This will sap your strength and ultimately lead to a crisis)

Do not get too stressed; emotional (This will lead to a crisis)

Better way of living:

Meditate (Meditating is very good for you, it not only allows you to reduce your stress levels it also allows you to deal with the pain of your sickle cell, it helps with psyching yourself to deal with pain)

Eat healthy food (Getting a stomach ache by eating bad food may trigger a sickle cell crisis)

Mild exercise (Keep your body healthy and active; such as yoga or Pilates)

Drink plenty of water; i.e: 4 litres of water (Best way of avoiding a crisis, it dilutes your blood)

Avoid trigger foods (These are foods that can make you instantly sick, for me its peanuts, even though I like peanuts it makes me have a stomach ache which triggers a crisis)

How to deal with pain:

We've all been there and it’s not pretty; your entire body feels like it’s on fire. Your joints are stiff, your chest is so tight that you can barely breathe and you generally feel like you can't survive the pain. I have devised ways to deal with the pain:

Hot water bottle (Target the area that hurts such as your back, and put the bottle there, it helps with the pain as it opens up your veins)

Medication (This is an obvious one but still, medicine will help, but don't always reach for it, try and make your body strong, this is why meditation is good, it strengthen your will. I use Paracetamol and codeine. If it’s really bad then I take codeine but I try not to because I don't want to become immune to the medications)

Infra-red lamp (This lamp has saved my life on many occasions, it’s better than a hot-water bottle. I urge everyone with sickle to go out and buy this lamp, it’s excellent. I place the lamp near my back when my crisis is in full swing and after about an hour or two I turn the lamp off and I feel much better. Sometimes I don't take medicine I simply use the lamp)

Massages (This helps with blood circulation, reduces the pain, this goes really well with deep heat)

Deep Heat (This is a God-send, deep heat is really good for really bad crisis or milder attacks, it also helps with circulation and it feels hot on the skin so it helps to open out your veins)

Amusement (Distract yourself, it helps dealing with the pain, so that you’re not concentrating on it as Voltaire said: “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”)

I hoped that helped everyone!

5 Replies

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  • Sound advice - the only thing I wasn't aware of is the Infa red light...I'm going to look that up now. Thanks for the info!

  • Thank you for this, my baby girl was diagnosed 2weeks after birth and I want to understand it more so I can educate her and others.

  • Your very welcome. The infra-red is a God send!

  • Muchas gracias por tus sabios consejos. Tengo una hija de 16 años diagnosticada de Anemia drepanocítica y todo lo que sabemos de esta enfermedad lo hemos ido aprendiendo con la experiencia. Saludos

  • Usted bienvenido, también debe tratar de masajear con su deepheat o Bengay. No dude en hacer cualquier pregunta.

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