Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic condition that transforms normal round red blood cells into crescent-shape cells, thus the name sickle cell. These abnormal cells clog the blood vessels, hindering oxygen from getting through. The result is extreme pain and damage to the organs, bones, and muscles. The pain can last from a few hours to as long as a few days. It is a lifelong disease that causes a lot of complications such as infections, anemia, and even stroke. But there are things you can do to make it more manageable.
• Get Treatment.
The first recourse is to get treatment as early as possible. Doctors would usually prescribe daily antibiotics for babies age 2 months to kids up to 5 years of age. This would help prevent infections. Routine vaccinations are also essential.
• Have Regular Checkups.
If you have this particular condition, you need to have regular checkups with a doctor who specializes in it. You may also need regular blood transfusion to decrease the possibility of stroke as well as to treat anemia and other blood-related health problems.
• Talk To Your Doctor for a Pain Management Plan.
Since pain is an inevitable consequence of this disease, it is imperative that you learn a healthy way to manage the pain through the help of your doctor. The plan should also indicate the degree of pain that necessitates visit to the hospital.
• Learn What Triggers the Pain.
Triggers can be anything from cold temperatures to dehydration to excessive physical activity and so on. Other common triggers include cigarette smoke, airplane flight, and high altitude as these things cause low oxygen in the body. You must always carefully observe yourself to learn what your triggers are so you can avoid them as much as possible.
• Be Aware of your Special Needs.
Take part in normal activities but be aware of your special needs such as frequent trips to the bathroom or sufficient intake of water to prevent dehydration. If it is a child who has this disease, see to it that his/her teacher understands the child’s condition and his/her needs to avoid exposing the kid to triggers that can set off the pain.
• Get Emotional Help.
Get motional help from a support group. Support groups are effective in helping you deal with the emotional stress of the condition. Participate in this together with your family so you’ll all be able to cope with the disease more easily. Not only would you get lots of helpful insights and advise on managing sickle cell disease, you’d also have the sense of satisfaction knowing that you’re not alone in this type of predicament. Those who are able to get by their lives with little difficulty will inspire and encourage you to do the same.
• Learn More about your Condition.
Don’t stop here. Read and read more about sickle cell disease so you will be better informed about this disease and the effective ways on how to live everyday despite it. There are plenty of resources online, just see to it that you rely only on reputable health websites that provide sound medical information.