Today marks the 10th anniversary of World Sickle Cell Day! I’ve been contemplating for hours on what I wanted to share with you guys. I didn’t know if I wanted to give you an update on Mckenzie, fun facts on Sickle Cell, or how to manage/care for a loved one with Sickle Cell. So, I’m just going to give you guys a little bit of everything.
Even if you don’t have a child or loved one with Sickle Cell, it’s great to be educated on the topic. Sickle Cell anemia is a disorder of the red blood cells. This is caused by an inherited abnormal hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein within the red blood cells.) The abnormal hemoglobin causes sickled red blood cells. The sickle-shaped cells can also stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage that slows or stops the flow of blood. A person with Sickle Cell anemia can develop a number of health problems. Most common, Sickle Cell crisis (I absolutely hate these, ugh). These are attacks of pain anywhere throughout the body. Also, swelling in the hands and feet, stroke, anemia, bacterial infections, fatigue, acute chest syndrome, kidney problems, and pulmonary hypertension. Although treatment can help, there is no cure for sickle cell anemia. Every person is different so it’s important to learn the signs and triggers that affect your loved one. Here’s a few in-home care tips that work for my family.
Knowing signs + triggers:
Loss of appetite.
Disruptive sleeping patterns.
These tips help to maintain Mckenzie’s overall health and minimizing the number and duration of crisis:
Maintain a healthy lifestyle(balanced diet, physically, mentally, emotionally).
Depending on the severity of the crisis, knowing when and how to manage the pain.
A good nights sleep + resting well is important.
Great hydration habits.
Having a warm + positive aura around your loved one, always.
Staying up to date with doctors visits.
Engage in things that your loved one enjoys.
How you can support a loved one:
Promote and pursue a healthy lifestyle(eating, exercise, etc.)
Keep the child, loved one, family in prayer.
Educate yourself and others.
Spread joy + positivity.