A sickler shares story on how he survives sickle cell anemia.
Few days ago, we lost Uche.
She was a gem, a warrior and an ever present member of the Sickle Cell Community.
I remember it was this time last year.
We got talking via the Sickle Cell WhatsApp group, she needed blood and I had a friend of mine come donate for her.
It was then we got to know that we were both on admission in the same hospital (LUTH). She was in the female ward and I was in the male ward.
Uche was super positive! She would wake me up with words of encouragement and would tell me to believe! That we would both win. Of course we did win! And we have won severally since then.
But she didn’t get to win on this particular occasion. She lost it to the dreaded sickle cell.
To you, Henry (whom we also lost a few months back), Mohammad (my brother) and the thousands of warriors who are long gone, continue to rest in power.
I know a whole lot of people get this scary look when they hear about Sickle cell.
Truth be told, sickle cell can be dreadful.
Talk about the long nights, the painful episodes, the stereotypes and all.
But in-spite of all these negativity we’ve had some positives.
There are warriors who live till old age and see their grandchildren. There are those who’ve not recorded any hospital visit in years. We have those who are super healthy and are living their best life.
For us living with sickle cell, information is vital.
Getting adequate information about our condition is not only important but can save us tons of worries.
As today marks the World’s sickle cell day, I’ve listed a few natural management procedures for US and for our caregivers as well.
These procedures have helped me overcome my deepest moments as a warrior and also helped me stay healthy! And I’m super certain it can do so for you.
1. Preventing Dehydration – In case you didn’t know, these past few months have been one for me to forget. Been on admission for at least four times, got my first ever blood transfusion coupled with loads of emotional bargains.
But it all got better when I did one thing! Increase my water intake!
I started taking nothing less than 5 litres of water daily! That’s a lot, yeah? But it surely helped.
The thing is, sickle cell crisis most times is a reaction to low oxygen levels in the blood, which can be caused by extreme physical conditions and dehydration.
Taking at least 4 liters of water daily, coupled with getting adequate rest is key to preventing crisis and staying on top of your game.
2. Avoiding your Triggers – This is also very helpful. Triggers are what leads to your crisis.
For me, it’s dehydration, stress, infection, malaria and funny enough consuming too much of sweet things.
For you, it might be different. It is essential you identify those things, and try to avoid them
3. Diet – Foods play a large role too! Because as warriors, our body needs more nutrients than the average individual, so it’s highly beneficial if we load our foods with varieties.
I won’t be specific here, but make it a habit as a warrior to consume fruits and veggies on a daily basis!
Your body needs folate to produce red blood cells, it needs protein and healthy fats to reduce anaemia symptoms and also it needs lots of antioxidants to fight infections! Don’t deny it!
Make I stop here abeg! The thing don dey long
Lastly, it is our collective duty to help achieve a pain free society!
Nigeria currently has the highest number of people living with sickle cell!
But despite that, you still see young carriers (AS and AS) playing love and believing God will take control. I pity them!
I’m not even concerned about them, I’m concerned about the poor child they intend to bring to a life of pains!
In as much as you can, genotypic compatibility is so important! Please ensure you are compatible before you say I do!