The Do’s and Don’t of a Warrior (Sickle)
Hey guys, hope you enjoyed my first post, if you did, please help me share. The goal is to build a community of warriors and let’s hold hands together.
I am so excited about this project, at 32 years, I know my journey has just begun and I’m okay with that, the question is are you okay with yours?.
I did not choose this disease, but it chose me. I’m a warrior like many other survivors. My hope is that this new journey will lead me to a better life and one full of impact and bubbling joy and laughter. Yes, we can be happy, we can live free, free from this disease and it’s baggage, I don’t need a bucket list yet, neither do you.
After a week at the hospital, my life changed dramatically, at every junction and turn, I hear these words, “Audrey stop, don’t do this, don’t do that because you are”
I have lived my life by some set of rules, rules created by my condition, by doctors, parents, and environment, if you are a warrior like me, I am sure you’ve been boxed by these rules. These rules have helped, guided, but they have also limited me, sadly I need them.
Why I am not in awe of these rules, A warrior who has been in fine control can experience an exacerbated crisis after being exposed to certain triggers. This is why I believe that the estimated 4.1 million Nigerians living with SCD, can have a crisis when certain triggers are activated, applying these rules rightly is avoiding these triggers.
Here’s a list of the Do’s and Don’t of a Sickle, If I miss any, please leave it in the comment session.
Before we dive into the Do’s and Don’t the first Do is to confirm genotype and don’t add to the 4.1 million estimated Warriors in Nigeria.
1. Extreme Weather (Cold and Heat)
Extreme temperature, cold or heat is not advised for warriors. Cold temperature causes the red blood cells of sickle to form blood clots, that can lead to a crisis. Hot temperature creates situations likes dehydration, dizziness even fainting, which off-course is not advised.
2. Avoid lengthy stress activity.
For me, I didn’t get to play with my peers or do what my siblings were doing because of my condition. I was always stopped dead on my track. “Audrey don’t do that, don’t you know…” followed.
Strenuous activities, exercise must be avoided. This is why I will reiterate, as a Warrior, you must be careful about who you enter into a relationship with because, a relationship is not just a source of joy, but serious stress, that can wear you out.
3. Avoid dusty environment as they can easily lead to respiratory malfunction.
4. Don’t stay around people with contagious disease or infection.
As warriors, visiting the hospital may seem like a normal lifestyle, but, we can do our best to avoid going there for a contagious disease like flu or airborne diseases. Our immune systems are not strong, so seemingly harmless infections can be dreadful to us, this is why we must avoid contagious environments and individuals.
5. Eat well and Regularly.
As a sickle, you must ensure you eat a well-balanced diet, vegetables, and fruits regularly as they help to build body immune system.
6. Drink a lot of water or other healthy fluids to keep your body hydrated at all times.
7. Take folic acid, vitamins, anti-malaria drugs as prescribed by a physician and avoid fatty foods.
8. Sleep well, a minimum of 7 hours daily to keep the mind and body, relaxed and rested.
9. Stay happy, it’s a must, you keep your spirit alive and you are happy.
10. Ensure you have your drugs handy, especially drugs for pain.