There are things in the lives of people with sickle cell disease that trigger a sickle cell “crisis”. Some things like simply living, working and surviving can causes triggers to push us over the edge into the pit of pain. Other things, in some cases, are preventable like lifestyle choices. Either way, once the trigger is set, a sickle cell crisis begins with full fury.
Some of the triggers are:
1. Excessive temperatures (too hot/too cold)
2. Infection (cold/flu/etc.)
4. Exhaustion (not enough rest)
5. Over-exertion (too much work/too much exercise).
6. De-hydration (not enough water)
7. Bad Nutrition (dieting/not eating good food)
8. Bad Lifestyle Habits (alcohol/smoking/drugs)
Once the crisis has begun, usually a hospital stay follows. God forbid a crisis leads to death, but usually a blood transfusion, oxygen, antibiotics, pain medication, and glucose (for hydration) are needed. After a week, maybe two, in the hospital you come out feeling thinner, slower, and hoping to never go back again. Wishful thinking.
Since we’re living in a stressful world full of every kind of trigger, it is important for people with Sickle Cell to really take care of themselves. What we can’t control, we should let go of. What we can control, we should. Good living and good habits will help us live.
Ps. I want to live as long as possible…so, I’m taking a nap right now! ;-)