With tons of events, parties and get togethers typical of the holiday season, it's easy to see how one can become overly stressed without even really realizing it.
Particularly if you have a blood disorder like sickle cell anemia that despises stress and stressful situations, patients may have to employ some quick methods of de-stressing before triggering painful crisis episodes. These methods are easy and do not require that much effort but are crucial to avoiding crises. Some of them include:
Related: Understanding Your Sickle Cell So You Can Enjoy The Festive Season
1. Ensure to take folic acid supplements to help make new red blood cells and avoid the sickled cells causing obstruction to blood vessels.
2. If you feel/experience any new symptoms after the stressful holiday season, visit your doctor immediately to share your concerns.
3. Mental and emotional stress can also be triggers for crisis especially during the holidays with the anticipation of events and family gatherings. It is therefore recommended that sickle cell patients de-stress by getting lots of rest or sleep and drinking lots of fluids to prevent narrowing of the blood vessels.
4. Try taking warm baths or getting a massage as this can also help de-stress after being stressed out.
5. Make sure to be up to date on vaccines particularly the flu shot, pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines. This is because common illnesses like the flu can quickly become dangerous if you have SCD and if there was a lot of exposure to cold temperatures over the holiday period.
These are precautions that should be taken anyway but more so after exposure to any kind of stress. After a while, all patients with sickle cell become familiar with their triggers (and how to avoid them) and although stressful situations can't always be avoided, taking these precautionary measures go a long way to help prevent episodes of pain.
Until next time....
Always Love 💓