SICKLE CELL AND SELF MANAGEMENT – PART 2

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Two weeks ago, I wrote about being unwell and talked about self-care and went on to talk about what medical teams suggest that we do in order to take care of ourselves, when one has a Sickle Cell crisis.

I did not know that by letting you all know that I was unwell, it would bring about another blog on the matter.  A lot of you contacted me and wished me well and to that I really want to appreciate you all.

A lot of you also wanted to know, what I do to in order to take care of myself personally.  In terms of my self-care as regards Sickle Cell, I am eclectic.  

And what I mean by that is I do a wide range of things, from using: hot water bottle, menthol creams, Ibuprofen cream, Pain patches, pain tablets (but I make sure I would eat something nutritious), take anti-sickness tablets, try to rest, take very hot showers, use the electric blanket all night if need be, try to avoid stress as much as I can (easier said than done).  We all know that when one is sick, the last thing on your mind is food, however, I cannot take all the strong painkillers like Morphine or Codeine, Diclofenac/Voltarol or Co-codamol etc… on an empty stomach.  

You all know, I talk a lot about food in my blog), I try to eat a lot of things like spinach, Ugwu, okra,Corchorus (ewedu), I eat chicken, lamb or goat meat, (instead of beef), liver, kidney, tripe and fish; I do all kinds of stuff with beans; I eat vegetables and so tend to cook a lot of stir-frys (as I would then have an array of vegetables in it); I start taking things like Ibuprofen or Paracetamol if I can sense that my body is not right; I try to keep warm, I drink plenty of water on its own or with lemon or lime (in order for it to be alkalised – it helps to neutralise acid in the blood stream) or ginger tea.

I take green tea (first thing in the morning because of its anti-oxidant properties), I make sure that I would have a full spoon of molasses with hot water daily, at night (molasses – lowest sugar content of any sugar cane product and has a lot of nutritional value); and if all else fails, I would make my way to the day clinic, after self-care and self-medicating for at least two days at home.

If I want to snack, I would eat nuts or popcorn.  And if biscuits, it might be digestives.  I also feast on fruits that I like.  Some fruits like banana or apples unsettle my stomach but they are good for you as an individual.  I tend to eat more citrusy fruits, grapes and all manner of berries; I like fruits that have a bit of sweet and sour.

I do try and eat well even though it can be quite difficult because I suffer from IBS and my belief is all those strong pain killers that I have taken over the years, have not done my stomach any favour.  Also in the past, I tend to throw up quite a lot; thank goodness, that is something of the past.  I think the anti-sickness tablets that I was prescribed did not go down well back then.

So, when it comes to food, I am choosy and fussy.  I tend to stick to food that does not do me any harm, in terms of its after effects on me after eating.  Also, I know that if I get caught in the rain, I will be sick after I go to bed that night, so I will take tablets before hand.  Or I now know if I am caught in the cold or the wind or if I am stressed out, I could be sick.  I am at an age, where I know my body’s tell take signs or shall I say it’s triggers.

I have not hidden the fact that God is a strong part of my life and I would not be alive, doing what I am doing without His grace, favour and mercy upon me. I have verses of Scriptures from the Bible that I would repeat daily for a long period of time on healing.

I hope this blog gives you all more insight on how I try to manage and take care of myself.  

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