I have written a lot about sickle cell disease and will continue to write about it. Today I want to share some pointers on the approaches you can try to address a sickle cell pain crisis in its early stages when at home.
Use an electric blanket
Some SCD patients have a heated electric blanket. Some of these patients cannot imagine living without it because it is so helpful. Not everyone prefers the traditional hot water as some fear being burnt by it at some point. So, they prefer a heated blanket.
The blanket can spread across your entire bed, which is good. It can also target pain across the body, meanwhile a hot water bottle or heating pad only heats a single spot at a time.
When you are in pain, your electric blanket will do wonders to make the condition a bit more manageable.
Get pain relief medication
You need to have all the recommended pain medications you need for pain relief treatments at home. I keep all of my pain relief medications in a single drawer. This drawer is very close to my bed to ensure that I can always access them as quick as possible regardless of any mobility limitations a pain episode may cause me.
Around your home, you need to have some assistive equipment to help you function in case your mobility is restricted due to a crisis. Make sure you have an en suite shower room so that you can access a bathroom in spite of having mobility problems. Moreover, having a toilet frame and shower step is good because they will assist you in managing your personal care needs in times of a crisis.
Also consider getting a perching stool in the kitchen to enable you to prepare some basic meals in crisis’ times. So, if your kitchen is close to your bedroom, that is perfect.
Fluid intake for hydration
Sickle cell patients need to be hydrated all the time because it’s necessary for them. I generally hydrate my body by taking a lot of water and other non-sugary fluids. Therefore, I ensure that water is always close to my bed if I am in a crisis. I actually have a refillable bottle of water at home. All this helps to keep me hydrated during a crisis.
Having hospital bag set
You need to have a pre-prepared hospital bag in case you can no longer manage a pain episode at home and therefore must go to the hospital. Struggling to have your bag packed before an ambulance arrives when your mobility is reduced in the crisis and when you are unable to use your arms properly, can be an absolute nightmare!
Do you have any tips for managing a crisis? Please share in the comments below.