I rarely leave London, but this weekend I went on a mini “staycation” to Kent with 24 of my friends for a birthday celebration.
We rented a mansion on Airbnb with enough space for the 25 of us, though I was not sure what the environment in the house would be like. I made sure to pack the sickle cell essentials, including the items I would use to prevent and treat a crisis. It naturally followed that I overpacked, but better safe than sorry!
In addition to the clothes I planned to wear, I packed extra jumpers that could be thrown on top of my outfits in case I felt too cold. I packed my water bottle to make sure I was constantly hydrated, and I packed my hot-water bottle for extra warmth and comfort in case I had a crisis. I also packed my pain killers and deep heat to treat a crisis.
Staying hydrated was an essential part of this getaway as I knew I would be consuming drinks that contained alcohol.
Alcohol is a diuretic, a type of substance that removes water from the blood. If water is not consumed simultaneously, dehydration could quickly follow. Dehydration complicates blood movement in the body because the blood is thicker and stickier in consistency. For those with sickle cell, dehydration may trigger a crisis.
I needed to make sure that whenever I had an alcoholic drink, I would then drink water to reduce the alcohol’s effect on my blood.
I did feel the effects of the alcohol in my system, but I drank a lot of water before I went to bed to ensure I stayed hydrated as I slept.
I used this time to relax and step away from the stresses and routines of everyday life. I was around great people and we shared great moments together. I was very happy and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I needed this break more than I realized; I left feeling very refreshed, motivated, and optimistic. I haven’t had a break like that in a while so I forgot about the benefits it can have on overall well-being.
This getaway reminded me that it is important to take a break. I would encourage you to do the same. Take some time out to treat yourself and your body may thank you for it. Feel free to share your plans in the comments!
Note: Sickle Cell Anemia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Anemia News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.