One thing that I have realized in my own life (and from the comments of the SCW page), many of us seem to be going through similar issues. We know what to do, we know the right way to manage sickle cell, and yet, for some unfathomable reason we don’t do the proper things the way we should.
For example, we know that we need to drink 2-4 liters of water a day. WATER—not soda, not juice…WATER! And yet, it’s easier to reach for the wrong kind of drink, or not to drink at all, than it is sometimes to get water. You must remember that by the time you are thirsty, you are already 15-25% DEHYDRATED.
[stextbox id=”custom”]Dehydration = Pain = Crisis. [/stextbox]
It’s a slippery slope that we can avoid if we drink enough water. There is no finite amount of water that one can drink. But it’s generally accepted that we should drink between 2-4 liters (or a whole gallon) of water every single day. Drink 2 cups as soon as you wake up, and drink a cup before going to bed. Keep water with you at all times, and drink as soon as you get home. Drink on warm days, cold days, all days.
In addition, caffeinated drinks like Coke, Mountain Dew, Coffee, Alcohol, and Energy drinks only serve to sap our much needed hydration. The extra caffeine overstimulates our system, and we end up MORE dehydrated than we should. I always say that for every cup of one of these, you need to drink 4 cups just to catch up on the hydration front.
I know that some of us abhor drinking regular water. That is why God created lemons! Squeeze some lemon juice into your water to give it a different flavor. A perk of lemon juice is that it helps to stimulate digestion. If you must have other flavors besides lemon, you could try cucumber slices, apple slices, or even orange/tangerine slices. For those of you that have tried these and still want to mask the taste of water, you could try 3/4 water 1/4 juice concoction, which gives you the flavor of juice without all the sugar and empty calories. Or a packet of Crystal Light, which is pretty much the same effect.
Please to do not skimp on water. You can never drink enough water with sickle cell. Water is life. Water helps to keep your sickled cells supple, protects your organs from tissue damage, and prevents your blood from becoming thick and sludgey. This will prevent a pain crisis, and all those other little pains that we get daily.
Drink up sickle cell warrior! Water is the first tool in your arsenal.