Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you or someone in your family has sickle cell anemia, you may want help with the stresses of this lifelong disease. Consider trying to:
- Find someone to talk with. Sickle cell centers and clinics can provide information and counseling. Ask your doctor or the staff at a sickle cell center if there are support groups for families in your area. Talking with others who are facing the same challenges you are can be helpful. Prayer, family and friends also can be sources of support.
- Explore ways to cope with the pain. If you're in pain, work with your doctor to find ways to control your pain. Pain medications can't always take all the pain away. Different techniques work for different people, but it might be worth trying heating pads, hot baths, massages or physical therapy.
- Learn enough about sickle cell anemia to make decisions about care. If you have a child with sickle cell anemia, learn as much as you can about the disease so you can make informed choices about your child's care. Ask questions during your child's appointments. Ask your health care team to recommend good sources of further information.
- Saunthararajah Y, et al. Sickle cell disease: Clinical features and management. In: Hoffman R, et al. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06715-0..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06715-0&uniqId=230100505-56. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.
- Rees DC, et al. Sickle-cell disease. The Lancet. 2010;376:2018.
- Sickle cell anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Sca/SCA_All.html. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.