Monday, June 9, 2008

Swimming with Sickle Cell

I got a question from a reader in Egypt that loves to swim but has a painful episode after each swimming session.

For sickle cell warriors, my advice is not to swim in cold water. The main thing about swimming is that it drops your core body temperature, increasing the work load of your circulatory system to keep your internal temperature in a good range. In addition, you are probably decreasing your oxygen saturation with the exertion. If you go scuba diving or into the deep sea, the atmospheric pressure underwater drops and this decreases the ability of your hemoglobin to hang on to oxygen---all in all not a good recipe for a sickle cell survivor. In fact it's a direct trip to pain city, not passing go.

There are alot of people that just love the water, my guy is one of them. He's most comfortable when he's wet and just loves anything related to water. My suggestion is to try a heated pool, jacuzzi or swimming when it's warmer. Besides that I recommend the usual, hydration, taking your pain meds and avoiding stress. Personally I don't swim anymore, it's just too painful. If I must I wade in the water, but only for a short period of time and then I'm back on the beach warming up.

Milan told me she got invited to the beach and had to make excuses why she couldn't go. Personally I love to frolic on the beach, watching people, playing games, having a great time and enjoying the sun. So don't let sickle cell limit your life to that extent, go to the beach, just know your limitations regarding the water.

7 comments:

Tamika M. said...

Vixen!

It's been a while. After my husband had that crash back in March, I was so beat that I checked out for awhile. Seems like plenty has happened in the past few months. I'm just glad to hear that you came out of such a crazy crisis like the trooper you are. I'll try not to be a stranger to the blog from here on out. All the best!

Vixen said...

Tamika!

That's so fortuitous, I was just thinking of you the other day wondering where you've been. Wow, sounds like your hubby was really going through it---hope he is much better now. If you ever want to chat, email me at vixentales at gmail and I'll send you my number. Yeah, don't be a stranger and take care of yourself. You can only be able to take good care of him when you practice good self care.

Much love!

mercedes said...

I wrote you before. I am the person who gave you the information about the insurance.

Anyway, I let my daugter go swimming yesterday and I am so paranoidddddddddd! It was mild out and the water was cold. I am just hoping this doesnt turn into a crisis...

Vixen said...

Mercedes, I hope your daughter is doing well. Children are more resilient then adults and as long as you warmed her up right after, she might be okay. As a rule though, I would stay away from cold water, it makes my joints hurt like hell! Give me five-10 minutes in cold water and I'm in pain.

shukurac said...

I swim all the time. I live in TX and used to live in FL. In FL I found that if the air temp is at least 90 degrees, the water will be warm enough for me to have fun. Now that I am in TX I had a pool installed in my back yard and I have a lot of swimming time as it's even hotter. My pool temp is around 86 and I can stay in over an hour without any issues. I do get out after an hour or so just in case my body needs some warmth.

Cindy Dy said...

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sarah lee said...

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