My Goals for This Year’s Sickle Cell Journey

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by Dunstan Nicol-Wilson |

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A new year often means a fresh start, with new goals, habits, and challenges.

For the past few years, to help me better focus, I’ve been writing a list of goals I want to achieve in each new year. Some of these goals build on things I already do, such as going to the gym more consistently, while others are brand-new habits.

For 2022, I plan to build on both personal goals and those related to better managing sickle cell disease. Following are my health goals for the new year:

Zero hospitalizations

Last year, I managed to avoid the hospital. In fact, I haven’t been hospitalized with a severe crisis since 2019, just before the pandemic started. This happened because I managed my health in new ways. My fortunes turned around when I started to consistently consume essential vitamins and minerals, rest, and maintain a work-life balance.

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I Want to Get Better at Predicting a Sickle Cell Crisis

Zero sickle cell crises

Just because I wasn’t hospitalized last year doesn’t mean I had no sickle cell crises. I’m now focused on reducing the number of crises I have each year. Listening to my body and learning to say no have had a significant impact. For the first time last year, I was able to travel to different countries crisis-free! Can I go a full year without one?

Connect with other sickle cell patients

I’ve learned so much from my fellow patients over the past few years, including how to advocate for myself and receive better support. My fellow columnists at Sickle Cell Disease News have taught me so much as well, and the lessons have helped me better manage my disease. So, selfishly and unselfishly, I want to connect and share experiences so I can continue to master my condition.

Ensure all sickle cell patients are heard

I also want to continue to amplify the voices of sickle cell patients. Last year, several high-profile cases here in the U.K. received a lot of attention after the patients passed away. Sickle cell patients shouldn’t have to die to have their voices heard, but we should continue the momentum sparked by these incidences by spreading awareness and supporting those who need it. Everyone deserves to be heard.

My goals may be a little ambitious, but as one of my favorite quotes by Norman Vincent Peale goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

I have never gone an entire year without a crisis, but I’ve also never set it as a goal. 2022 is a year for me to build on my good work from last year and do even better.

I will endeavor to put my health first and look after myself so I can stay out of the hospital. I will also continue to support the sickle cell community so that one day, we will all receive fair treatment and adequate care.

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Note: Sickle Cell Disease 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 Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell disease.

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