My Top 9 Tips on Coping with Sickle Cell Anemia

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IMG_5461[1]Everyone deals with chronic pain differently.  Keeping it simple, Here are some of my  tips for dealing with Sickle Cell Anemia:

  • Drink Water!  You can never get enough… Yes, you may be running to the bathroom a few times more than usual but your body will adjust and staying hydrated will help.
  • Get Enough Sleep.  It is very important to get atleast 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night.  Of course ideally it probably won’t happen every day of the year. Regardless, like myself, you will have so much more energy in the morning with a good night’s sleep.
  • Exercise.  You don’t have to overexert yourself.  Take some yoga classes, walk in the park or the mall, learn some new line dances (my fav is Janet Jackson’s Feels so Right btw lol) but whatever you do, stay active!
  • Eat well.  And that means more than cleaning your plate :) Try to eat a balanced diet with alot of fruit and vegetables as tolerated and of course depending on your medication.  As much as I love bananas and grapefruit, I can’t have either because of the meds I take. Which leads to number five below…..
  • Always take your medicine, vitamins and use your narcotics ONLY when you feel you need it.  This should be self explanatory but there are a few – anemic or not, that have a hard time managing their medicine.
  • Stay warm.  Sometimes us ladies love to “look cute” and wear these flimsy leather jackets in the fall, no gloves, scarf or hat and guess what, I’ve been there in the past. But, I’ve learned that cold weather really triggers sickle cell pain.  If you’re like me, it’s important to stay warm and wrap up during cool, wet weather.
  • Heating pads/hot water bottles are my best friends.  You have to be careful and make sure you don’t fall asleep especially while using electric heating pads because you could end up with burns BUT they can definitely help manage your pain when you use them correctly.
  • Massages.  A good massage can work wonders not only on stiff muscles but pain as well.

Last but certainly not least, and one of the most important is to try not Don’t Stress Yourself Out!  Earlier this year I’ve had a lot of stress myself, and I’ve ended up in the hospital twice in 4 weeks because of it.  Worrying will make you sick.  Sometimes we can’t help it, sometimes things happen and we can’t control everything.  But pray, ask God for guidance & strength, and try to stay positive.  Tomorrow is another day. Got any tips you want to include?  Share them in my comments, I’m interested in what helps you deal. Continue reading →

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RIP Naturalista & Youtube Vlogger LongHairDontCare2011

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Nowadays, I usually never go on YouTube unless I need immediate video information on how to do something, or if I was referred to a video link by someone else.  But a few years ago, when I was just thinking of returning to natural hair, I remember a young lady who really made an impression on me.  Her hair was a total inspiration and definitely inspired me to make the big chop again and embrace my natural tresses.  Although I had not kept up with her videos for a very long time, it saddened me when I had heard that Domineque Banks, better known as ‘LongHairDontCare2011‘ on her video channel, had passed away after a battle with the auto immune disease Lupus on April 9th, 2014.


This beautiful naturalista was admired by many in the natural hair community.

There was a online fundraiser started to support Domineque’s funeral/cremation costs and help her sister and nephew’s traveling costs.  As of the time of this post, it seems the family surpassed their goal of $10k with donations of over $17,910.

In a statement on that was left on the fundraising site, it was said of Dominique’s passing:

It is with a most heavy heart that I bring you the news of my dear friend’s passing. Domineque passed away on April 9th, 2014 after complications brought on by Lupus. Though she was a long-time sufferer of this disease, her condition turned for the worst in recent months with her kidneys functioning at a terribly low rate. Tragically, Domineque fell unconscious the night of April 7th but thankfully her amazing partner was there by her side to perform CPR and call 911. Domineque was placed on life support and was not able to breathe on her own. Continue reading →

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Ouch! I had Appendicitis This Thursday…

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So it’s been just about 5 weeks after last being in the hospital, that I had to return suddenly this past Thursday nightIMG_5378[1] .  I awoke just past midnight on the 3rd to a very sore tummy that bothered me as I tossed and turned in the bed. When I pressed on my stomach on the lower, right handed corner there was a lot of pain.  I suspected what it was right away, but since I’ve been dealing with other medical  and emotional issues these past few weeks, the first thing I thought to do was Google my symptoms and find out what could be bothering me for sure.

The first thing that popped up in the search results was Appendicitis.

Oh, heck no.  No No No.  Anything but that.

I sat there looking at the results for a minute, quietly wondering should I even get out of bed.  Then I thought of Mason and all the “shoulda coulda wouldas” with his situation and death.  That gave me the incentive to get myself up and find out whats really going on. Continue reading →

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Honey Glaze on BBQ Chicken is Yummy and will leave you with Sticky Fingers :)

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The day before yesterday was an extremely beautiful spring day here in Toledo and I decided at the last minute that I wanted to barbecue!  After cleaning my gas grill I went to light it up though and found out that I was out of propane lol.  That set me back about 30 minutes or so but after that it was smooth sailing.  I had already prepared turnip greens with smoked turkey wings and my crock pot mac & cheese (the recipe for that is also here on the blog) the night before, with intentions of frying my wings but the bright sunshine and nice breeze made me change my mind. :)

I have to say it was the first day in a long time that I haven’t really been stressing out, haven’t been too depressed, had much more energy to run around and was all in all, a decent mood! And the chicken, it turned out amazing with tons of flavor despite over cooking a few of the pieces lol!

Soooo….  Get the deets on the Honey Glaze when you read on! :) Continue reading →

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When You Lose A Loved One…

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When there is grief, there will eventually be healing.  You are not alone.  There are too many out in the world today who have lost an unborn child, an infant, a child, a teenager, a handsome son or beautiful daughter, a sister or brother, a parent, or an significant other… unexpectedly and suddenly.  If you have lost a loved one, you have my sympathy, and I am so, so very sorry for you.  I wish you peace and healing in these days, weeks and months, and years ahead.  I know how it feels to lose one that you love so much.  It has happened to me more than once, and again just recently.

I don’t want to post a long article on this topic today, I just want to reach out to those going through a painful loss such as this.  Feel free to post your experiences, struggles, or words of hope to others who may have stumbled across this post looking for answers to what they are going through and what they are feeling.  Sometimes there are no answers.  But we can also sometimes find comfort in relating to others that have been through the same.  I pray that if you are struggling with your grief, that you are able to get through it with a good support system.  Family, friends, a pastor or priest, even online support groups catering to the situation that you went through (for example a stillborn support facebook group) can help tremendously even if you don’t think so at first… Seek the help that you need.

I dedicate this post to Mason Elijah.  It’s been one month and 3 days since he passed away.  Not a day goes by that I haven’t thought of his precious face, and of how things would have been different if he was alive today.  He was indeed “too beautiful for earth” and my family gained an angel.  Although things may not go as we all sometimes plan, every day is a blessing and a gift in itself.  Be reminded of that as you think of the time you did have together with the one you loved.

Again, feel free to leave your comments section, and thank you in advance.  Continue reading →

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Fried Oysters Made Easy This Sunday

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This Sunday I was looking for something a bit more different to dive into for dinner, something I had not had in a long time, and would not be too heavy on my tummy.  What did end up thinking of??  Fried Oysters!  Although I’ve heard that nothing beats a fresh, raw oyster served on a half shell, I’m not that brave yet.  I can only assume that eating them fried is the second best thing, lol.

This is one dish that is very easy to prepare, quick to make, and is a awesomely tasty appetizer.  I’ve seen in the past that a lot of people will bread their oysters with crumbled crackers, but I use regular cornmeal most of the time and it turns out just as delicious.  Oysters have a distinct, delicate taste to them and really don’t need much extra seasoning when your preparing them, although I can’t help but to have my Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce on deck lol.  Check out the deets of how I cooked them after the break… :)

Continue reading →

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