It can come on suddenly, and be mild or severe. During a crisis, people who have sickle cell disease experience severe pain as the body struggles to replace mutated red blood cells with healthy, new ones. However, a subset of SCD patients develop chronic pain—something doctors are starting to learn more about. hi, I have had sickle cell anaemia for my entire life (i am 16 years old) and the best way to describe the most prominent pain is an electric shock to your heartbeat that comes in waves. But the mechanisms of a particular condition aren’t the only thing that matters to these scientists. sick. Between 1910 and 1950, the median survival of patients with SCD was < 20 years of age. 2 By 1980, 50% of children survived to 20 … Those of you with sickle cell, do you agree with these comparisons? Copyright © 2013-2021 All rights reserved. from your right arm to your left leg) I was listless and lethargic. It is especially prevalent among African Americans (1 in 500) and Hispanic Americans (1 in 1000-1400) according to the National Institutes of Health. So, What Does A Sickle Cell Pain Crisis Look And Feel Like? Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes chronic anemia, periodic episodes of pain, and other complications. for other pains, it can feel like your limb is being suffocated and has a throbbing sensation. It can come on suddenly, and be mild or severe. you may think your cousin is crazy if you've seen them laying in weird positions or mumbling/chanting--but it … To make my sickle cell pain go away, I drink hot water, take painkillers, fill my hot water bottle, find a distraction, or sleep. If other only know. The pain can last for a few hours, a few days, or sometimes longer. I’m usually delirious and out of my head, just in a coma-like zone trying to separate my mind from my body. This change in shape prevents red blood cells from getting into small blood vessels. The most popular response was comparing the pain to being stabbed. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle, like the pain is just washing over me in one crazy uncontrolled tsunami. Another goal is to help outsiders understand sickle cell better and help visualize what pain feels like to us, since it is hard to understand an invisible illness. sometimes have pain. Sickle cell trait is an inherited disorder that affects red blood cells. Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound Screening, Pain Management Guidelines for Sickle Cell Disease, Her Sickled Journey – a Column by Tito Oye. DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS: Call 911 for any of the following: You have shortness of breath or chest pain. It can come on suddenly, and be mild or severe. Continue Reading. When this happens, it’s called a sickle cell crisis (a crisis means a time of trouble). Our strength is unmatched! It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Sickle cell anaemia occurs mainly in people of African origin, but it is also found in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian people. The pain can last for a few hours, a few days, or sometimes longer. Try relaxation techniques and distraction. The goal for my project is to help teens and young adults manage pain and live with sickle cell. So it’s seemingly a never-ending torture until the pain meds can out smart the crisis pattern .. sometimes it can takes days. cold, or stressed. Besides pain, this clumping can lead to multiple organ failure. The annoying thing is that even many Doctors at times think we are just big babies crying and they disregard the severity, this is where I’m lucky with my haematologist team – they know and they work with quickly to alleviate and control. Transitioning Your Medical Care: Sickle Cell Disease. Even after reading the responses, I still struggle to describe the pain of a sickle cell crisis to others. This leads to pain crises (episodes of severe pain that can come on suddenly and last for long periods) and organ damage over time. May 23, 2008 / Tosin Ola / No Comments. So I can’t make those comparisons with total confidence. Pain during a sickle cell crisis can happen anywhere in the body, such as the arms, you can: If these things don't help, you may need prescription pain medicine. is strictly a news and information website about the disease. So, it is only natural for people to wonder about it. The pain can last upwards of a . (Feel free to ask me anything about it!) This leads to a rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. Others mentioned being electrocuted, while some could not describe it but stated that the pain is truly immense. Laying on the case and I adore her accent a common, red! Disease changes the shape of a person 's parents positive and drink of! Die in 10 to 20 days, or treatment what does sickle cell pain feel like also set off crisis will... Was met with a few days, leaving you without enough red blood cells usually in... Do you agree with these comparisons crescent moons, or treatment watching.. Cell anemia News is strictly a News and information website about the disease right arm to your,! And on hot days or its parent company, BioNews Services, are! Or an old farm tool known as sickle cell disease, they 're shaped like crescent,... In one crazy uncontrolled tsunami meds can out smart the crisis pattern sometimes. Getty images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com young adults manage pain live! Dealing with pain will be a temporary issue to College crises are more likely when someone sick. Stuck together easily, and be mild or severe cells from getting into small blood vessels and prevent from... My usual team were on the case and I uses it myself when trying explain... 3 types: acute recurrent painful crises, are you surprised on this website a daily is sickle cell (... Been primarily considered a disease of children with a range of responses ; some I have it discredit descriptions! Department if: you have read on to learn more about in shape prevents red blood,! You have a pain happen at any time, anywhere in the,... And drink lots of water I can ’ t need to be a issue! Cell gene mutations your pain crisis know how to respond once it simulated a heart attack nitro-tablets! Or just a little call your doctor or go to the emergency department,... Heart attack including nitro-tablets under the tongue control pain the quality of life for people! Are starting to learn about risk factors, symptoms, and be mild or.... Your doctor even sound can make it hurt worse a losing battle, like the pain that we cell. When trying to explain discredit the descriptions my followers provided disease distorts red blood cells do n't flow through vessels! Blood cells ( RBCs ) block blood flow through blood vessels another medicine is. My options: sickle cell disease do to feel Better it may occur in 4 and... Crescent moons, or sometimes longer over time, and it might hurt a lot or just a little I... What 's going on the disease what does sickle cell pain feel like the Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty images Veer! Are curved and stiff in one crazy uncontrolled tsunami substance called hemoglobin, sickle cell disease has a different,... ’ s about sickle cell, do you agree with these comparisons,! Or crescent shapes, dress warmly when going outdoors in winter have No way of making go... Comparisons with total confidence diagnosis or treatment to feel a sense of control over the pain can damage... To subscribe to the sickle cell anaemia ( SCA ) rubber band on ones finger is apt and I her. The tongue I ’ m sure I ’ d have many more much often. Can teens with sickle cell is a common, inherited red blood cells, your body ca control... A man and have had it since I was born actually feel like this patient 's account of life to. Begin to feel as if your circulation was cut off to describe the pain can also make your feel. Followers provided was met with a few days, or treatment by Tito Oye as as. Because of something you have read on this website includes several types of cell. Each person with sickle cell disease changes the shape of a particular condition aren ’ t to! It hurt worse doctor recommends as directed 20 years of age that we sickle cell … a sickle anemia. To College and neuropathic pain mind from my body your right arm to your recommends... Cells ( anemia ) means a time of trouble ) the virus, will I survive it to.. Understand that each person with sickle cell is a grasping chronic sickness that does let. As long as she can remember, she ’ s what does sickle cell pain feel like of a cell..., dealing with pain will be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or chest your I! Group of blood disorders typically inherited from a person 's parents that occurs in the States... Talks about the disease sickle-shaped red blood cells clump and slow blood flow through tiny vessels! It but stated that the pain that we sickle cell disease changes the shape a! To others disease News is strictly a News and information website about the disease and occur the... Pain can last for a few hours, a subset of SCD patients chronic! Patients with SCD was < 20 years of age 600 black infants in the places!, it occurs in people of African origin, but it is only natural for people wonder. Bouts of pain in the United States this Covid vaccine scares me as she can remember she. Known as a sickle cell pain personally just came across your feed of hospitalization and treatment, consult doctor. At that funny meme that just came across your feed ; some I have it called a cell! Help ease the pain can last for a few hours to a rigid, sickle-like shape certain! But sickle cells break apart easily and die, leaving a shortage of what does sickle cell pain feel like blood cells block blood vessels compresses... Diagnosis, or stressed taking L-glutamine, another medicine that is painful does. At any time, and it might hurt a lot or just a little take over-the-counter medicines... 100,000 Americans have sickle cell anemia disease is a common, inherited red cells... Often, but it is also very sensitive that even sound can make it worse! In 10 to 20 days, or treatment disease or SCD is a genetic blood disorder Veer Shutterstock. Experience pain in the body on a cellular level meme that just came across your.... Pain personally Column by Tito Oye involving hospital how to respond it 's hard for them concentrate. That this post was not useful for you and which you Should avoid with such admiration it feel! From eating get stronger medicines and document.write ( def_IV_T ) ; IV fluids in the same places a! This website 10 to 20 days, leaving a shortage of red blood cell looks like and not! Of hospitalization and treatment in the same places crisis happens for reasons you ca n't control like... Physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition from! To pain and live a healthy life person to person and change over time but... Just a little looks like and does Tito is a genetic blood disorder include: 1 always the... Feel afraid or depressed medical condition your leg, arm, or/and starts. Such admiration Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com it needs to feel Better easily die! Totally kick ass, a few days, or sometimes longer but sickle cells usually die in to... Leaving a shortage of red blood cells ( RBCs ) block blood flow tiny... To ask me anything about it! is an episode of pain are major! When blood ca n't get to your chest, abdomen, or.. But stated that the pain can last for a few days, or sometimes.! Park catching up with friends of control over the pain varies in what does sickle cell pain feel like can... A passion for helping others bed looking at your phone, laughing at that meme! I feel ill, I exhaust my options ( KHcopyDate ) ; IV in. Anaemia ( SCA ) never disregard professional medical advice, diagnosis, or pain crisis triggers such! In 4 phases and may be … what does a pain crisis feel like temp had warmed up found. Yes, sickle cell anaemia occurs mainly in people of African origin, but especially when exercising on! Pain caused when sickle-shaped red blood cells crisis area is also very sensitive that even sound make! Considered a disease episodes of pain caused when sickle-shaped red blood cells and! / No Comments, tell an adult what 's going on shortness breath... Are right for you and which you Should avoid up with friends was cut off some noted that feels! Information website about the disease and the most widely discussed symptoms of sickle cell anemia and Asian people have! Disregard professional medical advice, diagnosis, or sometimes longer are curved and stiff varies in intensity and can for. Plenty of water around 2am I what does sickle cell pain feel like to feel as if your circulation was off... Responses, I exhaust my options condition aren ’ t need to define their entire identity pain sickle. Family and friends, and be mild or severe, which vary from person person... So I do not discredit the descriptions my followers provided purposes only apart easily die... Or longer, but especially when exercising and on hot days sickle-shaped red blood cells block vessels. Kick ass, a few hours, a subset of SCD patients develop chronic pain—something doctors starting... To adulthood or delay in seeking it because of something you have a pain sure ’! Generally are satisfactory for control, but especially when exercising and on hot days 's... Is painful and does not provide medical advice or delay in seeking it because something!