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4 Tips That Make Managing Sickle Cell at College Simpler Than You Thought

June 13, 2017 by Andrea

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Going away to college can already be stressful enough -- new place, new people, new classes -- but managing your sickle cell while you're there doesn't have to be. With the tips below, living with SCD away from home won't be as complicated as you may have thought:

ASK FOR REASONABLE ACCOMODATIONS
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, colleges and universities are required to provide "reasonable accommodations" -- any modification or change to the typical rules and policies and/or to an academic environment -- that will allow you to be successful while you're there. For example, you may be able to have more excused absences, have access to thermostat controls in your dorm room, or be permitted to make up an exam or a lab that you may have missed due to a hospital stay.

FIND A LOCAL DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY
The campus health center will probably be the most convenient place, but they may not be equipped to handle sickle cell patients. So before arriving at school, do your research on doctors and hospitals near your school. You can even ask your current physician forĀ  any recommendations.

PRACTICE SELF-CARE
Don't wait until you're feeling super overwhelmed. Carve out time for study breaks, moments of mindfulness, and light exercise every day. This can help you keep stress -- and stress-induced crises -- at bay.

STAY HEALTHY
Along with all of the above, continue to do what you've always done to stay pain- and illness-free as much as possible. Drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritious and balanced meals, wash your hands, avoid extreme temperatures, and get plenty of sleep.

Are you a sickle cell warrior who's gone away to college? Have any other tips to share? Add them in the comments below!


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