How I'm Prioritizing My Health in The New Year

Happy New Year!

It’s 2022, and my New Year’s resolution is the same as always: to experience and maintain good health.

I’m not completely naive. I’m acutely aware of how sickle cell disease works, and I know I can’t predict many of my health hurdles. Thus, it’s almost impossible for me to avoid any kind of health hiccups. But every year, I think back to my crisis-free decade, and I desperately want to get back there.

For those who don’t know, I experienced no sickle cell crises that required hospitalization between the ages of 6 and 16. Sadly, since then, I haven’t gone a full year without being hospitalized. I’m now 32, and trying again for the 17th time. I’ve spent some time thinking and strategizing about what I can do differently this year, and I’m committed to prioritizing my health.

Firstly, I need to aim for 100% compliance with my medication regimen. This is imperative not only to prevent crises, but also to prevent any medical issues that could lead to a crisis.

Secondly, sickle cell patients need to drink plenty of fluids. So, I am setting a goal of drinking 2 liters of water a day. Any additional fluids are a bonus.

Thirdly, I must prioritize my mental and spiritual well-being this year to better manage my stress levels. Stress is a big crisis catalyst for me, so I am determined to do all I can to avoid it. For me, this means being disciplined about my Bible reading, exercising, and stretching. I must also utilize my support system effectively to prevent my stress levels from rising unnecessarily.

Finally, and most importantly, because my experiences with sickle cell have shown me how unpredictable life can be, I am prioritizing fun as well as health this year. Without intentionally doing anything that would be detrimental to my health, I want to make as many great memories as possible this year and live my best life.

So, 2022, I welcome you with open arms. Here’s to maintaining good health, making amazing memories, and living out great experiences.