Brain Function & Sickle Cell Disease~

This topic I decided to blog about came up on facebook a few days ago and I along with many others had something to say about it. Unfortunately it is sad to say that due to our sickle cell disease and the “Lack” of oxygen in our bodies which effects our brains as well, are affected with mild to major brain function complications.

From simple conversations we just had with a friend, or family member…to where we parked our car…to short term memory loss, remembering things that has taken place years before, conversations….the list goes on and on.

For some but not all cognitive problems such as difficulty organizing thoughts, making decisions, learning are all challenges to some in the sickle cell world.

Combine the fact that our brains does not get the same amount of oxygen as the normal person, and the fact that our bodies are constantly being filled with some sort of pain medication…together this combination does and can cause short to long term memory loss, well at least I believe so!! Even difficulties with words, vocabulary down to pronouncing words you have pronounced before, they just wont roll off the tongue.

I take notes for EVERYTHING!! I have post-it notes all over my office, journals in every room. I am constantly making all my kids put things in certain locations. Now I have been doing this since I lived at home with my parents. Everything had to have a place, not because I was some neat freak LOL not even, but because if I did not I had no idea where it was and I would have to go out and buy a new one all over again.

Since I have gotten a lot older and I have way more kids it is a must that whatever I have it goes to a certain location at all times or I will spend days looking for it because I just wont remember where I put it.

And if you want to remind me of a conversation I had with you years ago…LOL Good Luck!! My memory just do not reach back a few years anymore unless it was life changing. Or unless I wrote it down somewhere. A great deal is a blur and as the years go by things just get even more blurry. I asked the doctor and he said, “yes this is normal” with sickle cell patients”….which I already knew.

Staying organized( see the picture above..that’s my example of keeping it in place at all times), keep notes, a voice recorder, taking pictures, reading, writing/typing, and playing games all help with brain function. And let me just add, “Eating Healthy” and Living Healthy plays a good part! So with that said just know if you have sickle cell and you think your the only one that forgets all the time..your not!!
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One comment

  1. Bijou says:

    I had a perfectly good memory (in fact it was exceptional) until I had a SCA crisis and I was transfused in the ER before they pulled my medical records. My records stated that I had very particular antibodies from previous transfusions and my body could only handle very specific blood matches. My body suffered a severe transfusion reaction and as a result I was tipped into an eight day coma during which I suffered brain damage. When I came out of it I had both short and long term memory deficits that I still struggle with today. That was the end of my career and productivity (I am a degreed accountant) and my advice to all Sickle cell anemics is to know what your body can tolerate (as we are all different) and take as much control of your own health as you can in the emergency room and when talking to your physician. We do better when we do all we can not to fall sick because the climb back to full health is not guaranteed. I agree that healthy eating and staying hydrated has helped me not have frequent SCA crisises.

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