A mother bird and a baby bird with suitcases travel from a colder tree to a palm tree in the sunshine.

Tips for Parents When Relocating With a Warrior

Ready for the new journey

I am writing this article because I believe there are more parents who experience this. In February of 2022, I moved to Florida from New Jersey because of the weather. The weather in NJ was so uncomfortably cold and it made my little princess very sick. Thanks to her sickle cell, I had to immerse myself in the education system in a short time and eventually built up a very nice collaboration with the school.

Arriving in Florida, you have to start building relationships all over again: the medical team at the hematology department, the ER, the school, and many other relationships where my child's health is paramount. Slowly but surely, I started to realize that the systems are very different from each other.

We could use some tips

These are just a few important things that you as a parent should take into account so that your child can enjoy the new phase. My princess experienced our move as very pleasant, and she was allowed to help with everything. I tried to involve her in all the fun stuff so she knew exactly what the next steps would be.

What she liked most was that she could choose her own room, she was able to arrange her new room, also help choose the furniture for the house. We went to IKEA together and chose our sofa and dining table together. When she sometimes talks about the period of the move, I feel enormously grateful when I notice how positive she experienced this. Because of my own positive experiences, I would like to share these tips with you.

For parents who are planning to move, I have some tips that I would like to share to make the whole process easier. What should you take into account when you move:

  • Education
  • Medical care
  • Adapt to the new environment
  • Missing friends and family
  • The influence of traveling

Education

It is extremely important that you take the differences into account when preparing for the move. Education systems are not the same everywhere and that is why it is important that you check in advance who the contact persons are and how the system is put together.

  • Start making contact with the school beforehand
  • Collect all state reports and test results to submit to the school
  • It is very important to ensure that vaccinations are up to date
  • Ask about the conditions for enrolling a new student who comes out of state
  • Inquire about the process for creating a new 504 plan

Medical care

Medical care is one of the most important things for us as caregivers when we move. An easy switch is therefore certainly desirable, and you can prepare for that.

  • Always ask your current medical team if they can advise you which hospital has the most experience with sickle cell disease
  • Ask if people can already contact the new hospital and transfer all reports to the new hospital
  • Make contact with the sickle cell coordinator of the hematology department
  • Make an appointment for a first visit so that you can meet the team. Write down any questions you have so you don't forget important things
  • One of the most important questions that you should ask is about the ER so you know what it's like
  • Create a medical folder and write down the most important information such as HB baseline, weight, most common complaints, lab results, MRI results, Doppler test results, and of course the contact details of your current medical team, hospital name, address and telephone number
  • Make sure you have enough medication so that your warrior has a good supply until the next visit to the new team.

Adjust to the new environment

Both you and your warrior will have to adapt to the new environment. Prepare the child as best you can for the new environment.

  • Involve each other as much as possible, if there are matters that are important to know in advance, discuss them beforehand.
  • Minimize unpleasant surprises.
  • Let the move be a positive experience for your warrior so there is no negative stress
  • Accompany your warrior as much as possible so that he does not feel lonely in this new period

Missing friends and family

The move has many side effects and one of the things that comes with it is the loss of family and friends. This is an aspect that has a lot of impact on a child. Try to plan vacations as often as possible so that your warrior can return to her familiar surroundings. Thanks to technology you can now make video calls, make good use of it.

The influence of travel

When you are planning the move, also keep in mind that traveling can be tiring in itself. Calculate some extra days so that your warrior can rest well and not have to do everything in a hurry. Rest is very important.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Sickle-Cell.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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