I am having an extremely frustrating experience with Coumadin, generic name Warfarin. I have been taking it since I got out of the hospital on November 8th (so nearly 2 months now) and increasing the dosage every Wednesday when I go to the Hematologist and have my INR taken. The INR is a finger stick blood test and stands for International Normalized Ratio which tests for how fast your blood is clotting. Normal is between 2-3 for my diagnosis and I know I had to stay in the hospital when I had the pulmonary emboli until I was within that level but as soon as I got out it went down except for 1 week when I was over 3. The higher the number, the higher the risk of bleeding. My number has been 1 – 1.3 all this time which means my clots are not being dissolved on this therapy so my risk for recurrence of them remains high. I have done everything they have told me to do. Every week there are elaborate dosage plans such as 5mg on M W F and 2.5 the other days and so on. As of yesterday when I still measured a 1.2 I was increased to 7.5mg every day. At the level I am at new clots can form and obviously that would be a complete disaster. This medicine is killing my stomach much like steroids and even NSAIDs do and so I have to take protonix along with it to protect that and it finally feels better after over 2 weeks back on protonix. I ran out and didn’t realize it was making such a big difference until my stomach felt like it was tearing in half and I was living on bananas and toast. I had been avoiding vitamin K high foods but have recently read that I am better off to keep some in my diet maybe 3 times week. These foods include the green leafy salads I have always loved. I have avoided them since they can reduce my INR and it is so low anyway. The link to info about vitamin K and Coumadin:
I have an appointment with the doctor next week and am planning to ask if I can just go on the Xarelto at this point like he wanted to do last month. Since it works differently I won’t have to go to their office for these blood tests every week anymore because there is no way to test for the level of it in a person’s system like you can with Coumadin (which by the way is mild rat poisoning according to my doctor). I found a co-pay card online for it so it won’t cost the $40 as originally told to me, I pay no more than $25. If you are in need of one yourself here is the link: https://www.activatethecard.com/Xarelto/
Click on enroll now, answer a few questions and print it out. I faxed it over to my pharmacy to make things easier later.
Anyway, this is the story of what it is like trying to survive pulmonary emboli. I am still having some issues with pain after the surgery so have also been referred to a pain management doctor at Southeastern Spine Institute. I see him January 22nd. I am hoping we can find a way for me to have less pain on a day to day basis but also by taking fewer meds. Evenutally I am really hoping for no meds but for now I can live with fewer. I am and will remain optimistic, thanks for reading as always!