After surviving a rare coronary artery dissection and massive heart attack while nine months pregnant, Nefertari has devoted her life to uplifting other heart patients and promoting heart health awareness.See all posts »
A Hard Pill to Swallow
Dealing with a chronic disease is difficult enough. It's even harder when you
have to take multiple medications.
When I was first released from the hospital with a diagnosis of heart disease I was told to come back within two days to have my Warfarin levels tested. I agreed, although I had no idea what that really meant. Upon my return, I was given a laundry list of foods that I could and could not eat.
I finally got curious enough to ask..."What is this drug and why are there so many precautions?"
I learned that Warfarin or Coumindin is a blood thinner. This is crucial to some of us who are at risk of a blood clot or a stroke.
The drug thins the blood which allows it to pass through the arteries. When the blood is thin, it is less likely to clot. You want to avoid clots because they can lead to blockages. Blockages can block blood flow to the heart which is called a heart attack, or to the brain which is called a stroke.
So the drug is important, but if not taken properly it has the potential to be dangerous. Because of this potential danger I must be monitored often to be sure that the levels of medication in my blood are just right at all times. Too much of the medicine can cause extensive bleeding while not enough medication can cause the blood to clot which can lead to a heart attack.
But then I found a short cut! I can go into the doctor's office a few times per month and have my finger pricked instead of the typical "blood test". The nurse can give me my numbers right there on the spot and instruct me as to how much or little medicine I should take.
This makes life SO much easier. I no longer have to drive out of town to a lab and wait hours for the test and then a day for the results. Now my levels are monitored near home and I feel safe and confident that the medicine is working for me to help prevent another heart attack!
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