Merry Christmas and Happy New Years! I spent last Christmas in ICU so this year the party is on. :-)
Warfarin (Coumadin) Biggest Bad Rap Medication on The Market
Journal posted on December 20, 2015
Warfarin's bad rap was started with it being formally used as rat poison. The fact is it is as safe if not safer than the newer xa inhibitor anticoagulants and the only anticoagulant approved by the FDA for people that have a Mechanical Heart Valve. The xa inhibitor anticoagulants actually have caused more bleeding deaths annually than Warfarin. Now, all that said if you plan on playing football, skiing, mountain climbing, participating in dangerous activities that might cause head bumps, or a young woman wanting to get pregnant pass on it. The fact is all anticoagulants (new and old) would kill rats by internal bleeding in high doses. As far as diet there is very little change. OTC and Prescribed meds affect it more than anything and becomes the biggest hassle other than the once a month inr lab work that is a must. Overall I will rate it 6 stars out of 10 after being on it for 1 year. :-)
This is my recovery team, Missy Carter. She is a 12 yo Rat Terrier. When I got her 12 years ago she would fit in my hand, she is about 7 lbs. now. We log in about 20-25 miles a week walking. We have gone as far as 9 miles at one time.
Heart Surgery Check In
Journal posted on November 23, 2015
This is what I don't understand, so many people on here say that they don't report into the hospital until the morning of surgery. With infections rampant at hospitals after surgery this doesn't sound right. I had my surgery at the V.A. Medical Center Dallas, Tx. and they had me check in the day before surgery. I had orientation, talked to my surgeon, was put into a room, had a good meal and a 11 pm snack. At 4 am a male nurse woke me up, cleaned my body 3 times and put a new gown on me and clean sheets. At 6 am I was wheeled into the operating room clean and fresh. Nothing breeched. It just seems like you are cleaner like this than washing at a hotel or home and driving to the hospital the morning of surgery. It seems like there is more room for your body or chest to pick up bacteria. Do they do this because insurance will only pay so much? Also they move most folks out in a few days which sounds too soon. I have had surgeries such as hernia where I was supposed to clean myself and report to the hospital the morning of surgery. But that was a 4" incision. not a 12" incision like ohs. Let me hear from folks how ya'll did it the morning of ohs. I would also like to hear from doctors on here as to why this is done.
INR Stabilization and Encouragement to New Warfarin Users
Journal posted on November 17, 2015
I know this might not mean much to most but it is meant to encourage new post op mechanical valve patients having trouble with warfarin getting inr stable and having various bleeds. I am 11 mo. post op on mech. valve and vein graft. At first I had trouble with my inr being stable, had uncontrollable nose bleeds, and a subdural hematoma which resulted in head surgery and 10 days in icu. All of this was due to my body getting used to warfarin and my refusal to make some needed lifestyle changes. I had to get lab work weekly and wait for 2 hours to see the doctor for results. Now 11 mo. later my inr is stable (2.0-3.5) which might not sound stable but it is on warfarin. I go to the V.A. Hospital every three weeks now between 6am and 12 noon at my convenience, get blood drawn, go home and wait for the pro time clinic to call with my results. I know this doesn't sound like much to most but after 3 hour visits at the hospital getting inr checked every 1 or 2 weeks for 11 mo. I'm extremely happy with it. So my message to new warfarin users hang in there, listen to pro time doctors, make the lifestyle changes needed and it will get better. Warfarin is safe if used correctly, if not used correctly it will bite you in your butt, it is just a matter of time. Being alive and healthy is so much better than hanging on to bad habits that are just killing you. :-)
The Big Man says GIT-R-DONE so what are you waitin' on?
Update posted on...
September 25, 2015
10 + mo. recovery and it's been a long road. Numerous complications, even life threatening complications. Now all the pain is gone, the complications are gone along with the thoughts of them. Went to the pro-time clinic yesterday and my inr was a perfect 3.5. Life is good and I don't even think about my mech. valve and vein graft anymore. It is a no subject, and yes I would do it again if needed! :-)
So guys and gals don't give up, it will get better and it will soon become a very distant memory.
I start bridging on Lovenox injections in the tummy Sunday for a groin hernia surgery on the 28th of this month. I will have to give myself injections for 2 weeks. Bridging def: Stop warfarin use 5 days before surgery, the third morn. start injections, re- start warfarin after surgery and continue injections for 1 week after surgery until you have your inr checked, if your inr is too low continue injections until it is right. I was just wondering if anyone here has had to bridge, this is my second time, its really no big deal.
I thought that I would share this with people that may be starting Warfarin or only a couple of months out. I have been on Warfarin now for 8 mo. and have had my fair share of problems (most caused by myself).
I went to the V.A. today to get my lab work done to get INR numbers. It was perfect at 3.1. My range for the Carbomedics Carbo-Seal valve that I have is 2.5 - 3.5. The doctor that saw me today at the Pro-Time clinic knows me well and she was training another young woman. She started bragging about me how straight I was now and was telling her about all I have been through. I told the trainee there are 2 kinds of people on Warfarin, the ones that straighten their lives up and live 25 years, or the ones that don't and die quickly. Lets face it, Warfarin is probably one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. That is why the Gov. has set up anticoagulation clinics (Pro-Time) at every V.A. Hospital. Taken right under supervision it will do exactly what it is supposed to do (delay clotting of your blood). Taken while smoking, drinking heavily, and not watching your diet it will put you 6 foot under quickly.
Which brings me around to what this journal is all about. While I was smoking and dipping snuff my numbers were crazy and I had 2 trips to ER for nose bleeds that would not stop, and 1 ER (10 days in ICU) for a blood clot and brain bleed which took an operation to stop the bleeding and drain the blood (life saving). So if anyone can preach about the woes of this drug it is me. The whole point of this journal is to warn and educate people on Warfarin. The only way that life long users such as myself will live 25 yrs. is to straighten up and go without some of lifes pleasures. Me, I would rather live a dull life and live rather than live fast and loose and die in 6 mo. If this helps 1 person deal with Warfarin better and live longer, then it will accomplish its purpose.
I told the surgeon that he messed my tattoo up.. And he replied, Well we will have to cut you open again to fix it. I replied.. Thats alright doc, It looks just fine!
It's a long hard ride, but it's worth it!
Journal posted on June 2, 2015
Glad to be here folks with other heart patients. Recovery is a long road so don't believe your doctors when they say you will be recovered in 6-8 weeks. It is more like 4-5 months or longer. :) I had a Carbomedics Carbo-Seal put in on Dec. 18, 2014 at the VA Hospital Dallas Tx. by Dr. Harrell Lightfoot. 5 mo. later i'm still recovering and I was a construction worker before the operation and 57 years young. God bless all of you, and I hope you all live a long life after your heart surgery.