Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Less Pill To Swallow

A couple months ago, I emailed my PH doctor about possibly getting off of Coumadin, which is a blood thinner. I've been on it for about 10 miserable years. I was put on it the first trip I made to the Cleveland Clinic, and I just really have not enjoyed being on it. So I thought I would just ask about the possibility of being on a daily baby aspirin instead. I asked my PH doctor to consult my cardiologist. And then I waited and waited for an answer.

Several weeks later, I emailed my PH doc again about another question. I just wanted to know, for the heck of it, if I'd be able to get a tattoo. I sent the email off, and again I waited.

This time, the wait wasn't as long. Within a couple days, my doc emailed back. He said he hadn't even answered my first email (duh!). He said first of all, that he had consulted with my cardiologist, and they both were not sure I needed to be on Coumadin. My mouth dropped, and quite honestly, I started shaking with happiness!! WHAT?? I was just so excited!! Then he continued on to say that secondly, I could get a tattoo as long as I was off Coumadin, and I go to a reputable place (ok, duh again, like I'm gonna go to someone in a back alley. lol). I was a bit surprised by that answer, but found it kinda cool (of course, I need to actually work up the nerve to get one, so who knows if I ever will lol)! So after my initial reactions, I realized I needed to ask for a reasoning behind why it is they think I probably shouldn't be on Coumadin in the first place. My doc wrote back saying there is no hard evidence out there saying that Coumadin works any better on Eisenmenger patients than a daily aspirin. I decided to research articles regarding this, and he was right. I had a hard time finding stuff that definitely favored one treatment over another. I also asked other Eisenmenger patients what kind of blood thinning agent they were on, if any. Results were mixed. Some were on Coumadin. Some were on regular strength aspirin, some were on a baby dose. And a few were on both. Totally not what I would want to do!! So I wrote back to my PH doc and told him that I would definitely like to try an aspirin a day, but could he please let me know what dose to go on. And then again, I continued to wait!

Last week, after finding out my cholesterol was up again, and having to increase my cholesterol med (UGH), I wrote back to my PH doc yet again to ask about the aspirin dose. I told him I wanted to get off Coumadin so I could eat more salads and lots of spinach and try other things to lower my cholesterol that I couldn't try before because of the dumb Coumadin! He finally emailed me back, and said I could do the full strength aspirin (which is 325mg). Yay!! So last Wednesday, I bought a 130 count bottle of Bufferin aspirin! I started taking it that afternoon. However, by Monday morning, I got another email from my PH doc. He told me my cardiologist wants me to take baby aspirin. UGH! After I had just bought that big bottle of the other one!! I wrote him back saying that I feel like I'm stockpiling blood thinning agents, between the leftover Coumadin and now all that aspirin! LOL! Oh well, I went out and bought a smaller bottle of aspirin to hold me over until I can go back to Walmart for more. I'm just very relieved that I won't be needing constant bloodwork anymore, which was happening more often than not while on Coumadin if my numbers were off. I don't need to watch what I'm eating anymore, either!! Whoooo hooo!!

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