Ding Dong! The Rat Poison is Gone.

You should have “Ding dong! The witch is dead” stuck in your head now.  You’re welcome.  Just like the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz, I am thrilled that my personal wicked witch is gone.  I got the best news ever from my doctor.  My DVT is gone, and I no longer need to take Coumadin, the human life saving, rat killing blood thinner.

When I first started taking Coumadin, I thought for sure it would kill me.  This is because I Googled it as soon as it was prescribed.  Big mistake.  Go ahead.  Just for fun, do a search for “Coumadin.”  What do you see?  Um, I’m going to guess there’s a bunch of stuff about gastrointestinal hemorrhaging. Trust me; you haven’t lived until you’ve spent at least three months being on high alert for signs of this.  I will spare you the details.  You’re welcome again.

In your Internet search, you probably also found a little background information on Coumadin.  Yes, it really is rat poison – a comforting little fact that kept me on edge for the past three months.  Because it is a poison, Coumadin requires constant monitoring.  Blood levels have to be kept in a therapeutic range.  If the level is too high, you get that hemorrhaging you see online.  If it’s too low, your blood clots.  To make things super challenging, just about everything interacts with Coumadin.  So, I spent three months avoiding green vegetables (Vitamin K counteracts Coumadin) and ibuprofen, and seriously limiting my alcohol and green tea intake. While the children in Iraq aren’t exactly weeping for me, it was challenging.  As you can imagine, I am super glad to be done with Coumadin.  As with any life experience, positive or negative, I did learn a few things.

  • If you drink enough water and strong black tea, you can get rid of a headache without ibuprofen.
  • Canola oil has a load of vitamin K in it and it is in just about EVERYTHING fried or baked.
  • Canola is NOT USED to make fries at Five Guys.  Peanut oil is used instead, which was wonderful news for me, not so much for all of the people who are allergic to peanuts.  I would hate to be on Coumadin and allergic to peanuts.  I only got fries from Five Guys once while on Coumadin, but it was wonderful.
  • Red wine really does have blood-thinning properties.  I intend to use it medicinally from now on.

    It's medicine.
    It’s medicine.
  • There are a lot of green veggies in Chinese and Italian food.
  • Green tea tastes really good when you haven’t had it for three months.
  • There are thousands of people who have to take Coumadin for life due to genetic blood disorders, mechanical valves, or certain heart issues.  I don’t know how they do it.
  • Tylenol is only useful in larger doses.  Taking large doses of Tylenol is dangerous.
  • Color-coding is a great tool.  Since my dosage of Coumadin needed to change periodically, I had three different varieties of pills.  The pharmaceutical industry realizes that it could be easy to confuse the different pills, so they are colored differently, depending on the strength.  The five-milligram pills are peach, the two milligrams are blue, and the one-milligram pills are pink.  The other varieties are also different colors, but I only had fives, twos, and ones.

So, this will be my last Coumadin/DVT related blog.  I will now go back to writing about John Stamos, kittens, jeans, and whatever else irks or amuses me. You know, the serious things in life.

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