So, I finally got discharged this past Monday. It came as a bit of a surprise, actually. I’d been taking Coumadin (in addition to the Heparin drip they’d immediately put me on) since Thursday evening to thin my blood. The hope was to get the thickness of my blood from a 1 to between 2 and 3. I was under the impression that I wouldn’t get to go home until that happened.
On Sunday it had finally crept up to 1.3. Monday morning I was told that it had gone back down to 1.1. What?! Apparently blood’s thickness is very susceptible to diet and the day before I had inadvertently eaten some leafy greens, which are the full of vitamin K, which is the antidote for thin blood. So it was almost like having to start over and I thought, “They’re never letting me out of here!”
But fairly quickly after that I saw a swift succession of doctors, nurses, and techs who all indicated that since I basically felt fine and had passed my little P.T. test on my crutches (oh, remember THAT medical incident? Still can’t put any weight on my left foot!) they were preparing to discharge me … with a prescription for Lovenox that would hopefully kick start the effect of the Coumadin. Lovenox, by the way, is injected into your belly. (More on that in a minute!) The nurse gave me my first shot with a higher dose of Coumadin, and let me go.
So I got home late Monday afternoon and despite my feelings of having been on a vacation, it was certainly great to be back in MY home. Heather had cleaned, aired, and spruced it up the day before and the weather had gotten a little cooler (with MUCH lower humidity) so I was quite comfortable.
The BEST part, obviously, was the shower – a full week overdue!! I took my merry old time and finally got to properly shave my poor old atrophied leg (they wouldn’t give me a razor in the hospital because of the blood thinners; I’ll have to be very careful for the next 6 months). The second best part was getting to sleep in the next morning way past 5:30 with no rude awakening (literally) via needle jab (into arms that look a bit like a drug users!).
That afternoon I had to go back to the hospital to have my blood checked again (so I didn’t escape the needle jab for long!) at the Coumadin Clinic. Not knowing exactly where that was we asked the information desk in the main lobby and were told it was “just around the corner.” In reality, it was around the corner … and another corner … and another corner … and ANOTHER corner … and then down a long corridor. CAN’T YOU SEE I’M ON CRUTCHES HERE?!?! Amazingly, (truly) I was barely winded by the time I got there so thank God for even a little thinner blood!
Speaking of which, my blood was still at 1.1!! Apparently I’m not just thick-waisted, thick-boned, thick-headed, and thick-skinned, I’m thick-blooded as well! Seriously, my body is NOT quick to change – it loves hanging on to the status quo (some evolutionary holdover, I suppose, that probably served my ancestors well but is starting to tick me off!). So I was told to double up on the Coumadin and come back on Friday.
Then I got to go home and give myself my first injection of the Lovenox. I know diabetics do this all the time but it was a first for me. The actual insertion of the needle doesn’t really hurt; it’s the psychological mind game you have to play with yourself to willingly stick that needle into your flesh! I did it, and everything was fine … until I read the ingredients of Lovenox, which are derived from porcine intestinal mucosa. I’m no scientist but to me that sounds like snotty pig innards. LOVELY! No wonder my blood wants to stay thick … look what it’s having to contend with!