For my fellow loopies that don’t have clotting issues or APS… After my initial blood clot and because of several episodes before that, my doctors determined that I needed to be on Coumadin (aka Warfarin) , a blood thinner, for an extended period of time. With most clotting episodes (those without autoimmune issues) the patient is kept on the meds for 3-6 months to allow the clot to dissolve. In my case it will probably be for life. So in comes the issue of monitoring – frankly, Coumadin is a poison that if left unmonitored can possibly cause life threatening problems such as hemorrhaging. But with regular monitoring – INR checkups – one could potentially be ok on it for life.
Insert monthly checkups here… That is if your INR is stable. Which – lucky me – mine is not. So because my body can’t seem to regulate the meds – my INR fluctuates and I have been going in for checkups every week or every other week. Not easy with a busy schedule like mine. Unfortunately monitoring INR isn’t as easy as monitoring a diabetics glucose – although the machines do look pretty similar and the method is the same, a finger prick. INR machines are still very expensive (talking a couple thousand).
Today’s INR was OK. The range for a person not on Coumadin can very but is usually around the 1 area (I think). The range for a person on Coumadin therapy is between 2 and 3. My INR today was 2.1 – just barely in the range. Personally I feel better when it is closer to 3, less headaches, less tingling sensations in my legs, less lupus fog. But getting my doctor to agree/be comfortable at the level has been a battle.
Is anyone else reading this on Coumadin therapy? What does your INR normally run? And do you feel better/more comfortable at higher levels too?