So – the good news… I’ve been out of my boot for 3 weeks and I’m finally feeling a little healing going on! I went for a walk the other day and I had no foot pain. A little achyness when I was done, but according to my doctor, that’s okay. I walked for about 15 minutes each way with my kids to get ice cream, so there was about a 15 minute break between walks.
YAY! Progress. Finally.
The ball of my foot still feels tight and inflamed, but I’m stretching it out and using a joint pain relieving essential oil twice a day.
And the more complicated news – I went for 2 separate blood draws to follow up on my clot. After the first draw, I was told to continue my Coumadin (4mg 1x a day) and go for another draw that day (there was a weekend and a holiday in there, the two blood draws were 5 days apart).
Upon follow up from my doctor, he asked me to come in to see him. Turns out my blood was not responding at all to the Coumadin.
I’m not sharing any of this information to give anyone medical advice, but here’s what my test showed (please consult your own medical practitioner for advice):
The key tests for monitoring the blood thinners are the INR and the Prothrombin Time – I think the INR is actually a ratio that includes the Prothrombin time, but don’t quote me on that.
Anyway, the first test (7/3/14) showed my INR at 1.0 and the second (7/8/14) was 1.2. Normal INR on Coumadin should be between 2 and 3. Mine was no where close.
The problem is likely that I wasn’t doing a good job of managing my Vitamin K intake. I thought I was keeping my intake pretty consistent, but I eat a lot of leafy green veggies, nuts and eggs. But, I was told it was okay as long as it was consistent each day.
My doctor basically said that Coumadin is an amazing drug that can save lives. But, it’s also dangerous and can kill you. He was concerned that I was still in a dangerous spot and at risk for another clot.
So, he recommended a new medication – Xarelto. Since I don’t need to be on blood thinners for the long term, this new medication (in his opinion) is better for my situation. Not only do I not need any blood work follow ups, but there is also no food interaction. So, I can eat a spinach salad every day if I choose to.
It’s very weird to go from a place where my blood needed testing every 5 days to nothing. Nada. I go back to the doctor in 3 months.
I started the Xarelto on Thursday, just about 2 weeks after the blood clot was diagnosed. I did experience some headaches over the weekend (a side effect of the Xarelto is migraines), but my body seems to have leveled out. I’m taking a small dose 2x a day for 3 weeks and then a larger dose 1x a day for 2 months.
One night last week I was woken up with a small cramp in my right calf (the DVT was in my left). It wasn’t the most painful leg cramp ever, but it just lingered. It was in a deep spot at the back of my shin bone and it was still achy for the next few days. I started wearing compression socks to do what I could. That’s also what prompted me to go for a walk the other day – I thought the exercise would be good and it was. My headaches have lessened and my calf has mellowed out.
So, that’s where I am. Finally feeling pretty normal. I’m going to keep up the short walk regimen (I took my dogs out last night for about 20 minutes) and my foot seems happy. I’ve got more range of motion in my toe joints with all the stretching, so that’s great news.
Thanks for reading and thank you to everyone who has checked in on me. I do appreciate it.
Weren’t my pups cute as we hung out eating ice cream?