Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm a Bruiser, Baby...

One of the perks of having Coronary Artery Disease is getting to take not one, but two different anticoagulant medications. Anticoagulants are taken to thin your blood and prevent clots from forming. This is handy if, like me, you have a problem with such things. I once had two large blood clots in my heart, but thanks to the magical world of anticoagulation, they are gone. My current regimen consists of the medication Coumadin topped off with one baby Asprin.

My Cardiologist wants my blood thin like water.

The flip side of anticoagulation therapy is that, well, sometimes blood clotting is a good thing. Like if you cut yourself. I knew I was in trouble the first time I went to the pharmacy counter to buy the Asprin along with the Coumadin:

"Does your doctor know you're taking Asprin?"

"Yes"

"Does he know you're taking Coumadin?"

"That's his name on the pill bottle. I certainly hope so."

*stare*

*return stare*

"Ok then" *rings me up*

So basically I have to be extremely careful around sharp objects. One enthusiastic welcome home from the dogs and I look like I've been in a fist fight. As a result of this and my lousy sense of balance, I am often covered with bruises.

Yesterday I received perhaps my most creative bruise to date. I was leaning over to give Scout a hug on the couch when Lucy decided she was ready to rumble. Upon Lucy's attack, Scout snapped her head back and cracked her skull against my forehead. Sigh. Now I have a nice goose egg to accessorize my dress for the wedding I'm attending on Saturday. Nice.

I'll leave you with a visual (slightly graphic, sorry). This is a picture of my arm upon returning home from one of my hospital stays in Arizona. Because I have a dialysis fistula in my left arm, that makes it off limits for any IVs or blood draws. This on top of dehydration and having weakened veins from hundreds (thousands? I've lost track) of prior needle sticks makes my right arm not the best target. I think they had tried 18 different IV sites here and a good 20 or so blood draws: