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Not Out Of The Woods...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Well, I have certainly fared better than I feared and am back home, but there are some "kickers" I didn't know when I wrote my last blog which have been hard to deal with:

Having to give myself belly injections of (forget what it's called) to prevent clots for the next 10 days. Me? Give myself injections? The guy who finally screwed up enough courage to go donate blood? Well...did it, will keep doing it. How ironic that getting up the courage for a single needle stick to donate blood should lead to this!

Worse yet: going on Coumadin for the next three months while we see if I can avoid converting back into this weirdo atrial flutter. If I get through that time frame okay the Coumadin can stop.

Okay, with the Coumadin comes the Vitamin K restriction...bye bye leafy greens, broccoli and a lot of my favorite staples which have helped me to avoid higher calorie options!

Oh and I'm to ease up on workouts. No real definition of what that involves. The nurse suggested nothing much more than walking for the next several weeks to begin with.

And with the Coumadin I am going to have to be EXTREMELY careful about lumps, bumps, scrapes and cuts. Well this ol' klutz is ALWAYS getting those things! How does a body live one's life fearful of the slightest bump...? How do I get on a bike and zip down hills at 35 mph like I usually do just commuting to work? Cross that off my list...

So perhaps I'm not the enfeebled, doddering old coot with the pacemaker (oh, and pacemaker remains a possibility lurking in the dark should I convert back to the atrial flutter) that I had feared, but I'm going to have to slow WAY down which is going to have to mean EXTREME caution on the food end of things...my weakest link is going to be tested!

Some folks have shared positive pacemaker stories, which I appreciate, being totally new to the concept which may yet be visited on me at a later date.

I want to entomb myself into a protective bubble for the next three months until I'm off the Coumadin. I am so paranoid about bleeding out due to a reckless move! No cycling outdoors for me until this is cleared. I will return to the spin bike as my cardiologist allows. But only walking for now.

Ugh...where did that new inspiration and resolve evaporate to?!?

This is going to be one helluva test!

Wish me luck and a lot of fortitude!

A thought I've had which I'm hoping I can turn into action is to explore yoga as a quieter, safer option for workouts. We'll see what I can do with that notion.

The other is to rededicate myself to getting to swing dance more faithfully each week, even if it IS on the other side of the county and gas is running at top dollar...!

Taking tomorrow off to get more settled into my routine, hook up with the Coumadin blood draw so they can properly adjust my dose.

Thank you, THANK YOU everybody for your SUPER support!

Going to do my best to make the most of this and grow through this experience!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Would you be able to do strength training a few times a week (carefully)?
    Or stretch bands maybe? emoticon emoticon
    You are in thought and prayer emoticon emoticon
    1879 days ago
    Great to hear from you, DON.

    I sincerely wish you luck and fortitude with your helluva test. My money is on you. Your good sense and "good heart" will get you through this.

    I am wearing my Fitbit and walking, while I pack up our belongings that are not pretty, in preparation for our move to TN. We will live in our house while it is being shown to potential buyers, so the realtor wants only the pretty things to be seen. LOL!

    My dancing is on hold, while I serve as expediter for repair work to be done before we list, probably in about 4 more weeks. The work never seems to end, and I am tired. Plus, I managed to recover from walking pneumonia, in the midst of all of this fun stuff.

    Today is the DH's final day at work. He's probably going to be an emotional mess, since he has worked with these people for so long. I'm taking things easy today, to prepare for his retirement party.

    I'll be in touch, to cheer for your perseverance and patience during your current challenge.

    I may be a candidate fo4 a pig valve one day, and I'm trying to pace myself and outive the need for one.

    We shall overcome.

    1881 days ago
    Wow! This is a very difficult situation and it's typically Don to be facing all kinds of restrictions with humour and resolve and . . . candour too. Tough tough tough.

    Atrial fibrillation . . . possible pacemaker . . . restrictions on your kind of exercise . . . restrictions on your fave leafy greens: that's a lot. Hunker down, stay safe, try yoga, maybe pilates, maybe some weight training? Good ol' stationary bike?

    Not fun, not fun, not fun. Only: better than the alternatives.

    All best, Don. I'll be sending healing thoughts your way.
    1888 days ago
  • JLITT62
    None of it will be easy - but you CAN do it. You can do anything you set your mind to.

    Yoga is AWESOME.
    1889 days ago
  • BILL60
    Don, you're gonna talk about this in about a year and laugh at sticking yourself in the tummy with injections. BTW, can you knock out some push-ups??
    1890 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    so sorry to hear about all these issues.......
    what awesome luck to have this found and treated so quickly!!!
    my dh had a large clot in his thigh........
    he was on meds for almost a year...
    as he stabilized the frequency of blood work slowed and the meds stayed on target more often.....so soon you will be able to get back to your past norms...
    take care you can do this......just believe you can and you will...
    praying all continues to go well for you....
    blessings and hugs.............lita

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1890 days ago
    Would your doctor let you do aquatic exercises?
    1890 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Hi Don, thanks for the goodie! Got to say, you have nasty Dr.'s making you inject. I was on blood thinners a few times after bone surgery to prevent clots and it was always pills because it was rat poison (also known as warfarin). No one gets paper cuts like I do, and while they took a long time to heal, never bled all that much. The other one (coumadin is no different really then the rat stuff). I have to get gut injections weekly of my humira, but got out of doing it myself because my hands and fingers are shot with only two usable fingers (and the thumb dislocated).
    So you like dance -ever thought of Zumba (I am such an addict), maybe its closer- they do all kinds of dance moves mixed in with the fitness (but you don't have to do any of the high impact stuff which isn't all that much) I have to admit I will never be able to tango my feet simply do not compute that :P I did like the swing stuff though, that was more straightforward.
    You will have to do a google search -fruits and veggies without Vit K (that is one thing I was never told to avoid -they must have you on a high dose or something) Good luck with it -who knows, maybe you will find a new fruit or veggie you really like..
    I always hated having exercise layoffs from my favorites..hope you find you enjoy trying the yoga and don't forget pilates -is a bit more challenging- and you gents should have to work your core too and see how it feels ;)
    All the best!
    1890 days ago
    Good night nurse! What a shock! We've been out in the southwest with spotty signals so I missed your original blog and had to catch up. I'm sure glad things worked out to catch this before it was too late! Best wishes for handling it with your usual success!! emoticon

    Cindy in New Mexico (today)
    1890 days ago
  • DEBRA0818
    Reports of your escape were a little overstated, I guess, but I know you can make these changes (though I know you exercise pretty hard). My husband is on a blood thinner and cuts himself every weekend (he's a big DIY guy). The cuts take longer to clot, but they do clot. So, be careful, but not too paranoid. All will be well.

    1890 days ago
  • _VALEO_
    Sorry to hear about what you've been going through lately, but discovering it when donating blood may have saved your life.
    Cant' someone or a nurse come home for your injections?

    I am very confident that you will find a new routine, and everything will be just fine.

    1890 days ago
  • LIZZYP609
    Don, I missed the original blog so I had to go back and catch up. Wow!
    Keep up the positive attitude. It is ok to be scared! You will get through this like a champ! I'll be throwing a word up to the heavens for you! emoticon
    1890 days ago
    Sorry to hear the rough time you are going through and my prayers and thoughts are with you. As I read your posts, I believe that you are a very determined man who will not let this or anything stop you from living the life you want to. This is just a small set back for now. Keep your spirits up and no negative thinking. Remember we are all here for you. You are not alone. emoticon
    1890 days ago
    Don , I am so sorry that you are going through such a tough experience. You have good concerns about coumadin, understandable that you need to reorganize your workout habits and really pay attention to your nutrients. Both of my parents are on coumadin, it is a lifestyle change , one that both my husband and I know well as he is up for Heart Transplant. You do this ! You have come this far and I certain that you will find the correct fit for you. Please take care of yourself - Karen emoticon
    1891 days ago
    Wowsers what a story. Just read this post and the previous one and am a bit surprised. That is one low heart rate. Glad it is back to normal, but yes, coumadin can be a real pain. My husband's brother I think is on it for awhile now as after knee surgery he had a blood clot in his leg. Yeah, the cutting back on leafy veggies and stuff is annoying. Hope everything works out for you. Quite annoying I am sure this experience is. Oh, and when it comes to pace makers, they really are a modern miracle and you can live a very normal life with one. Running, exercising, etc.
    1891 days ago
    Don, I have been on Coumadin since 2005 (pulmonary emboli, ambulance trip, 6 days in hospital - first 3 I don't remember). I will be on it for life.
    I saw where you said give up leafy greens. I was told no. I was told figure out exactly how much I can have and do it daily...1/2 cup broccoli, 8 brussel sprouts, 2 cups romaine (one at a time not all together) and consistently eat them. You must measure. (I have to measure foods anyway for food intake so no biggie). There are lots of other vegetables you can have that won't mess you up so much. Tomatoes, Carrots, cauliflower, green beans for starters.
    I was told there is Vitamin K in everything. Even water. If you are consistent, the nurse or doctor you report to for the INR testing can raise or lower your dose. Stay consistent. Don't let this freak ya out. You can do this.
    I had to give myself belly shots before I had my cancer surgery last spring. and in July 2005 for another surgical procedure. Not fun, but do-able. Hey, that's awesome you can give yourself shots. You will be a pro after 10 days.
    I am glad there is a possibility of you getting off after 3 months.
    DON'T forget a dose. That's the hardest for me. I take it at the same time every day (after work) and I put one week at a time in a pill bottle so its easier to count and make sure I took it. The rest are locked in the cabinet so my grandkids don't get them.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1891 days ago
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