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[Health] Survived yet another hospital stay.
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Peter_C Offline

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Post: #1
Survived yet another hospital stay.
Unlike some people, I have never 'broken' a leg, or any other rather common body part. I always seem to to the weird stuff instead. I've very bad on dates, but basically this is what went down...

I woke up one morning with severe pain magically in my left thigh in back. Either someone beat on me while I was sleeping, or else I had one of those mystical events where you hurt yourself simply by resting. So, OK, I am not one to go to a DR every time something happens, but some 2-3 days later it had gotten much worse, was now bruising, and the swelling was both worse and moving down my leg.

Go to the ER, they check my INR (am on blood thinners) it was fine at 2.7, did a test looking for a "DVT" - a blood clot in the leg - nothing showed. So the Doc said go home and check with my PCP in 3 days if it doesn't feel better. What happened I asked? I could see it in his (young) 32yr old eyes, so I said, let me guess, a case of an old guy hurting himself while sleeping? (I'm 51) - He said he couldn't really comment and left. So home I went.

A few days pass, everything swelling, bruising, pain is getting worse - to the point of not being able to cope with it. Back to the ER we went. Redid the prior tests, and took blood for other 'standard' tests.

Bingo, we have a winner! No idea how it relates to my thigh, but turns out I am anemic and must be admitted post-haste!


I wrote the following on 12/31/2013 on my FaceBook page:

I was sent home late Tuesday eve. There are three issues
(1)-what is wrong with me? Anemic due to blood thinners and other meds being taken, caused me to score a very high INR a few weeks back While the INR is now at 'therapy' levels, I lost too much blood internally-score of 8.2 (11.5 to 12.5 is the goal for my age, sex, etc), so one pint of whole blood given, which by noon Tuesday brought me to '9.6' so to home I could go - must follow-up with my PCP of course
Downside - I can no longer take my two 325mg of aspirin daily, nor may I take my 200mg of Celebrex daily until such a time that my PCP will allow it-it's a *BIG* deal to me as while weak and lame, they are/were the only NSAIDs I was allowed to take while being on blood thinners - so my OA, etc will make itself more known to me-no other options at this point.
(2)-OK, but what about the swelling/bruising of my entire left leg? The 'bruising' itself is a simple by-product of being on blood thinners, and being at too high of a level. No one has explained to my satisfaction the 'why' or 'how come' of the massive ongoing swelling of my entire left leg (started with pain and mild tightness of back of left thigh when I woke the morning of the 19th [am bad on dates]) as it worsened (thinking blood clot) we went to the ER the first time. INR checked (2.7 - fine) scan for DVTs - none found, basically told "ya, you must have slept funny, it should start to feel better in a few days.".
So, again? Why? How come? What was the actual cause? How do we keep this from happening again?
(3)-I have a very cool PCP that I've been seeing for 20+ years now. He knows that I have neither health care or money, and tries very hard to order tests, discuss results, make needed changes, etc over the phone, inter-office message system, etc. All that said, cost cannot (his words) be a part of any diagnosis, or any health decision. So, let's talk long-term here? Putting me on blood thinners for life (for most/many people) is no big deal, but it really *IS* for me, as first off it limits way too many good low-cost drugs that successfully treat my constant pain. Pain meds is another way, as is surgery to the damaged/ruined joint (what about hands?? Anyone??)
When is "Quality of life" allowed to enter the picture? Yup, I know, I whine a lot, and there really are people worse off than me, and don't forget the staving children everywhere!

Anyhow, it's late, I hurt, I am whining, and just wasted 2-9 minutes of your time (depending upon reading speed) while crying about *my* lost,wasted, poorly managed, time.


So, now it's the evening of the 4th - Saturday. My lovely wife states the bruising is fading, and the leg is a bit smaller overall, but I can't *feel* any improvement. It hurts to sit or to stand, and laying only on my right side provides any comfort.

Sure, I can drug myself to sleep, but that isn't the point - I want to get better, and learn what the hell actually happened here??!! Dont-know

Fresh blood work is scheduled for Tuesday, I also happen to see my Pain Doc on Tuesday - he's gonna be thrilled to hear they stopped the only NSAIDs I could possibly take. I've gotten a small taste of my future a day or two ago when the first knuckles of 3 fingers on both hands felt like someone was hitting them with little hammers all the time.

Right now my 'quality of life' is no where near where it ought to be, nor is my mindset. Very much into the poor pity me stage at the moment...

*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional. My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
01-04-2014 07:21 PM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Survived yet another hospital stay.
were your white and red blood cells normal in your blood work? sorry that this has happened to you and sorry that the doctor hasn't tried to find out what was causing this when you went to the ER.
01-04-2014 07:45 PM
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Peter_C Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Survived yet another hospital stay.
The fact that I am/was 'anemic' tells me my red blood cell count was too low.

One of the possible side effects of being on blood thinners is your blood becoming 'too thin', making very easy for you to bleed internally. So, the thinking goes is I became anemic due to internal bleeding caused by my INR (how think my blood is) going way too high - the goal for INR is between 2.0 and 3.0, lower is thicker, higher is thinner. Back on the 26th of NOV my INR was '4.54', I was told to stop taking my blood thinners and to get retested the next Fri, and to not do anything until I heard otherwise. my INR was 2.7 that Friday (good), but I was not contacted until the following Monday which meant that by the time I restarted my blood thinners on Monday, I was much lower. At that point I was told to go back to my regular testing schedule of every four weeks, because I am rather OCD - to me that meant my next testing date was to be 12/24/2013 - but I went to the ER on Monday the 23rd for the first time - INR on that date was again, 2.7.

My big concern right now, is did this all happen due to my INR spiking, or is something else going on? (no one can tell me).
I do understand the bruising is an affect of my blood being 'too thin' (INR too high).

But what is the cause of the crazy swelling? Is it simply the swelling that is causing the high pain levels, or is something else doing that?

I would be a happy camper is someone could answer (in small easy to understand words) the above questions for me, even if the answer is 'we think', or 'maybe, but we're not sure' - but instead they all talk past it and do not give me any answers...

I am really bent that they decide now to yank two meds that I have been taking all this time that will simply make my daily life worse - if they were gonna cause an issue, would they not have done so 2+ years ago when we settled on all these meds?

*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional. My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
01-05-2014 06:48 AM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Survived yet another hospital stay.
I am not a medical person but I can, in my nonmedical mind, understand the aspirin also thins our blood. Maybe you can call your doc and tell him what you were told, especially since he has been your doc for 20 years or so. Maybe he will say take lower dose of aspirin or cut out the aspirin and maybe decrease the mg of the Celebrex until your next check. These are suggestions and ideas for you to think about b/c honestly, I don't have a clue how all of this works. I do want to say that I noticed you weren't posting but I presumed it was due to the holiday. Hope you get all of this straightened out.
01-05-2014 09:36 AM
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robysue Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Survived yet another hospital stay.
Peter,

Sounds like you've really been through the wringer.

I think it is well worth asking the doc who prescribed the blood thinners about whether that medication's dosing can be changed and whether there are alternative blood thinners out there that may have less "spiking" for you. Maybe fine tuning the blood thinner medicine will eventually allow you to start taking the aspirin or Celebrex again.

As hard as it is to do, I think you need to try to get the pain doc and the doc who prescribed the blood thinners talking directly with each other. You clearly have two different medical conditions going on and the treatment for each of them seems to be adversely affecting the treatment of the other condition.
01-05-2014 01:20 PM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Survived yet another hospital stay.
Wondering how you are doing Peter_C
01-08-2014 05:13 AM
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Peter_C Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Survived yet another hospital stay.
Saw the Pain Doc yesterday, and had more blood work done. FYI - my Pain Doc and my PCP do talk to each other (yay me), and share results, etc... It's like my PCP is my 'quarterback', and he hands the ball to someone else for a while and then gets back all the info - bout the only part of this entire process that has kept me sane!

As both the aspirin ans celebrex increase the risk of bleeding, and because I am having 'bleeding issues' - they took me off, and will not put me back on. "Better to live and hurt, than to not hurt and bleed out"...

Left leg is still very swollen, but the bruising is going down. Still can't sit in a chair for more than 15-20 minutes at a time (so not much posting).

*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional. My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
01-08-2014 05:37 PM
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