(Rolling Stones reference)
With this Coumadin thing, I have to watch out for bleeding. It is designed to allow you to stay home while you recover from blood clots, which is a great thing, as I have a certain antipathy for hospitals.
It is a blood thinner, as we have already talked about. I have to go in weekly and get checked out by OncoMan and his staff for levels of something or other, and this means more sticks, more vials, and then some adjustments. I went from 5mg to 2.5, then back to 5mg, for example, in the span of three weeks. Interesting.
And they tell you, right up front, if you have any sort of bleeding, even the kind you might normally expect, like bleeding from the gums after brushing your teeth, call the doctor immediately.
Well, um, I didn’t quite do it that way.
My wife has been out of town (home now to take care of my sorry ass), and so I have been left to my own nonchalant devices.
The other night I brushed my teeth prior to going to bed, as I do, and remember coming out to the den to show my son the blood in my teeth. I thought it was kind of neat, and I also like reminding him of what his foolish smoking can do to him eventually.
But I washed it all away, rinsed and gargled it all away, and went to bed.
The next morning, I woke, I went to the kitchen for that first bit of hydration, and noticed I had what looked like feces on my right hand, both the outside and the inside. This sort of freaked me out, to be honest, as I do not have that sort of relationship with feces. I live in the suburbs, after all.
I washed it off of my hand, still concerned, and gargled a bit, and spit out MORE of what looked like feces. Now, I know that I do not have that relationship with feces, and I was starting to suspect strongly that this was dried blood. I turned around, looked into the mirror in the kitchen (I like mirrors in every room, so that I can look at myself :)), and sure enough, there was blood all over the lower half of my face.
This was troublesome, to say the least.
Back in my bedroom, I noted that my pillow and my sheet had some blood on them, and then noticed that my sweatshirt, worn the night before, also had a bit of blood on it.
I had been bleeding for some time during the night, and apparently was bothered enough while sleeping that I swept it away with my hand more than once. But did not wake up.
When my wife called to let us know she was up in PA and doing fine, my son the narc told her about this, and she urged me to go to the ER immediately. Since I was no longer bleeding, I could see no benefit in this and refused that call.
She understood. I was somewhat surprised. I have not bled since.
Brushing my teeth has become a somewhat scary experience 🙂 but I think I am up for the dangers.
I am confident OncoMan will adjust the dosage again and we will move on.
It is kind of scary, though, to wake up with dried blood on your hands and face, on your pillow, shirt and sheets, particularly if you haven’t killed anyone to your knowledge :).
I was a bit freaked, I’ll admit, until I saw that the blood washed off just fine and that there was no more of it coming out.
As it turns out, it’s all good.
It does remind me once again that, no matter what your cancer, there are always little things that other people will never get, will never understand, will never even know. And it is those things that make a community, I suppose.