Saturday, August 7, 2010

Modern Medicine II

I've never had a "doctor" as in "whose your doctor?"  The only time I see a doctor is my annual occupational physical, which I dread.  It's a pretty comprehensive physical that includes blood work, spirometry (blow!), EKG, chest x-ray (which they always manage to screw up), and a hearing (which I fail because I used to listen to rock ... LOUD! ... what?).  Every year it's a different doctor and sometimes it's a female doctor sticking her fingers under my testicles and asking me to cough.  Based on my random sampling, there are no cute female occupational physicians.  The attractive female physicians become OB-GYNs, like the two that delivered my boys.

As requested, I scheduled an appointment with a bona fide "doctor", what you would refer to as a family physician.  He seemed gravely concerned about the clot in my calf and he didn't like the whole aspirin thing I was doing as suggested by the ER dude.  I gathered from our conversation that it sparked some of dialog among the various professionals who I've had the pleasure of seeing over the last week or so.

Conveniently there was an opening at the ultrasound place.  Again, I took my pants off, laid down on a tissue paper-covered table, while an attractive young women rubbed a thingee over my leg and talked into a microphone.  Modern medicine isn't all bad.  The downside was that the clot was still there.

Back I went to my official doctor, who is actually turning out to be an OK guy.  Modern medicine convinced me that the Warfarin blood thinning therapy was the way to go.  It would be for three months until my body figured out that my calf was healed up and needed to back off the clotting alert.

I scheduled an appointment with the blood-thinning clinic where the nice nurse started me on 7.5 mg a day.  I got the prescription filled and headed home.  It was lunch time so I decided to make a tuna melt.  While slicing cheese with a mandolin slicer I sliced my thumb open.  I know it's bad when you look at it once and think maybe it isn't real then look a second time and see all the blood and you know it's real.  So it was back to the clinic with my thumb wrapped in a couple sheets of Brawny paper towels to get my thumb sewn up.

I have now been on the Warfarin diet for almost two weeks.  I go in every few days to have my clotting factor checked.  Normal is a "1" but I need to be between 2 and 3, the ideal range to reduce further clotting but not so thin that my skull fills with blood.  I made a lame chart in Excel which shows my daily Warfarin dose in milligrams (mg) and the measured clotting factor.  I showed my chart to the nurse and she said "You must be a computer expert!"  Geez, it's really quite a lame chart.  I think I'll add a 3-D effect for my next appointment and really blow her mind.

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