Fingers crossed that DH will be released on Tuesday!

nhbasketsMarch 10, 2014

We should know sometime today whether DH will be released from Mass General after bypass surgery last Wednesday. He's had a few bumps on the recovery road, but things are looking good. They just started him on Coumadin, so the question is will they allow for him to be discharged without being therapeutic. He's been on this nasty drug before and it took him almost a week in the hospital before getting to the right level. Staying therapeutic was a struggle also. I'm hoping this is only a short-term med as it really is a pita!

I was planning on going to Boston today, however, decided to stay home instead and attempt to catch up on things. Did I mention we are building a house? My brain hurts. Haven't been too successful. The couch has been calling me and I keep dozing off. It's been a long two weeks.

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Afib causes the heart to beat irregularly. The result of that tiny hesitation in the beats causes the blood to form clots. These will then be pumped out and go places that cause horrible damage...lungs etc. The Coumadin is to prevent the occurrence of clots due to the Afib. Once they are sure that is under control and that he won't flip over into it again perhaps he will be able to stay off the blood thinner. Until then the alternative is too scary to contemplate. I am so glad he will likely be coming home. Good Luck and keep posting. Continuing to send powerful recovery to your DH and strength to you both. c

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:33PM
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Thanks, trailrunner. He was on Plavix when hospitalized. Getting that out of his system caused the delay in surgery. I'm not clear as to the difference between Plavix and Coumadin, but would choose Plavix if I could. Thanks for the continued thoughts.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:43PM
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I'll cross my fingers for you. You'll both feel much better when he's home.

When my husband had leukemia, they said he'd be in the hosptial for a whole month. They let him go home after about 8-9 days, and he did end up rehospitalized, but he had a few nights at home. It did wonders for both of our states of mental health.

It's funny in the hosptial. On one hand, you desperately need their expertise and experience but on the other you just want some peace and quiet and to not feel like you're living in a fish bowl.

I wish you continued smooth sailing and good luck during his recuperation.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:44PM
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Coumadin and Plavix, though both are intended to reduce blood clotting problems, they operate in different ways, and for different purposes. They are often given at the same time.

Coumadin is a pain to stay in the therapeutic range because it easily affected by dietary intake of Vitamin K. And Vit. K lurks in all kinds of otherwise healthy foods. It is also highly variable in seemingly identical foods due to post-harvest storage, age, growing conditions, cultivar, food preparation, etc. So though the patient training emphasizes the "big factors" (i.e no. green leafy vegetables), Vit. K is also significantly high in some other heart-healthy foods such as good quality olive oils. And dietary Vit. K. acts in hours on the blood levels, whereas doses of Coumadin take days to re-stabilize it.

We struggled for years with it. We finally imported our own blood testing device - from Australia - (similar to a blood sugar meter that is used for diabetics) and used it a lot to make sure that we could stay in range, but still eat a better diet.

Thankfully, there are newer, and by some reports, better anti-coagulant drugs that are used with AFib. (You've seen them advertised on TV, no doubt.) They interupt blood clotting in a different way, so there no dietary/Vit. K restrictions - and more importantly fewer opportunities to inadvertently fall out of therapeutic range, which as TR said above would be a really BAD thing. (And an INR test only applies to the minutes it was done, you could have a snack and be out of range by the end of the day.) If it looks like you're going to be on anti-coagulants for any length of time, ask about the newer drugs. There are several, so if one doesn't work, another might. (That was my DHs experience.)

Anyway, glad to hear things are going along well, and hope you'll both be home, soon. Are you expecting the mid-week snow storm? Make plans now for shoveling or plowing. Your DH won't be doing that for a while longer and if you've already arranged to have it taken care of, it will be a done deal by the time he is home. You should also be aware that he may have driving restrictions for at least several weeks after discharge.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 3:28PM
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Nh, glad to hear. All the best for a speedy recovery.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Just want to add a bit on the Vit is a link. You have to take the diet with a large grain of salt. As long as one maintains whatever dietary regimen one is going to have then the blood levels will remain stable. My Dad only had his checked every 6 months for years and many of my patients in home health were the same. I do hope that this proves to be a small bump in the recovery process. Only adding this link for your information. c

Here is a link that might be useful: Coumadin and Vit K

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:34PM
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I continue to keep you both in my prayers and am always anxious to hear your updates, NH. Continue to get rest and take care of yourself, as the hospital staff takes care of your DH.

Trail, you are a blessing of good, sound, knowledgeable information on threads like this. So glad you're here!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:38PM
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Warfarin (coumadin) affects vitamin K, which is important in blood clotting (the coagulation pathway). It is more effective than other oral meds. An advantage to warfarin is the effects are easier/quicker to reverse; for example, when someone is injured/bleeding or needs emergency surgery.

Clopidogrel (Plavix) causes platelets to be less sticky; clots form when platelets stick to one another. While easier to dose, it's effects cannot be reversed like coumadin. This becomes a major PITA for us in the ER trying to treat patients who are bleeding internally (head, chest, abdomen) from trauma (often a fall or car crash). You saw this disadvantage with the need to delay his surgery.

These drugs are given to patients in atrial fibrillation to help prevent a stroke, as a-fib is a major risk factor for stroke.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:14PM
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nh - Best of luck today. SO glad your husband is feeling better. I hope his discharge goes smoothly.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:31AM
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Wishing the best for your husband. May he be up and running soon.

However, when I read the title of this thread, my first thought was "whose husband has been in prison?"

Seriously -- hoping all goes well.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:58AM
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He's home!!!

Again, thank you everyone for the good wishes and wealth of information. I know it's going to be a long haul, but he really has a positive outlook. I'm fortunate to have an understanding employer (and lots of sick and vacation time!) who has not had issues with my being out for most of the last two weeks. Plan to go back to work tomorrow. We only live 7 minutes away, so I plan to travel back and forth a few times during the day. We have family and friends who will be checking in on him too.

This was the best reunion when we got home. Bingo hasn't left his side.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:24PM
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So happy your DH is home! Love the pic of him with Bingo, so sweet.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:34PM
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What a great pic~I am so happy to read though the thread and see him at home. He look great!
I hope you can recharge as well.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:07PM
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I'm so happy your hubby got to come home today. What a sweet reunion picture!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:12PM
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Such a sweet picture! Glad your husband is home and continued thoughts and prayers while he recovers.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:12AM
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Continued best wishes for good health for your DH. He was in the hospital for quite some time, wasn't he? My friends DH had quad bypass and was out in 3 days. I was shocked, but as soon as he'd, well, cleared his abdominal area, they sent him home. So far so good, but my poor friend is going crazy having him underfoot all day!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:10AM
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great news !!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 5:59AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Excellent news!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:05AM
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So glad he is home !He will certainly rest better and recover more quickly.You will also be so much more rested and able to support. As md said above it is the reversal that is the problem...I didn't want to take over the thread :) I am so glad that you have received a lot of good support and info. Please keep posting on his progress. c

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:05AM
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What a joyous picture! I am so happy that you and Bingo have DH home (and I bet he feels a lot better being home too!)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:46AM
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Speedy recovery!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 5:35PM
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Hey, I know that guy! Here's to wishing G a speedy recovery!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:10PM
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First full day for DH to be home. I felt guilty about going to work, but he assured me that he'd be okay. We spoke several times during the day and he sounded great until late afternoon. Just got overtired. He feels he's not sleeping well and that's bothering him. I'm guessing he actually is dozing during the day but doesn't realize it. Tomorrow morning he needs to have blood work done in the morning. Hoping the predicted weather doesn't happen.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:52PM
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He looks really good! Love the reunion photo with Bingo. Just made me melt.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 9:33PM
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