Supplemental Anticoagulants

Supplemental Anticoagulants In Brief

 

            With so many resources available to patients, plant and food sources are widely available that many health care workers may not be familiar with. Knowledge of what supplemental anticoagulants might be being ingested is important in certain health-related instances. This paper examines briefly, those instances regarding blood composition. Blood clots become problematic for patients with certain illnesses of the vascular system, such as heart disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary thrombosis. (Medline 2013) Medications prescribed for these conditions prevent clotting in two sorts of therapies. First is antiplatelets and the other is anticoagulants. The antiplatelet type of therapy reduces a natural chemical produced by the body, called thromboxane. This naturally secreted chemical helps form clots, while the anticoagulants prevent vitamin K from helping the body to produce proteins that aid clotting. (ASA 2012) Some of the commonly prescribed drugs for hindering clotting are aspirin, Coumadin, Heparin and Plavix. (Drug Information) These drugs are not the only factors which can thin the blood, however, so it is important for health care workers to know what these blood thinning sources are in order to prevent excessive bleeding with certain procedures such as venipuncture or surgery.

            As an aside, it might be interesting to note before I describe sources of blood thinners, that foods high in vitamin K present a negative interaction with  medications, such as heparin or Coumadin. These foods are asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, endive, green onions, lettuce, soy, turnip, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, parsley, collard greens, mustard greens, chard, and green tea. Also cranberry juice increases the effects of Coumadin. (Mayo 2012 and DHHS 2010) Understanding that diet can play an important part in patient response to procedures such as venipuncture can prevent certain health risks associated with the presence of disease process and the effects of foods which cause temporary changes in the composition of blood and how it clots.

Radiance

ThoughtsThe following has become a poem, but here, it appears in journal form, without much revision:

I must be isolated. I am not allowed to be with anyone. I’m poison. I can’t pet my cat or nestle in with him. I’m poison. I can’t hug Paul. I can’t receive a hug. I really, really need a hug. I am lonely, a bit sad. I’m kinda scared. I want to be with someone. I want the comfort of another body near me. The reassurance of their breathing would be enough…but I’m poison. I can’t eat with anyone. We can’t share any physical object. I’m poison and all I touch is poison. I am not able to go to meditation or go to a store or a movie. I can’t share a room with anyone. I’m poison. There’s something odd about this. It feels familiar. I don’t know why. It’s a mantra of something from the distant past. I keep saying it to myself. “I am poison.”

What does  alll this mean anyway? Why am I so taken with this singular idea? Why is it so painful? Natalie Goldberg says I should describe everything about it.

I sat in a little room with everyone standing in the hall looking in. The “everyone” was a doctor, a nuclear medicine specialist, two student interns, even a nurse. I sit in a chair and there’s a box the size of a rubix cube on the tray table in front of me. It’s made of what looks like leaded cement. In the center there’s a space for a little vial of clear liquid. One man is standing there. He’s got a lead suit on. He hands me a package which has a straw. I am to suck up the liquid. It tastes like it has a little sugar, but tastes mostly like water. Then again, there’s something about it that makes me think it doesn’t take like anything I recognize. I remember wondering what poison was supposed to taste like. Should it burn like bleach or something? Should it be coppery like ipecac? I remember marveling that it’s not terribly offensive. It’s just a bland liquid.

I get the straw unwrapped and suddenly I am drinking it and as I do, I become poison. I don’t look any different and yet there’s a bone deep sense that I am essentially different now. I worry aloud about the safety of everyone I walk by on the way home from the treatment. I am told they are safe, but not to pause or linger with anyone. I will be too radioactive to cross the border of the US for about four months.

How do I live with the poison? Will I still be happy; still be me? Will I manifest more alien growths; more death because I took this poison?

There is something so familiar about the poison and my identification with it. I don’t understand it…but my mind connects dots, chicken pox, mumps, measles, and influenza. Nobody wants to be around that. If you’ve got any of it, you’re persona non grata.

Okay. I get that, but being contagious from a virus isn’t the only kind of familiarity going on. What else is it? How else have I been poison in my life? I remember being called a “worm.” I remember the disgust in her face, in her voice. It’s the same kind that people have when someone pukes or when someone doesn’t want to catch a cold from being sneezed all over. Poison is gross, disgusting, catching…But is this the source of that sense of being basically wrong?

No. No, I’m not at the bottom of this well. I remember her voice again. It’s full of pain and impatience and some desperation I couldn't understand. “Your father isn't coming back. He doesn't want us.” I heard “me” of course. What little child can hear anything else? We simply cannot fathom the complexities of adult relationships. Children can barely understand themselves so others are simply incomprehensible. I can remember thinking that there must be something wrong with me, because he didn't want me.

I carried that idea that I was basically bad and unwanted into my life a long while. Such an idea was obviously poisonous and colored my whole life until well into adulthood. I suppose it should be no surprise that my body interprets this radiation, this poison, as just the same as being unwanted and unlovable. That’s a seed of wisdom right there.

While I sat waiting for my body to shed the radiation, I felt I was drifting. After all, how does anyone distance the pain of being poison? I really could not. It was with me each moment. “I am poison.” I turned to conscience breathing to sooth myself. I just didn’t have much energy for anything else. I didn’t write. I didn’t sing. I didn’t even read much. I let the TV drone around me for some company of sorts. I missed my cat. I missed the sense of rightness I feel in Paul’s arms. I wanted to get away from this poison, but I also embraced it. This poison wasn’t for me. It was for the alien of death growing in me. The alien and the poison were just visitors. At least that’s how I tried to think of it. How could I otherwise revisit some evil idea from the past that simply doesn’t fit and was never right to begin with?

A Recipe For a Wayward Daughter

I reference Derek the Younger and Derek the Elder for all needful explanations on this bit of memoir.

Ingredients:

  • Have nail polish, beautiful barrettes and some lip gloss. Some garish, some not. It provides for all moods.
  • Don’t forget the hiking boots and she needs her own work gloves.
  • Make sure there’s plenty of happy pictures of her because it makes her feel loved and included.
  • Never expect her to admit that.
  • Holes in the knees of her jeans never need fixing. (She may like girly girl things, but she’s a Tom-boy at heart)
  • Remember not to be too vigilant (Girls like privacy)
  • Talk girl talk and take her to have a coming of age ceremony. She’ll feel loved.
  • Don’t forget to ask how she is (She’ll tell you to butt out, but she needs to be asked anyway)
  • Give her choices (If you don’t she’ll rebel worse)
  • Repetition until it’s a mantra in my sleep “Time out!”
  • Impatience (Hers or mine?)
  • Crumbs on the table instead of under it (I didn’t make her, but we’re like two peas in a pod)
  • Off tune singing must be ignored and smiled at
  • Frustration “Jeez! If she snarls at me one more time someone’s gonna be bald!”
  • Too snug clothes
  • Books everywhere
  • Biting my tongue (It’s now too short)
  • In company of few (I worry she’s too solitary)
  • In company of the scary (I worry she’s not solitary enough when comes to the boys)
  • Considerable variety (Use my imagination as often as possible to inspire her to do the right things)
  • Counter productive distractions never work on her so what’s plan b? Oh yeah, give her a book.
  • Show her a video of herself and she’ll wander off on you. Take her to the beach instead. You’ll both be happy.
  • Yodeling inspires eye rolling and sullen glaring.
  • Chocolate wins smiles every time. (Oh yeah! She’s a girl.)
  • Get art (All the pottery a mother could want and every bit of it is dear.)
  • Bragging “My daughter is smart and beautiful!”

Mix liberally with as many hugs as she’ll tolerate. Miss her terribly when she’s gone. Put everything she ever made me in a place of prominence and wonder often if she’s happy. Don’t tell anyone about her really. It saves answering painful questions. Gladly remember I still have my boys. Yearn for my grandson and ogle all pictures I get to see on Facebook. Make friends with my sons’ girl-friends and remember. Whenever I celebrate my boys, say a silent mantra too that Kara will someday come home.