Because I need to take the drug Coumadin (aka Warfarin) for the rest of my life after getting a brand new shiny mechanical heart valve exactly a week ago, “INR” is now an important abbreviation in my life.
So what does “INR” stand for?
Answer # 1: International Normalized Ratio.
Coumadin is a blood anticoagulant, and everybody who takes it needs to combine the right dosage of medicine with consistent food choices in order to prevent both internal bleeding AND stroke, maintaining that all-important International Normalized Ratio.
Answer # 2: I Need Rides.
In order to establish and maintain a consistent ratio of medicine and Vitamin-K-containing food as soon as possible, I Need Rides to get my blood taken and evaluated. Because I just had heart surgery, I cannot drive. My boyfriend, Michael, who has been an excellent caregiver, also does not drive. Therefore, I need to impose on others to to get me to blood tests and to cardiac rehab (starting in a week or two).
Answer #3: Independence Needs a Rest.
I am a fiercely independent person. People who have heart surgery and who have trouble asking for help sometimes have emotional as well as physical pain in the weeks after surgery. I must learn to put aside this need for independence as I recover, and ask for rides and other things I need.
Answer #4: I’m Never Ridiculous.
Even though I may fear that I look and sound ridiculous as I recover, I don’t.
Answer #5: It’s Not Rational.
People recovering from open heart surgery sometimes have irrational fears (e.g., sneezing is going to burst the wiring of their sternum, one of their cats is going to infect their stitches, or sex will kill them). These irrational fears are typical and fade as the days of recovery proceed.
Answer #6: Inconsistently Not Replying.
Because I’ve been so busy healing from heart surgery and making the long trip back from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to our home in Boston, I have not been able to keep up my previously perfect record in replying to all the comments in this blog. I hope my readers can forgive me.
Answer #7: Images Not Relevant.
When I just looked at all the images I captured on my iPhone yesterday — my last day at the amazing Mayo Clinic in Minnesota — I am realizing that none of those images are relevant to today’s blog post topic.
Answer #8: Irrelevence Now Rules!
Answer #9: If Needed, Respond!