Sunday, August 10, 2008

Coumadin


This is my Dad Joe..... He is 83 years young and had about four jobs up until this past March....when they told him he needed a knee replacement. He and Mother had changed from Group Health in Madison to Physicians Plus in Stoughton, Wisconsin to be closer to home and where his treatment was not near the quality of the Madison staff. In fact his doctor in Stoughton sent him to four other doctors to find out why his left leg and ankle were so swollen... By the way none of them could figure out why. Finally Dad made an appt. with a foot doctor who became very angry at the Physicians Plus docs that couldn't make a simple pseudo gout diagnosis. This doctor helped Dad immensely by putting him on Prednisone and something else so he could go ahead with his knee replacement surgery which did happen. Two days after the surgery Dad was spunky and walking...no kidding. Then he was taken to a the Nazareth Home in Stoughton on a Saturday where they left him LAY for Two plus days without moving him.....he said it was the first time in his life he thought he may have to urinate himself. By Monday evening he had lung embolism's and pneumonia and was near death. He was ambulanced to Madison to University Hospital where they worked very hard to save his life, which they did. But not without a long difficult recovery. We did find an excellent nursing home in Madison called Oak Park that is five star! They took such great care of Dad.... Dad went home on Coumadin and several other drugs weak with arthritis and gout and no way to take Ibuprofen which is the only thing that Dad has every taken. Ibuprofen and Coumadin conflict so..........Dad was miserable for months. He would talk to his "old" Stoughton Doctor who basically ignored him. Mother was not getting good care either so they made the decision to change back to Group Health Madison....but then came the waiting period for the appts. All the while Dad's quality of life was not good. His hands were so swollen he had to have his beautiful diamond rings cut off....no meds were helping. He was fatigued, dizzy, had lost 30 lbs., and generally miserable. He kept telling me it was the cumaudin doing it. I told Dad I couldn't fix this one....he had to talk to his doc. So after laying around in his chair and bed for months, the day came to see the new doctor.... I was swamped with work when my phone rang and Dad asked if I could meet him at the doctors office at noon. Oh sure! And so of course I did. And to my surprise my 83 year old quiet Dad spoke up for himself after making the nurses laugh several times. As I watched his little stand up routine I clearly saw where I got it from! What a moment indeed. The nurse listened to Dad's story for twenty minutes. He told her that he was a respected man in his town. That he worked at the bank after hours and he mowed for an elderly woman, Mrs. Johnson. And he was the town Constable and thought he maybe should give that up too as he had the rest of his jobs. He couldn't even sell his berries on the corner as he had for thirty years plus.... He told the chubby sweet nurse that he was a "wanted man," but that he couldn't help all those people that wanted him, anymore....Then this beautiful young woman doctor came in and listened to Dad's same story for twenty more minutes. When he told her, "In my bones I think that medicine cumaudin is taking me down instead of lifting me up." So she looked it up, read to him that coumadin is suggested for 3 -6 months on the first episode of blood clots. She said, "I will throw them away for you Joe!" Dad started laughing like a little kid... he told her she took the weights off his shoulders that very minute. And since that moment he has been a different man. I told him some of that was mental because he still had cumaudin in his system... he quickly said, "Bullshit!" And I agreed as I laughed. He is a different man this last three days. He says he knows he will be alright now. In fact today when I took him his birthday present he was out in his shop working. (Only three days off coumadin, but it's not mental, nope!) I would say it is BOTH..... By the way his sister is 96. He will be just fine now......


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