The Anonymous Widower

Roche To The Rescue?

This article on the BBC is entitled Covid Antibody Test A ‘Positive Development’.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A test to find out whether people have been infected with coronavirus in the past has been approved by health officials in England.

After false starts with dodgy and unreliable Chinese tests, this certainly is a positive development.

Personally, I trust Roche and their technology, as I regularly use one of their Coaguchek devices to test my INR.

May 16, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | 1 Comment

My Equilibrium INR Has Risen Under Lockdown

For something like four years my Warfarin regime has been to take 4 mg.  every day and to self test every Monday and Friday. It has been a simple regime that has worked well and my INR has stayed between two and three, with 2.4-2.6 being the common readings.

In other words what I would call as a Control Engineer, my equilibrium INR is spot on.

In the past, I have noticed that in times of hot weather my INR  has tended to rise and in times of cold weather, it has occasionally dropped. A change of dose to three or five mg. has generally kicked it back towards 2.5 mg.

Doctors and this Control Engineer would say that you shouldn’t chase the INR by constantly changing the dose.

Warfarin also seems to have a cumulative property. A couple of years, I had to have a small operation. I dropped the INR to 2.1 for the operation over three days, by cutting back to 3 mg. After the operation three days at 5 mg. brought it back to 2.5.

Under lockdown, my equilibrium INR rose initially to 3 on a dose of 4 mg. every day.

In a telephone conversation with my GP, we agreed to alternate the dose between 3 and 4 mg. every day. My INR now seems to be stabilising between 2.5 and 2.8.

Why has my equilibrium INR risen under lockdown?

My house can get hot, as it wasn’t designed and built correctly and because of that I am drinking a lot of fluids. When I prick my finger for the self-test, the blood seems more watery than usual, so are all those fluids diluting my blood and causing my INR to rise?

Bodies can’t disobey the laws of physics!

Oh! For a walk by the sea in the sun!

 

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

Lockdown And INR Testing

I am on Warfarin and have to be tested regularly for my INR.

I have been doing it for at least seven years now and know that if I test twice a week and take four milligrams of the drug my INR stays well within limits.

This is a testing regime, which fits well with the COVID-19 lockdown, that I’m currently enforcing on myself!

April 3, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

Is There An Interaction Between Bisacodyl And Warfarin Or INR Self-Testing?

I am on long term Warfarin and since 2012, I have self-tested my INR using a Roche Coaguchek device.

I have had no problems and for perhaps the last five years, I have been on a regular daily dose of four mg.

I should say, I’m a trained Control Engineer and if you can keep any inputs, like drug dose, constant, you should get a stable system.

Recently, I have been suffering from severe constipation and my GP has prescribed bisacodyl. I have taken it perhaps five time before bed and it works well

On Friday, I was feeling constipated, so I took one of the bisacodyl tablets before bed.

On Saturday, I tested my INR using a strip from a newly-arrived box direct from Roche  and found it was a rather extraordinary 5.2.

I had never seen a result higher than 3.2 before and put it down to one of the following reasons.

  1. The box of new strips was faulty. I have had dodgy ones before in the past, but not recently.
  2. There is an interaction between bisocodyl and warfarin. There are no reports on respected sites on the Internet.
  3. There is an interaction between bisocodyl and the Coaguchek testing process. There are no reports on respected sites on the Internet.
  4. I inadvertently took the wrong dose of warfarin.

I took a dose of two mg. yesterday and this morning I tested myself again twice.

  • With a strip from the new box, found a reading of 5.3.
  • With a strip from an old box, I found a reading of 5.

I shall test myself daily until I sort this out.

February 16, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Getting To The Bottom Of My INR Results

Since the start of the hot weather my INR results have not been troublesome but just a bit wayward.

To get a hold on it, I have been testing my INR every day from the 1st of July.

Normally, I take a dose of 4 mg of Warfarin every day and this keeps my INR at around 2.5.

But in the hot weather the INR was drifting towards 2.0, so I was using a dose of 5 mg every so often to nudge it upwards.

I was also drinking heavily in the hot weather, but nothing was stronger than 0.5% alcohol Adnams beer, which I know doesn’t affect my INR and to my body, it is gluten-free. Most of the other drinks were still lemonade, tea and water.

I came to the conclusion, that the water was being boiled out of my body by the heat.

At least, the INR only hit 2.0 a couple of times and never went below it.

On the 14th of September I had the decompensation stroke, I wrote about in I Had A Decompensation Stroke On Saturday.

This is my INR values and Warfarin dose since that day.

  • 14th September – 2.2 – 5
  • 15th September – 2.2 – 5
  • 16th September – 2.2 – 5
  • 17th September – 2.3 – 5
  • 18th September – 2.7 – 4
  • 19th September – 2.9 – 4
  • 20th September – 2.6 – 4
  • 21st September – 2.7 – 4
  • 22nd September – 2.7 – 4
  • 23rd September – 2.5 – 4
  • 24th September – 2.6 – 4
  • 25th September – 2.6 – 4
  • 26th September – 2.6 – 4
  • 27th September – 2.7 – 4
  • 28th September – 2.9 – 4
  • 29th September – 2.8 – 4
  • 30th September – 3.3 – 3
  • 1st October – 2.6 – 4

Note.

  1. I usually measure my INR, when I have a bath at eight in the morning.
  2. I usually take my Warfarin around three in the afternoon.

I do this so that I don’t test my INR too close to taking the drugs.

Note too how the INR rose on the 28th of September and stayed high or higher for two days.

I don’t think I ate anything that would cause the INR to rise and the weather was getting more humid. So was that the cause, or was it the fact that I had a hair-cut on Friday night?

Why should I blame the haircut? After I came out of hospital my hair looked like Einstein’s and it felt very dry.

So do I normally lose water from my body through my hair? Trying to find a connection on the Internet is a nightmare, as they assume I’m asking about hair loss.

I’m not worried about myself, but suppose you are having regular INR tests in hospital every few weeks.

Would a false reading mean that you ended up on the wrong dose?

Conclusion

I will continue to test my own INR, as I feel it is easier.

October 1, 2019 Posted by | Health | , | 2 Comments

Preparing For A No-Deal Brexit

I am doing a few things to make sure, that I survive a no-deal Brexit, as unscathed as possible.

Savings

I keep all of my spare cash in Zopa, moving it in and out as required. Effectively for about seven or eight years now, I have used the first peer-to-peer lender as a high-interest, thirty-day access deposit account.

It has probably paid around five percent before tax in that time and it has safely ridden the peaks and troughs of governments and financial instability.

Today, I calculated how much cash, I need in my current account to see me through to end of the year, and the spare money was tranferred to Zopa. It was a fast painless transaction and now it is available to lend to Zopa’s customers.

Warfarin

Warfarin stops me having another stroke.

As it only comes from Eastbourne, I suspect supply of this comment drug.

But I have enough to last me to until Summer 2019.

INR Testing

I test my own INR, which determines the Warfarin dose.

Today, I ordered enough test strips to get me through to Summer 2019.

Beer

Every time, I go walking around London, I take a large bag, that can hold up to eight bottles of my favourite beer from Marks and Spencer.

Supplies from Adnams in Suffolk seem good at the present and I usually liberate a few from a boring life on the shelves on every trip.

As with other products, I aim to have enough to last me through to Summer 2019, at a rate of three a day.

November 30, 2018 Posted by | Finance, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

In And Out Of The Angel

The area around Angel tube station, is one I visit regularly.

 

  • I shop in the same Marks and Spencer, Boots and Woolworths, that my grandmother used before the Great War.
  • Woolworths is now Waitrose.
  • I visit Chapel Market, as she probably did.
  • I often walk close to where my father was born and past the church where my grandparents married.
  • Perhaps, once a week, I’ll buy myself lunch or dinner in the area.
  • I regularly, use the area to change buses or get on and off the Northern Line.

It’s also an area of memories of life with C and the children around 1970, when we lived in the Barbican and we’d regularly walk up the hill with the children to shop at Marks and Spencer.

But not at the moment. This article on the BBC is entitled Angel Islington flooded by water main burst.

These are pictures I took of the traffic. Or lack of it!

 

There are no buses from Dalston to the Angel, so the only way to go is to go South to Old Street or Moorgate stations and then get the Northern Line up to the Angel.

At least the buses are running the other way, so I can get home easily.

It is a pain, but it will be sorted.

Yesterday, I had to get to Boots to pick up my Warfarin and the pharmacist did as usual, ask me for my yellow book.

I don’t have one, as I see the GP every three months or so, have a chat about my INR and he writes a prescription, which is electronically sent to Boots for me to collect.

To show how stable my INR level is, I’ve now been on 4 mg. a day of Warfarin for over three years now.

Discussing this with the pharamacist, I told her, I put this stability down to being a coeliac on a gluten-free diet.

There are some hints at research in this area at eminent Universities, but with my experience, it seems that if you are on Warfarin, a gluten-free dietmay help to stabilise your INR levels.

 

December 10, 2016 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Keep Taking The Medicine

On Sunday, I usually fill up my daily pill-boxes.

I use my old Coaguchek strip containers, which each box having the pills for one day.

Eleven White Boxes

Eleven White Boxes

If I find that I can’t get seven sets of pills, like last Sunday, I know it is time to get my boots out and go to Boots for some more.

The great advantage of individual boxes, is that when I go away, I just take an appropriate number of boxes – two more than the nights I’m away.

Counting out the pills has been a lot easier, since my doctor decided that one pill wasn’t needed any more.

So now, I just put 4 mg. of Warfarin (one blue and one brown), a statin, two other drugs and two vitamin pills in for each day.

I check my own INR and have used 4 mg. a day, for a couple of years now and it tends to hover around the 2.5 level, that I need.

I test myself bi-weekly and only if it is below 2.2 or above 2.8, do I take any action.

Usually, I just stick to the 4 mg. and retest the next day. Very often, it has bounced back, as it was probably something I ate or drunk. Or it could be the weather, as the INR can rise in sun or fall, when you get back to miserable weather.

Some doctors may not like that I choose my own level of drug, but setting the level, is just the sort of problem for which I have a B. Eng degree in |Control Engineering from Liverpool University.

Some of the regimes, I’ve had from doctors and their systems, are pretty complicated and I suspect quite a few patients get confused.

 

November 20, 2016 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

Do On-Line Advertisers Waste Their Money?

I monitor my INR using a Coagguchek device. And very good it is too!

But how many times a week do I get an on-line advert for the device? I’ve not counted, but it must be many.

Why does on-line advertising, preach to the converted?

Google needs a better algorithm!

October 22, 2016 Posted by | Computing | , , | 2 Comments

Rain, Beautiful Rain!

I’m feeling so much better today and it must be the break in the weather.

My face and beard doesn’t feel so dry, my gut would score at least 9/10 and my nails feel like real ones. The muck pouring down my throat has eased too!

Strangely, my INR was 2.8 on Wednesday, 2.7 yesterday and 2.1 today. It goes up and down with the weather.

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment