It slips around the body silently unless you press on its transport system somewhere and freak it out. It carries goodness and badness, health and sickness, struggle and conflict round and round and round. I love the fact that my lungs oxygenate blood and keep my cells alive; that the fighter cells fight off attacks; that the badness is removed by my kidneys and that new cells join the party from my bone marrow.
What I don’t like is that most of the time I have no idea what my blood is doing and it is only when things go wrong that you realise it is a miracle that the body functions at all. Once you know that something isn’t working as it should you find that the blood holds many, many secrets. Mine looks like ordinary blood in the test tube but it isn’t.
The red stuff is secretive but once nursie has stuck a needle in you the darned stuff is very willing to give up it’s secrets to the lab coats. Mine used to betray the fact that I may have missed a dose of warfarin but this has not happened at all since I decided to take my pinks or blues or browns just before I go to bed at whatever time that happens to be.
Who on earth thought that advising patients to take warfarin at 6pm was a good idea? It was probably a man who doesn’t stand in his kitchen at that time trying to get food from the fridge to the hob to the table to feed six people whilst breastfeeding a toddler. I wonder why I had trouble remembering to take the tiny tablets?!?
Bingeing on greens isn’t good either as they are full of Vitamin K which is exactly what the warfarin is trying to get rid of to stop the blood overclotting. It is is a myth that warfarin thins the blood you know, it doesn’t. It interferes with the vitamin k produced by the liver and tries to stop it working to help the clotting cascade. Stoking your body up with vit K through eating food rich in it rich foods kind of doesn’t help but I can’t live without eating green stuff and start to feel rough if I don’t get enough. Try this: a handful of spinach, and apple and a banana in the blender with half a cup of water. Yum. Even the kids like it.
The frequent blood tests that warfarin patients have are to check how long the blood takes to clot. Ideally it should take between twice and three times as long to clot than ordinary blood which is fun when you slice yourself with a bread knife and can’t find a tissue.
This week I am waiting to see what mine gives up and I hope it will back me up but it might equally let me down and the pisser is that I can’t be sure which way it will go. The smug-faced GP may yet have her smug face on again when she tells me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me and I just need to take the statins (eek – at 36?), get more exercise and, most importantly, reduce my stress levels.
There, there it is all in your head, dear. Does she think I haven’t thought about how to step off this corner of the world and get onto a more peaceful one? The funny thing is that she is due to go off on maternity leave with her first child so she is about to find out why things aren’t as easy as one might to think. Ha.
So this week’s test may prove that it isn’t in my head and that green smoothies aren’t a bad thing or it may go the other way.