Home  /   Home Healthcare  /   Walking Into a Dark Room

Walking Into a Dark Room

Have you ever tried to cross a completely dark room?  While there are certain things you can do to help, like walk slower, put your hands out in front of you or feel a little way in front with your foot, for the most part you do what you can and hope you don’t trip over something or run into a wall!

Recently I discovered I have a medical condition that will mean I have to monitor my INR (International Normalized Ratio) for the rest of my life.  This INR basically measures how fast my blood will clot. If my INR is low, I’m at risk for clotting.  If it is too high, there is a higher risk of bleeding and difficulty stopping it. I’ve since discovered that millions of people everyday experience this feeling of the not knowing if their INR will be in range when they test their blood.

It is an anxious time waiting to get results back, hoping that you followed the guidelines correctly and then questioning yourself if the level comes back too low or too high.  Did I eat too many foods with Vitamin K or is it something else that affected the result?  Did I do something; or SHOULD I have done something different and because I didn’t am I now at greater risk for something to go wrong? Did I unknowingly do something to harm myself? Trying to make sure my INF level is where it is supposed to be is like walking through a dark room.  Things are familiar and I sort of know where everything is at, but I know one wrong move could mean I will end up hurting myself.

There are some things I can do however, to maximize the chance that my result will come back where it should be.  Things like more physical activity, eating more green vegetables, missing a dose of medication or adding a new medication could make my INR too low. Things like less activity, less green vegetables, new medications, alcoholic beverages, and even diarrhea could make my INR too high.

While not a guarantee, being aware of how those little things impact my level means I have some control over it. So my advice to myself and anyone facing a new health situation is to try and stay as consistent as possible in the little things that help maximize the best result, even though it can be hard at times. That is the one thing you can control in a situation that may feel out of control. If not, you will only make yourself crazy trying to figure out all the things that could be impacting you, both positive and negative.