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My mom went to the dr. again yesterday. They said her INR blood level had gone back to almost normal without the Coumadin, and they don't understand that, so they put her back on a lower dose. So I made sure she took it yesterday and today, and all of a sudden, I thought if her blood is back to almost normal without it, why are they putting her back on it? This makes no sense to me and I am back to wondering if her blood would right itself if they left it alone? I should have asked. I'm afraid I am becoming one of those who just doggedly does as we're told, without questioning. Also, they have set her up a time (more time off work for me) to have an electrogram (or something like that). They said she had an appt. to have one back in July and she canceled it. I am thinking if they wanted this 3 months ago and she hasn't done it yet and they haven't insisted, (she sees these people all the time) is it really necessary? So am I questioning too much and being a jerk? I did make the appt. and will get her there for it. I want to know the explanations behind all of this that we don't understand, but at the same time I don't want to alienate the doctors. She seems to have a good relationship with them and I am afraid if I stick my nose into it too much, maybe they will refuse to treat her.

I think my fear comes from when my daughter was 8, our dentist decided his friend the orthodontist should put braces on her teeth. Her teeth looked fine and I asked a lot of questions about why this was necessary, as I don't believe in the current trend of putting braces on all children. The orthodontist suddenly decided she didn't need them after all and his attitude let me know that he hoped he never layed eyes on me again.

P.S. She's 17 now and has beautiful teeth. She was really mad at me because all her friends had braces and she wanted them too!
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Bridget,
You have every right to ask doctors questions, and if they seem to be defensive or act as if they resent your questions, if it were me, I would turn on my heels and find another doctor. I've had too many experiences with doctors that have made statements and given diagnoses and then found out they were wrong. Remember, they are "practicing" medicine. Now, I'm not one of those people that have a grudge against physicians, in fact, one of my sons is an MD and two of my nephews are. In addition, I work for a world renown gynecologic surgeon and infertility expert. Physicians want you to understand what is going on, and if they are too busy to take the time to answer your questions, then ask to speak to a physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Next only to their credentials, the most important factor for me in determining if a doctor is right for me is whether or not I can talk to him/her. Follow your intuition...doctors are only human; they do make mistakes.
For people who need Coumadin, a normal INR is not a good thing. Normal INR means what is normal for normal folks. When someone needs Coumadin, that means that they need anticoagulation for a variety of reason, mechanical heart valves, atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis and several other things.

So if they need anticoagulation, then it means that their INR needs to be higher than what would be normal for most folks. And it has to stay that way.

It means that her blood could throw clots at a normal range.

If she needs Coumadin, and then does not take it, she will return to a normal range, which sounds like it is not a good thing for your mother.

If there is a long term condition which requires Coumadin, then your mom will have to be on Coumadin for a long time, until the reason she needs it is corrected (if it can be corrected).

Coumadin management means a lot of blood testing, sometimes a couple of times per week.

It is not a real moneymaker for most doctors, it is a requirement of the medication.

And if your mom needs Coumadin, there really is no other substitute. Aspirin does not work in the same way, Plavix does not work in the same way. There is Lovenox and heparin, but they are used as bridging therapy when someone has to go off Coumadin, and they are frightfully expensive. There is research on Coumadin substitutes, but it is far from being a done deal. Coumadin is the only med that does what it has to do.

It sounds like your mom is having an electrocardiogram which is a simple, non-invasive test that measures the rhythms and waves of the heart. Does she have a rhythm problem that the doc is monitoring?

For excellent information on Coumadin and its management, Warfarinfo.com is a terrific site. Once you read through the information there, you will understand what Coumadin is all about.

My husband has been on Coumadin for 28 years.

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