A few days ago, I was walking with my sister and she asked me if I had done by blood test.
A brief background before we proceed:
Since I had my stroke 5 years ago, I am on blood thinners (Warfrin) to ensure I don’t have a stroke again.
Much like Goldilocks couldn’t have her porridge “too hot” or “too cold,” my blood cannot be “too thick” or “too thin.” Therefore, I take a blood test (called INR) to ensure that the consistency of my blood is just right.
Right after my stroke, it took many (many!!) weeks of continuous blood tests (called “titration”) to see what dose worked for my body and size. No joke, I was poked with a darn needle almost every hour. My arms went from a lovely tanned colour (thank you Indian genes!) to a narly purple-ish colour.
I was desperate to leave the hospital so this extra time in the hospital was agonizing. I’ve been taking that same dose of warfrin for the past 5 years. When I let the hospital and moved back home, I would have to go to the lab almost daily to get my blood test. Then gradually it was every few days, then every few weeks. Now, it’s advised that I go every few months to stay safe.
So, back to my sister’s question – “D – did you do your blood test?”
Me: No! Why should I?! It’s a waste of time! I know my dose and it’s been the same for 5 years. I know myself better than those doctors!
Yas: Okay but what if something changes in your body and you need to change your dose.
Me: It won’t!
Yas: Are you 110% sure? You somehow know every single thing that might have the potential to change the consistency of your blood?”
Me: *Silence* (It was that GRRRR moment when I realize she got me)
Yas: My sweet love (said ever so calmly but firmly. Hard to argue when the other person is not combative…..another grrrr moment) what will happen if your blood level is too thin or too thick? Just remind me again, what can happen to you?
Me: *Sigh* well duh! I guess bleed out (if too thin) or clot (if too thick)
Yas: So on either extreme, you could die? Is that correct?
Me: *Grunt* (indicating yes). Perhaps it’s my way of rebelling against those doctors that kept me in the hospital and took FOREVER to figure out my dose. They took my TIME.
Yas: Forget that! If you leave (ie. die) who are you hurting?
Yas: What will mummy, daddy and me do? WE will be ones hurting.
Me: (It felt like someone punched me in the gut! I was silent for about a minute as I realized I’d be hurting the three people that mean everything to me)
Me: Whoh! Holy s*** I never thought of it like that.
In that moment, I realized a few things:
1. I was still mad – I hated that I lost a year of my life due to the stroke. I was 29 and wanted to begin my life again and get out of that hospital. Even though the doctors were doing the right thing, I needed something or someone to blame.
2. I was being selfish – I needed to look beyond myself. My actions affect those around me (whether I like it or not)
3. I had resentment towards this blood test and it was time I let that go. It was not serving me well.
4. Having a different perspective is necessary (Thank you Yassy!)
Have you ever rebelled or done the same thing repeatedly (even though it’s not right or serving you well) just because you’re used to it? Have you taken the time to step back and ask yourself “WHY am I doing this, or WHY am I feeling this way?”
Sometimes all it takes is a trusted person to completely shift your perspective and make you think differently.
I don’t think of my INR blood test in the negative way I had done for the past five years. I now see it as a good safety measure to ensure I stay healthy and am able to spend more time with the people I love.