Toronto Mike

A Year On Blood Thinners

It was March 2023 when I was diagnosed with CVT. You can catch up on all that action here, but the crux of it all is I have something that causes my blood to clot, but whatever that is, there isn't yet a test for it, so I'm to take blood thinners twice a day "indefinitely".

The blood thinner I've been taking for a year now, minus a couple of months between the blood clot on my brain being absorbed and the blood clot in my arm arriving, is called apixaban. Every morning and every evening my phone starts playing Neil Young's Heart of Gold and that's my signal to pop a pill. Like anything else, you get used to the routine, and since it's designed to keep me alive, I never complain.

Luckily, there is really only one significant side effect, and that's the ever-present risk of bleeding out, either internally or externally. My blood is now rather thin, so I have orders to avoid contact sports and cutting myself. So far, so good. As a guy who bikes an average of 1000km a month, I'm well aware of the risks if I were to crash, so I'm as careful as possible. I'll give up hockey, but cycling is a risk I'm willing to take.

If I need surgery of any kind, I have to go off blood thinners for a few days before the procedure. Last summer I had my first colonoscopy and had to take the same precautions. And when I'm using a sharp knife, scissors or gardening shears, I'm uber careful.

In terms of doctors and all that, I'm on this maintenance program where I check in with my hematologist once a year for blood work and to find out if they've invented any new tests for me so we can find out what the heck I have. Otherwise, life goes on and I'm feeling pretty damn good.

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