Monet's garden at Giverny, France

For those of us who take the blood thinner warfarin (brand name Coumadin) or similar drugs to prevent prevent clots, one of the scariest of life’s scenarios is an accident or fall. It’s especially scary for patients like me who, because of an acute tendency to clot, must keep their blood extra thin to prevent […]

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My office is awash in yellow stickies this week … Don’t forget! Underlinings, stars and exclamation points decorate every page. It’s clear there’s more  to remember than my brain can handle. Here are just a few of the admonitions swirling in my damaged  brain … I must pause and pull this together into an at […]

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Have you ever gone to a doctor’s office armed with information pertinent to your illness that you’ve gleaned from the web, only to have him (or her) do the eye roll that seems to send the message: “I don’t have time for this?” That may be changing. Everywhere these days, it seems the health care […]

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It’s a pleasure to have four of my stories published over the past few months in three different anthologies. Each story, in its own way, explores the theme of traveling with chronic illness. That’s something I think about often as a stroke survivor and autoimmune patient chained to a steady diet of blood thinners to […]

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Delhi India  07- 352C

Patients already taking the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin), even at low doses, may not be good candidates for the clot-busting drug tPA in the event of a stroke, a new study indicates. Thrombolysis (treatment with the “clot-busting” drug tPA) in the early stages of a new stroke is often the very best hope a patient has […]

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China–Frisky pandas at the Panda Research Center near Chungdu

  Am I Crazy? As an autoimmune patient with APS, as a stroke  survivor on blood thinners, people sometimes ask why I travel to places teeming with opportunities for disaster. “Places where medical care is thin, the water is often unsafe and the food chancy; places with infectious diseases, malarial mosquitoes, venomous snakes and the […]

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Ane & Jack in Botswana

The Australians call them ‘mozzies’–such a cute name–as though mosquitoes were just pesky little creatures that buzz and bite, one of the minor annoyances of venturing off the beaten track. I used to think of them that way, too, until I started traveling to the tropics and meeting people who’d had malaria, dengue fever (its […]

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Aleppo Syria 10 - 29C

September offers an unusual opportunity to hear the latest on developments in diagnosis and treatment of Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) at a free one-hour webinar set for Tuesday, September 6, at 8:00 pm EDT (5:00 pm PDT). The discussion, sponsored by the American Society of Hematology (ASH), will include three presentations: Dr. Mark Crowther (McMaster University) […]

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Urumqi China 09- 10C

For those of us who take Coumadin  (warfarin), Vitamin K is a boogeyman. That’s because K–found principally in dark leafy green vegetables like kale and Swiss chard and spinach that are supposed to be good for us–can inhibit the blood thinning effects of Coumadin.

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Sticking to a drug regimen can be confusing for anyone: Doubly so for anyone with impaired memory or attention. Most stroke patients fall into that category. I know I do.

I left the hospital after my stroke still dazed, groping through each day behind a veil of confusion.

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