One month ago I suffered several mini-strokes (how many that means I couldn't tell you). Since then I have had to monitor intake of leafy greens (veggies really, herbs etc) and have bridged from Lovenox (Enoxoparin self injections) to Coumadin only (57.5 mgs per week in pill form). I have endured daily, weekly and now every two weeks INR blood level checks at the STEPS clinic. I am the youngest person wherever I go and manage to still have a smile on my face, able to joke around with those personnel I come into contact with and continue to be positive.
Today I went to OHSU's Stroke clinic for my one month follow up appointment post hospitalization. Not knowing really what to expect, I got just that. It started as most of my appointments usually do. Check in, joke around, sit in the waiting room filled with mostly older people, play around on my phone or iPAD until I am called back to a room. Weight, temperature, and blood pressure are all taken. A few questions like, are you in pain? Answer is always no. Verification is made as to how much and what type of drug I am taking. With that the nurse leaves and I wait a few moments for the doctor. Today I was originally supposed to meet with Dr. Rontal, due to his schedule being backed up, I was switched to meet with Dr. Clark. My husband warned me a bit about his appearance as he is familiar with this gentleman. I thought to myself, I don't really care what the man looks like as long as he has good bedside manner and knows his stuff.
Dr. Clark and his trusty nurse (an interesting woman I might add) arrived. He started off by answering the questions I already prepared myself to ask before I even got to ask them. So the answer to the first question which is what is the chance of my internal carotoid artery recanalising (opening)? 50/50 Fifty percent it will and fifty percent it won't ever reopen. So that was interesting. If the artery does reopen partially or at all the reason I am on Coumadin is to help prevent that particular blockage (clot) from throwing to the brain causing more strokes (massive or otherwise). The time frame that the artery has to either reopen or not is the four months. It will either do it or it won't within that time frame. Should it reopen I will remain on Coumadin for the next three or four months with another visit after that. Should it not.. most likely will be prescribed an Aspirin a day for the rest of my life. So all in all a good visit. Stay the course!
So next up are two more occupational therapy appointments in April, continued INR clinic checks hoping to make those monthly and finally in June a scheduled CTA of the head and neck and a follow up appointment with Dr. Clark to review those results and determine the next course of action.
On the way home I told my husband I think I am going to have a pool voting for what will happen.. Taking bets everyone.. will it (the artery) open or not? What do you think?