It is no exaggeration when I say that my husband was resistant to his first consistent treatment for APS. When taking Coumadin, the patient has to have regular checks of his INR, or International Normalized Ratio, to make sure the blood is thinned properly and clots don’t develop. It was already like pulling teeth to get him to the doctor, as it is for most men. Now try telling him that he had to go to the doctor every few weeks. He fought it like a belligerent toddler, and it became the main source of our tension over the next year.
Approximately one year after beginning his Coumadin treatment, my husband felt the familiar signs of another blood clot. It was also in his leg, and it was an impressive size, at around 14″ long. His doctors were baffled that he could be on blood thinners and still develop a clot.
I had lost my job the year before, while my husband was still in the hospital for the first blood clot in his leg. The timing of my job loss was scary and very discouraging, since I didn’t know what we were in for with everything that had happened in the previous few weeks, and whether he would be able to return to work or not. I missed my co-workers terribly, and the students as well. The silver lining was that I was able to spend more time with him at the hospital.
After some complicated blood tests it was determined that the strain of APS that my husband has is resistant to Coumadin. So despite an entire year of taking blood thinners, his blood continued to clot. Consequently, we were very relieved when they found that Lovenox would work for him. He was also relieved that he didn’t have to have his INR checked while on Lovenox, so it reduced the need for frequent doctor visits. The downside is that he has to give himself daily injections, something that he does with very few complaints. He was able to return to work, and we resumed our lives. For a time we co-existed peacefully: APS and Lovenox worked in clot-busting harmony. It would be two more years before our journey would take a different turn and become more complicated than ever.