Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin
I have spent the last 7 weeks in Cardiac Rehab twice a week. I found it really beneficial and you can work gently at your own pace. Our local council offer a discount for their fitness programmes under the exercise prescription scheme. The Physio at Cardiac Rehab completes the paperwork and I'll get an appointment after Christmas for a session with one of the trainers for my own circuit. Lots of heart friendly classes to join as well.
I saw my Cardiologist yesterday and had a baseline TTE (ultrasound). He was suggesting I go on ACE inhibitors (Ramipril) to support the heart and assist with remodelling. I wondered if others were on ACE inhibitors and what their experiences are with this drug?
I'm now self testing with my Coaguchek which is so convenient. My INR is not yet stable and I'm not often in therapeutic range but this was no barrier to self testing. Our local Warfarin Clinic is run by the Biomedical Scientists. The BMS who supported and trained me in the use of the Coagucheck said it was just as reliable as venous blood sampling. The reason the NHS don't use it routinely for all Warfarin sampling is that venous blood sampling costs pennies and the Coaguchek costs pounds! It's the cost of the test strips. Maybe the price would come down if they were used more. I asked my GP for the test strips on prescrption but the PCT won't supply them and I heard they were also making Diabetics pay for their own test strips. It means I buy my own test strips but I'm happy to do that for the convenience. They are around £2.50 a strip.
All in all it's been a tough year with the death of my sister in January from the same Mitral Valve problem. This made me check out my heart which was going into failure slowly but surely.
I'm so grateful to the NHS for treating me efficiently and thoroughly. When I really needed good medical care, the NHS was there for me. I do hope the changes to the NHS in April 2013 do nothing to stop the excellence that I experienced.
Merry Christmas and thank you so much for all your support this year.
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