Thursday, November 24, 2005

Egad...

Just home from hospital stay number 2 for this stupid blood thing, and even though it's 1:30 in the morning and I would love to be sleeping, I'm wide awake and freaking out. I'm not totally sure, but I think my discharge nurse screwed up my new medication, and the calculations running through my head are keeping me from the sleep I'd so love to take.

I went in Monday morning for a routine medication change from one blood thinner to another, and they had to keep me for two extra days because my anti-coagulation levels weren't "therapeutic"- evidently I kept going from one extreme end of the scale to the other, so it took them a while to regulate how much medicine I should be taking. The doc finally tells me that I need 12,000 units of heparin three times daily. Easy enough. Unfortunately, the meds come in a bottle that you have to measure into the syringe, instead of the handy-dandy premeasured stuff I was using before. Again, this shouldn't be a problem. However, when the discharge nurse came in to instruct me on how to set up the meds, I think she screwed up the math. Each bottle I have contains 20,000 units of heparin, which measure out to a tidy 1 mL of liquid. The syringes I use are 1 mL insulin syringes with a graduation scale on the side from 1-100.

Here's the discharge discussion:

Nurse: "Okay, since 12,000 divided by 20,000 is .6, measure your liquid to the third little line on the syringe."

Me in reply: "Umm, ma'am, I think .6 means six tenths of the WHOLE SYRINGE, so I should be measuring to the little number SIXTY, no?"

Nurse: "Nope, that can't be right. Each of these little lines stands for 2, so just draw to the third little line, okay? That's all, have a good Thanksgiving!"


I figured whatever, maybe I screwed up the math, and we took off from the hospital as quickly as traffic would allow. However, that conversation has been bugging me all day, and now I'm almost sure that something is a little funny. If, God forbid, the nurse was wrong, I'm already seriously short on my dosage for the day, and my sneaky blood is probably already planning to clot up on me again. Let's see- I've had .12 mL instead of 1.2, so that's only 10% of what I should have taken today....

Egad.

8 comments:

Donald M. Trenn Jr. said...

Egad indeed.

Running2Ks said...

I am so sorry. I hope they clear it up soon and you can feel better. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Doc AWM said...

A 1.0ml syringe should appear about 2/3 full of solution to give you 12,000 units per dosage. Think logically- a half filled syringe would be 10,000 units of a 20,000 units/ml solution.

When the thingy pops out of the turkey it's done!

Best wishes for TG in Better Health and Happinesses for you and yours...
(M)/a&c

purple_kangaroo said...

I hope you feel better soon! And Happy Thanksgiving.

Psychobabble said...

Call the 24hr hotline(assuming you have tricare) or the nurses line at your local hospital.
That's something you *really* need to get figured out!

Hope you had a good holiday!

Running2Ks said...

Let us know how you are doing, OK?

Beanie Baby said...

Yes. Call someone.

What you are saying sounds logical, but 60 units of medication from a diabetic standpoint--I've used those syringes for many years--is a LOT. A lot. And it's a big difference, and something someone else who's done this before should probably be figuring out.

Doc AWM said...

Megs- You do have a Fan Club!

It seems to be almost a minion in numbers- Good for a Kibitzing Shiksa!
Just so you know re:Beanie Baby; 60 units of one med and 12k units of another (concentrations) is like what used to be discussed as "Italian-American Currency Exchanges"...

$4.95US= 64,753 Trillion lire (circa. 1973 humor)

Keep us posted/ Best to you and yours!

Your OldFart Buddy,
Garfield