Alcohol and blood thinners

Posted by ccorioles4 @ccorioles4, Wed, Jun 26 11:32pm

I am a little over 4 weeks post open heart surgery. I am on blood thinners keeping my INR between 2 & 3. Am I okay to drink alcohol or not?

Hello! This is a question for your nurse coordinator and your transplant doctor. From my own experience I was told not to drink alcohol unless it was for a very special occasion. I have probably had 4 half glasses of wine since my heart transplant 2.5 years ago and all at weddings or birthdays. I actually stopped drinking prior to my transplant. I could feel how it affected my heart.
I wish you a great recovery and speedy healing. Please check with your doc before you consider imbibing!

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In my case, no way. I've been on Warfarin for 5 years after a diagnosis of Atrial fibrillation. My bimonthly lab tests almost always show an INR of 2.3-2.7. Except once! I had two glasses of wine with dinner one evening. The next day, my INR rose to 5.2 — scary. To bring it back down, my doctor told me to skip daily Warfarin for two days. Bad advice. On that second day, out for a common walk of 1.5 miles, I suffered a small stroke — a blood clot apparently lodged in an artery in my brain. I recovered in a few days, but not totally. My balance and coordination — even my hand coordination — is a little off, and I have to be careful to avoid misstepping or dropping a cup of coffee.

Since that happened a year ago, my doctors and I agreed to limit consumption of wine and other alcoholic liquids. I simply swore off of them. Hate it. I'd greatly appreciate a glass of wine with dinner tonight, but no way. My friends in the restaurant and cabaret business are tolerant of me, but not as before. Even so, I'm off alcohol completely and plan on staying that way. Martin

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hello martin!
I am very sorry to read your story about the "small" stroke. I was always impressed by your posts. and it was quite evident, that you took care of your own health as much as possible. . well that's life, isn't? I took care of myself (my dutch family was laughing, because I was so serious doing that). unfortunately I have cerebral deficits not because of a stroke, but due to a nearly heart stop (atrioventricular block grade 3) all of a sudden..the emergency doctor, who came to my house (2:00 am) did the right things. the same day they implanted a pacemaker. I was asking myself, why did it happen to me?
I am sure that the cerebral circulation was not enough, I have difficulties with the fine motor skills..
So we both have our problems. there is a german saying,: we all want to grow older, but not old.
yoanne

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@yoanne

hello martin!
I am very sorry to read your story about the "small" stroke. I was always impressed by your posts. and it was quite evident, that you took care of your own health as much as possible. . well that's life, isn't? I took care of myself (my dutch family was laughing, because I was so serious doing that). unfortunately I have cerebral deficits not because of a stroke, but due to a nearly heart stop (atrioventricular block grade 3) all of a sudden..the emergency doctor, who came to my house (2:00 am) did the right things. the same day they implanted a pacemaker. I was asking myself, why did it happen to me?
I am sure that the cerebral circulation was not enough, I have difficulties with the fine motor skills..
So we both have our problems. there is a german saying,: we all want to grow older, but not old.
yoanne

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Thanks for the note, @yoanne. I'm glad you're still exuding insights and advice after such a severe heart problem. My wife and I both have had electrical problems with our hearts — me with A-fib and she with SVT. We're both in manageable conditions now, thanks to her medication (Fecainide) and mine (Carvedilol). And both of us have problems with fine motor skills, even static balance fully upright. But we went bowling this morning and did pretty well. After two lines, though, we both began to worry about losing our balance on the approach. After mentioning above that I quick drinking alcoholic beverages, I woke up this morning to a powerful medical discussion on CBS News that had one central message for all of us: Don't drink alcohol in any amount ever. I looked over my shoulder enroute to the shower and said, "Way ahead of up!" Their plea was based on data showing more people die in the US as a result of alcohol than any other medication of chemical substance. Sold me! Stay strong. Martin

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