Last week my INR was 4.0 when I tested on Sunday. Oddly enough, I didn’t die. Additionally, I cut my knuckle accidentally while helping my Mom and amazingly the bleeding stopped.
I have 3 (three) functional CoaguChek XS meters. Yes, I’m a dork. I don’t need 3. I don’t even need 2. All 3 agree with each other (within 0.1). Today I double tested in order to validate my new batch of strips (Again, I’m a dork and I always validate my new strips against my old ones). As expected, they agree. Always have so far.
I target 3.0 these days. I don’t worry AT ALL when I hit 4.0 … which has happened twice in the past year (and I test twice a week - because I’m a dork). HOWEVER, I DO worry when I’m close to 2.0. I would rather have a bleed than a stroke. Think about that for a moment. Because a bleed at 4.0 INR is nothing like people make it seem. The cut still coagulates and stops. Just takes a little longer. But a stroke - c’mon people - strokes are a HUGE deal. Huge.
The great thing about testing yourself is you can make changes immediately. I tested at 4.0 a week ago on Sunday. I was taking 12mg daily. That day I took 10. The next two days I took 11. On Wednesday I was at 3.2. I settled back in to 11.5mg and today I was 3.0.
Self managing is an EXTREMELY beneficial thing for those willing to put in a little effort.
I'm curious, too.
There was a new CEO, with whom I was able to communicate directly. I don't know if a new board came in, or a new company purchased Coagusense, but SOMETHING CHANGED.
I don't know if the FDA got involved in the change or not.
What I'm stating is solely my experience with the company.
While results from the strips before the change were STILL below the XS (especially when the XS reported values above about 3.5), for lower values - below 3, perhaps, the values were close to each other - usually less than 20%, and the lab values were often roughly an average of the two meters.
Since then, it seemed that the Coag-Sense consistently gave me an INR 1.0 or so below the XS. One of the tech support people told me that I should be content to add 1.0 to the Coag-Sense number to match the XS. (This is like saying to add an hour to your clock to get the correct time).
I'm not sure if the discrepancy is just for me, or is more widespread. I've used many strip lots, and tested on two or more Coag-Sense meters (I'm a testing dork, too), and the Coag-Sense meter values matched each other.
Following my TIA about 10 years ago - the result of trusting a meter with my life - (the meter said 2.6, the hospital said 1.7) - I went on a quest to determine which meter I trust my life with. After months of testing (and lab comparisons), I chose the Coag-Sense.
I had full faith in the Coag-Sense. I rarely used the XS.
I'm also a testing geek - I have wound up with two Coag-Sense PT2 (the latest model), and two PT1 (the classic) - and I'm still trying to give one away.
I have two CoaguChek XS and one CoaguChek Pro (overkill for a home tester, but it has a few more features). My latest XS were bought on eBay for $29.95, and one appeared to be BRAND NEW (it still had the plastic on the screen, and recorded only a handful of tests).
I will probably give away one of the XS meters - I don't need all of them, and they may be of value to someone who needs one (although, at $30, I can't imagine the meter being unaffordable - the strips may be a slightly bigger issue).
I tested my INR today on an XS and horror of horrors, my INR was 3.9. Amazingly, the blood didn't spurt out my incision. I didn't have to rush to E.R. to get help stopping the bleeding. I pressed a paper towel to it for a minute or so, and the incision coagulated. This may have taken a few seconds less if I hadn't been taking Warfarin.