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krosson62

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Had my surgery Aug 7 2020. Doing fine mitral valve replaced with artificial one and 24 burns or freezes think it called abolition for erratic heart rate, 250beats per min. Meds are ok. Problem is more of a mental one. I was told about being on COUMADIN for rest of life but not made aware of all the costs. Being in the lower income brackets and 58yrs old not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare the ins. we got was a miracle made possible by an angel. I'm not ungrateful but since the surgery I keep wondering if I made right decision. Placing so much burden on my husband. Have even figured out how to fix the problem. Anyone else have these thoughts more than just now and then, pretty regular almost daily.
 

pellicle

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Hi
well I'm not an american (which matters) however the cost of warfarin (there is a specific brand Coumadin but as far as I know that's now no longer available in the USA) is quite minor. You'll find many more post here where people say its about $10 a month. Perhaps @Superman may have thoughts on the matter.

I strongly advise you to look at and pursue the avenue of self testing and self management. If you demonstrate to your doctor that you're a reliable and competent person it will be pretty much plain sailing.

For now just relax and do your best in recovery, there's plenty of time soon for questions and answers.

Best Wishes
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
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Welcome. You are very soon out of surgery and I am sure you are feeling overwhelmed........and it can be overwhelming..

Warfarin is the generic for Coumadin. Coumadin will soon be unavailable as Bristol, Myers, Squibb is stopping production. I have taken the generic Warfarin for several decades and find it just like Coumadin......and cheaper. I think I used to pay about $4/month for a thirsty day supply from Walmart. Talk with someone at your doctor, hospital, pharmacy or INR lab about financial help with the testing costs until you get comfortable.

The most difficult part of all this is now behind you.......and it is OK to seek some professional help in "tying up the loose ends".
 

Superman

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Warfarin itself is dirt cheap for the generics. Compared to diabetics and others, we have it pretty easy when it comes to medication costs. I take Warfarin, Metoprolol, and a baby aspirin. $10 for a 90 supply at any pharmacy I use.

The cost issue will be testing, and that’s really going to depend on your insurance. I’m fortunate to pay about $11 out of pocket monthly to home monitor. That includes use of the machine, the test strips, and the lancets, as well as the lab monitoring my self reported results and working with me on dosing changes as needed.

To buy a machine outright and pay cash for testing supplies, I can’t speak to. In the US, most cardio providers will want you to work with a service that partners with a lab, so true self testing and dosing isn’t encouraged. Lab draws, when I went in, were cheaper and I only went in monthly. The convenience and frequency of testing is worth the peace of mind that home testing offers to me. If things are really tight though, a traditional lab still works and is more economical. I think I paid 10% of $18 or so out of pocket.
 

tom in MO

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Had my surgery Aug 7 2020. Doing fine mitral valve replaced with artificial one and 24 burns or freezes think it called abolition for erratic heart rate, 250beats per min. Meds are ok. Problem is more of a mental one. I was told about being on COUMADIN for rest of life but not made aware of all the costs. Being in the lower income brackets and 58yrs old not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare the ins. we got was a miracle made possible by an angel. I'm not ungrateful but since the surgery I keep wondering if I made right decision. Placing so much burden on my husband. Have even figured out how to fix the problem. Anyone else have these thoughts more than just now and then, pretty regular almost daily.
The burden of losing a spouse at middle age is much greater than the burden of medication and tests.

You made the right choice, you chose to LIVE! Things will work out, don't worry.
 

rich01

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Aug 23, 2018
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Location
Virginia US
Up to 25% of patients experience cardiac depression.
Although you may think of your moods as being somewhat dependent on how you feel or on your progress, especially after a major surgery, a positive outlook during recovery can improve your physical healing process. There are some proven strategies to help you improve your odds for feeling good during recovery.

Call and talk to someone on your heart healthcare team. What you are experiencing is called cardiac depression.
 

KatherineA

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Oh my goodness @krosson62 Many hugs to you. This is all new and hard and remember, in addition to the incision, many things are healing we can’t necessarily see. Berg overwhelmed and depressed after surgery is quite common. I had it bad, if that helps you out to know. What helped me was seeing a counselor, talking to the nurses assigned to answer questions after surgery at the hospital. I also did on my own very gentle yoga, like simply moving my joints like wrists and ankles and breathing with it, mindful in a chair at first, meditation doesn’t have to née long, 5 min and there are lots of free ones online like YouTube.

Also as recommended above ask about generic warfin. Much less expensive I hear. I have a biological valve so I’m not famiI liar with the medication other than to say that.
Eat well as you can. Make easy good things like chicken soup, vegetable broth, salads etc.

Things will start looking up and the worst is over. Think about how far you will be able to walk and do very very soon, every day gets better.
 

krosson62

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Thank you for your response it was very much needed. The meds I'm worried about is the warfarin and the inr testing. Had no idea I would have to test every week from now on and wasnt aware of the costs of the home inr testing. My husband says dont worry but cant help wondering if I made right decision. I'm going to try your suggestions and plan on seeking out a counselor or primary care doc in my area after new year. Again thank you so much and god bless you for reaching out means more than you'll ever know
 

tom in MO

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Thank you for your response it was very much needed. The meds I'm worried about is the warfarin and the inr testing. Had no idea I would have to test every week from now on and wasnt aware of the costs of the home inr testing. My husband says dont worry but cant help wondering if I made right decision. I'm going to try your suggestions and plan on seeking out a counselor or primary care doc in my area after new year. Again thank you so much and god bless you for reaching out means more than you'll ever know
Not everyone needs to do weekly testing. I test every ~2 weeks, unless I need an adjustment, then I test more frequently. Per cardio, I must test every month, but that's not recommended at all.
 

pellicle

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Had no idea I would have to test every week from now on and wasnt aware of the costs of the home inr testing.
I buy my own everything with respect to home testing. Strips are about $6 per test and over the last 8 years my machines cost (I own my own) works out to be less than $1 per test (and keeps getting smaller).

$6 a week isn't much money really.
 

Protimenow

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Without insurance, the co-pay numbers quoted here are meaningless. I understand that.

In the United States, the strips are around $5 each. You can buy a meter on eBay for a few hundred dollars or more - some people sell grandma's machine because she's not going to need it and Medicare already paid for it - and sometimes you can pick up a real bargain.

I have a few Coag-Sense machines that I can sell - cheap - but you may be better off with CoaguChek XS because strips are more readily available, and this meter is used worldwide.

Self-testing isn't a big deal, once you've done it a few times.

There are people on this forum who can help guide you for self-management.

The issue with self-testing and warfarin access shouldn't be much of a problem at all -- even without insurance and great income.

My income sucks, but I have my meter(s) and supplies. You should be able to, too.
 

pellicle

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In the United States, the strips are around $5 each. You can buy a meter on eBay for a few hundred dollars or more - some people sell grandma's machine because she's not going to need it and Medicare already paid for it - and sometimes you can pick up a real bargain.
I suspect there'll be more real soon as the INRange is being put out there by the medical companies

I found this one on eBay recently


and the fact that they have sold 80 of them suggests they're disposing of some rental / lease ones from insurance companies
 

tom in MO

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I wouldn't trust my life to a used meter. Some people are tinkers and open up devices just to see...grandma's dead and doesn't need it anymore...Oh wait I can get $200 on ebay for it, better put it back together...
 

carolinemc

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May 31, 2010
Messages
964
Location
kansas city, mo
Welcome. You are very soon out of surgery and I am sure you are feeling overwhelmed........and it can be overwhelming..

Warfarin is the generic for Coumadin. Coumadin will soon be unavailable as Bristol, Myers, Squibb is stopping production. I have taken the generic Warfarin for several decades and find it just like Coumadin......and cheaper. I think I used to pay about $4/month for a thirsty day supply from Walmart. Talk with someone at your doctor, hospital, pharmacy or INR lab about financial help with the testing costs until you get comfortable.

The most difficult part of all this is now behind you.......and it is OK to seek some professional help in "tying up the loose ends".
I still pay $10.00 for a 90 day supply at Walmart. Had to fight the corporate office over an increase a few months ago. They found they were wrong and when I got a new script, it was back down to normal co-pay.
 

carolinemc

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May 31, 2010
Messages
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kansas city, mo
I suspect there'll be more real soon as the INRange is being put out there by the medical companies

I found this one on eBay recently


and the fact that they have sold 80 of them suggests they're disposing of some rental / lease ones from insurance companies
My lab uses this one. I trust it and it is quick and to the point.
 

carolinemc

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May 31, 2010
Messages
964
Location
kansas city, mo
I wouldn't trust my life to a used meter. Some people are tinkers and open up devices just to see...grandma's dead and doesn't need it anymore...Oh wait I can get $200 on ebay for it, better put it back together...
My labs uses Roche Coaguchek XS PT/INR Meter testing and it is accurate.
 

Protimenow

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Messages
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FWIW - I just bought one of the CoaguChek XS on eBay for $30 with free shipping.
It was listed at $25 or best offer. I offered $30 and it was accepted.

I'll probably receive it on Saturday or Monday (the seller is local), and I'll compare results with the meter that I bought YEARS ago (maybe 2013 or 2014 - used), and see if there's a significant difference between the two.

I doubt that there will be.

Now -- if whoever sold these hung on to the battery covers and the blue strip guides, they can probably make some fair money - one meter at a time.
 

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