Warfarin Wars


That does sound a bit dramatic, but getting the Docs on call over the long weekend, who are looking after a hospital bursting at it’s seams, to review what it is exactly we need is a bit of a challenge.

However, the new to us Doc that wanted to order too much warfarin for Hershey yesterday was open to having a chat with us before making his order for a jump on getting on with things.    So we calmly explain our concerns, and agree to meet him half way.  What we have learned from this whole process, is to ask questions and be cautious about what happens next.  What we do want is a slow increase to a therapeutic level of clotting, and not overshoot the mark  which would increase the chance of another bleed.

Along with living in a hallway bed, sleeping or not sleeping through all the noise, and competing for the washroom with six other patients, it’s somewhat of an exhausting circus.  The nurses are always in for a treat when they get Hershey for a patient, and we find out all about them…  so many stories.   Then there’s the other patients, like a very pleasant gentleman from one of the Gulf Islands, and how he’s played soccer for his Aboriginal community, travelling all over the world, including playing in Australia against the Indigenous soccer teams there.  It all becomes part of the experience.

It was nice to get out for a walk down to the benches outside and watch a hummingbird come for a drink in the fountain in front of us.  These days of warm sunshine and blue skies make it nice to take a break outside of the hospital.

Keeping our fingers crossed that these long legs will be home and comfy back on OMOO soon.




Happy Canada Day

Oh Canada, True North Strong and Free.  We are very proud and grateful to live in this  beautiful and peaceful country.  And this last month we are especially thankful for our medical system that saves lives every day.

Enjoy an amazing, healthy and peaceful Canada Day everyone!!



Well, we are back in home territory, and a weeeee bit closer to being home home.  Last night Hershey got moved to CDH (Duncan hospital) and was very happy about it.

We were still in the large spacious room in Victoria, with a private bathroom and a view when we came up with the idea that it was so big we could rent out some space on Air BnB.   We figured $200 was about right, especially cause of the view….  it did have a sofa bed (hehehe).

It is so wonderfully typical of the Skipper when I said, ” what good care you got in Victoria,” and his reply was, “I met so many nice people.”   Yes, nice people are everywhere when it comes to the Skipper.  Has nothing to do with the way he’s always interesting and interested, wink wink.  “Where are you from, who’s your parents, what’s your dog’s name?”

So, we’re about to start week 4 of the this medical adventure.    Right now it’s just a couple more days of getting the warfarin up to a therapeutic level so the heparin drip can be stopped then it’s back to OMOO to rest up and regain some strength.    Soon we’ll be back to this:  CAN’T WAIT!!!



in stitches

Do you know???  This is a favorite game of the skipper’s…  where  this phrase comes from?

What’s the origin of the phrase ‘In stitches‘?

To be in stitches is to be in such a paroxysm of laughter as to be in physical pain. The allusion implicit in the phrase is to that of a sharp pain – like being pricked with a needle. The phrase was first used by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night, 1602.

We are both doing stitches, not in stitches.  The stitch the Skipper had on the inside is doing the trick and he’s stable.   Hershey is still waiting for a transfer to Duncan but is comfortable in his quiet room in Victoria.   Sometimes things move slow but it does fall into place eventually.

Sideways Sally is back on OMOO for a day doing real stitching with a few projects on the list.  Stitching a new zipper in the front panels of the Dodger, and finishing the cover for our stern tie.  It’s always feels good to check something off the list.

As they say in hospitals, “Hurry up and wait.”



Wednesday with Raffie

We were a little bored today so we went shopping… in the hospital gift shop.  Which by the way is quite a nice shop for a hospital.  There was a giraffe there with Wendy’s name on it.  Wendy is Sideways Sally’s gran who will be two soon.  Wendy luvs giraffes, and since the Skipper has giraffe legs they are kinda the same!   We named the giraffe “Raffie.”

Another awesome thing we did today was go on the facebook page for Marfan Syndrome.  It is a collection of people with many different experiences, all Marfan related.  We learned of someone else who also has intestinal bleeding problems, and another person who is 70 with mostly spine and eye problems, but is the soul survivor  of a family of seven.    It is so comforting to hear other’s stories and receive many more words of encouragement, “Sail on Sailor” was a favorite.

Other than that, Hershey spent the day impersonating a pin cushion as the medical team continue to monitor hemoglobin levels and clotting rates of warfarin (INR).  It’s only a matter of time till he’s good to go, depending on therapeutic levels of INR.

Soooo….. here’s hoping for the best!!  from Raffe and friends everywhere.  We luv you Skipper and can’t wait till you’re home.

tues news

Things are moving along today.  Dr. Pai (I finally asked how to spell his name) came by to announce that he will bridge from heparin to warfarin.  Then it’s a 24 – 48 hour window for warfarin to become therapeutic before discharge.

As we know, toilet’s tell stories, and the “brown in the bottom” is a big improvement from the “black is back” scenario we had last wkd.

We are ever so grateful to the team of Docs and Nurses at the Jube, they are great to talk to and extremely competent and professional.  Not only that, but Hershey has had three left handed nurses in a row (it’s a new club – who knew).  Delightfully the right handed nurses are just as smart, and one speaks French!!

The diet is back to regular from clear fluids and Hershey is eating everything in sight. He was a hungry man.IMG_5999 (2)

Sideways Sally has finished the pillow project and sewed a cover for our stern tie out of sunbrella.  Now it’s time to go home cause she’s out of sewing projects she can do by hand.

Hopefully by the wkd we’ll be back on OMOO taking our time to get strength back in the Skipper.  We’re so thankful this happened at the beginning of summer, not in the middle and not out beyond the safety of home port.

Thank you for the visits, calls and messages.   We appreciate everyone’s support!!


Monday at the “Jube”




Still in Victoria, still getting great care, still experimenting.

Things are up and down.  Blood count is stable, now on heparin which got clotting count too low but getting sorted out today.  Pulse has been down to 50 which is normal for Hershey but alarms the Nurses.

Doctor Pi was in to chat and states the staple they put in will eventually be pushed along and pooped out once the scar tissue shoves them out of the way.   Hershey says no one can tell him what metal they are made of.  He also learned the french word for “stool” from his French speaking nurse.  It’s “caca” if you’re a kid or “sal” if you’re an adult.

He’s on a clear fluid diet and starving.   Hopefully only for another day so he can enjoy his oatmeal raisin cookies.  I’m sure he’s missing his hodge podge oatmeal.

For the first time Sideways Sally felt comfortable on OMOO without the Skipper.  It has been very strange coming here without him.  Last night it felt warm, relaxing and inviting .  I fell asleep watching a netflix movie, so I guess I was tired.

Sunday was a great family day!!  We had a nice time visiting with Anna and face timing with James and Catherine (Hershey’s son and wife) and grans Annie and Julia.  The girls are loving bike riding and reading.  They are soooo cute!!




3 times lucky

I love that old saying today better than ever!!!

Three scopes later and Dr. Pi found the bleed and put two staples in it.  He also informed Hershey that “it turns out this type of bleeding is not that uncommon for people who have been on pacemakers for a length of time and are using anticoagulants.”

It’s so relieving to know!  Now all of our worst imaginings are banished.  Like late last night we wondered if Marfans causes the intestines to deteriorate or if the chicken bone Hershey (maybe) swallowed could be ripping him apart.  Whew, not even the fall on the dock when his lawn chair went into a crack in the boards a couple of weeks ago is allowed to rattle around in our minds any longer as a possible cause for this nightmare.

It’s so nice when life gets simple again.  We still have to make sure the bleed is stopped before going back on Warfarin but hemoglobin levels climbed a little today from yesterday, so that’s a good sign.

Here at the “Jube” the scope was much longer than the one in Cowichan District Hospital so the Doctor was able to reach a part of the intestine they couldn’t previously.


IMG_5951 (2)

This lovely lady is Anna, Hershey’s niece.  She has been living in Victoria recently so she came for a visit this afternoon and brought oatmeal raisin cookies and kambucha.  Both were a big hit on the treat list.  Anna also has Marfans and so understands many of the complications and has survived a few of her own medical emergencies.

Talk about “two great minds think alike.”  The conversation between these two blows me away, from every topic like the benefits of kambucha to the history of Ireland and alot in between.    Of note, there was some “mind expansion” drugs on board so we really covered a wide range of information.   Kind of like when more wine goes in more information comes out, but on a whole new level.   Too bad the Skipper is not likely to remember it all tomorrow.

It was  adorable when he first returned from the procedure and his nurse asked him how that went and his reply was, “I sure missed you.”  She is pretty cute.