Over the holidays, I did what no one should do…. Ever. I moved into a new house. I thought the holiday break would be the perfect opportunity to get family and friends to help me with the move. That misconception caused met to become covered in bruises.
Everyone who could help was busy with holiday preparations. Their priorities were to make sure the kids had a wonderful Christmas morning and adult gifts had food, drink, and entertainment when they visited. They were busy gift shopping, gift wrapping, meal planning, and/or Yankee swap organizing. That left me hauling stuff to the new house by myself.
I scheduled a moving company for the furniture and heavy boxes on the day after Christmas, but I wanted to move the sensitive, delicate, and fragile items myself. With the help of a small 2-wheeler, I rolled computers, printers, sewing machines, lamps, and lots of other stuff to the car, loaded them, drove to the new house, and then unloaded them. I did this multiple times for five days. On Christmas day, I was moving stuff around in the new house to make room for the movers to bring in the furniture. After bringing my most treasured items in, I had to clear a path for everything else.
On the day after Christmas, the movers came and left. Before I could settle in, I had to go back to the apartment and clean it so I would be assured of getting my security deposit back. Again, I assumed that I would have help from family and friends to scour, vacuum, and dust. But this time, they were getting ready for festivities to welcome in the New Year. I did all the cleaning alone.
Back to the Apartment
When the cleaning was done, I dropped off the apartment keys and headed for my new home. The first thing I did was clear a path to the bathroom and step into the shower. As I stepped out, I saw bruises all over my body and I had bright red areas on my thighs and my belly from lifting and moving boxes outside in the cold. I was more purple and red than flesh-toned and my hands really hurt. They were swollen from all the packing, moving, and unpacking and my fingers were peppered with little “paper cuts”. It felt like my heart was beating in my fingertips.
So what is a girl on Warfarin to do? This girl dug through her boxes and found the best remedies for cuts, bruises, swelling, and pain. These remedies will work for everyone, and especially for anyone that takes any form of Warfarin.
Small Cuts and Scrapes
For the cuts and scrapes, I applied Vitamin E oil. The one I use is all natural and non-GMO. It contains 54,600 IUs of Vitamin E in liquid form. After my shower, I coated my hands and then applied band aids to help absorb the liquid Vitamin E. It only took a couple of applications before the cuts started to heal and the stinging stopped.
For the bruises, I used Arnica Gel. The one I use contains no Vitamin K, so it does not change my INR. Vitamin K is often added to natural remedies because it speeds the rate of blood clotting. Warfarin blocks vitamin K to slow the blood clotting process. If you add vitamin K, even on your skin, it will cause your INR to drop. Before using any natural remedy, vitamin, or supplement, make sure it does not contain Vitamin K.
I discovered the best remedy for my swollen, throbbing hands by accident – cold water. I had dirty dishes in the sink and turned on the faucet. While waiting for the hot water, the cold water felt wonderful as it washed over my hands. It felt so good that I let it run until I couldn’t stand it any more. Ice would have been second best, but the water seemed to go just where it was needed. It helped that it was 20 degrees (F) outside. My cold water is really cold.
I also began taking Kapparest, an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant supplement from Biotics Research. This product contains several ingredients that reduce inflammation at a cellular level by suppressing certain cell molecules that cause inflammation. It is also gluten and dairy-free, and for me, that is important.
As the natural remedies started to work, I still had to deal with the pain in my hands and the sore muscles from moving all those boxes. Before Warfarin, my obvious choices were aspirin and salves like Icy Hot®. However, since taking Warfarin, all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are off the pain management list. These include aspirin, Celebrex®, Motrin®, and Advil®. Topical medications containing methyl salicylate are also off the list. These include Icy Hot®, Bengay®, and Tiger Balm®.
Now that I take Warfarin, I use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the pain. I found the box where it was packed and took two 500 mg tablets. As with NSAIDS, us Warfarin users need to be cautious when taking acetaminophen because it, too, can cause an increase in bleeding and elevate the INR. Luckily, my natural remedies kicked in and I stopped taking the acetaminophen after the first dose.
For the sore muscles, the best topical cream I found is Penetrex. This product contains mostly natural ingredients and does not interfere with blood clotting. I found it better than products like Icy Hot® and Bio-Freeze® because it doesn’t smell and it is not greasy. It delivered relief immediately and exactly where I needed it.
After the Move
I am now on the mend and happily rearranging the space in my new home as I unpack the boxes. Where did I get so much stuff?
- Kapparest (180 C). Biotics Research Corporation. https://www.bioticsresearch.com/node/1631
- Ogbru, O. Nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAIDs). MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/nonsteroidal_antiinflammatory_drugs/article.htm.
- Choi, K.H, Ah Kim, J.,Son, I.J., Kim, K.,Kim K., et. al. Risk factors of drug interaction between warfarin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in practical setting. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2010 Mar; 25(3): 337–341. PMID: 20191029. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2826747/#.
- Vitamin E Natural Liquid. Now Health Group, Inc. https://www.nowfoods.com/supplements/vitamin-e-natural-liquid.
- Miracle Plus Arnica Bruise Gel. Amazon.com. https://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Plus-bruising-swelling-discoloration/dp/B07F96Z4KK/ref=sr_1_7_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1547814354&sr=1-7&keywords=arnica%2Bgel&th=1.
- What is Arnica and why does it help with bruises? Procure science & nature. https://www.procureheals.com/learn/arnica-help-bruises/.
- Warfarin patients should be monitored for acetaminophen interactions. ModernMedicine Network. Formulary watch. http://www.formularywatch.com/article/warfarin-patients-should-be-monitored-acetaminophen-interactions.
- Penetrex Ingredients. Penetrex.com. https://penetrex.com/pages/ingredients.
- Does Penetrex Really Work?. Does It Really Work?. https://doesitreallywork.org/penetrex-review/.