Home / 2012 / An Open Letter to Coumadin

An Open Letter to Coumadin

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

By Jennifer Gooden

Dear Coumadin,

Oh, Coumadin, you little 5 milligram orange pill that runs my life, how I hate you. There are so many reasons why I disdain you so. Let me count the ways:

One, the reason I take you. I have a blood clot and because of my heart I am basically disposed to get clots. I shouldn’t hate you because you are supposed to stop new clots, but oh well. I hate you anyway.

Number two, Coumadin, is the way you taste. Terrible. Like, nauseatingly bad. I used to be able to swallow pills. In fact, I could do it without any water. But no more! I need water to choke you down.

Reason number three that we cannot be friends is the bruising. I know that I have chicken legs that often resemble a 10-year-old little girl’s legs but seriously, I do not need the bruises to go along with that “look.” With every shot, I bruise. Whenever I trip off the rug or over the side table I get a bruise. My knees will never be the same.

Number four, the side effects—besides the bruising, of course, I think we’ve covered that in depth—can include gas, change in the way things taste, fatigue, pale skin, loss of hair and cold chills. Awesome, you are going to make me a tired, pale, bald, cold person who farts a lot and makes food taste bad. You should even hate yourself Coumadin! If that is even your real name. Coumadin, warfarin, Jantoven and Marevan are just some of the aliases that you go by. I don’t even know what to believe about you any more, Coumadin, but I do believe in my serious aversion for you.

Let me continue to tell you why we can never be buddies. The self-inflicted wounds I have to give myself to check my INR, well … they suck. Who wants to get their blood drawn or prick themselves with a needle? Not me. All of these things are excellent reasons why I loathe you, Coumadin, but one reason takes the cake.

One simple word: Broccoli. And other things containing a lot of Vitamin K—but mostly broccoli. Parents always say “you better finish you broccoli” and you are making me go back on 24 years of learned behavior. Not to mention I LOVE broccoli. And asparagus, and kale, and pickles—the list could keep going. But thanks to Coumadin I can only indulge three times a week in vitamin K goodness (because certain foods interact with Coumadin, the recommendation is to maintain a consistent amount of vitamin K in your diet every week). So when I do eat some yummy items with vitamin K, I make sure to “do it up” just right!

"Buttered" Asparagus


(serving size = about 4 oz.)

2 lbs of asparagus that have been trimmed
3 tbsp. light margarine
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 1/2 tsp freshly chopped parsley


  1. Fill saucepan about 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add asparagus and cook until tender (about 3 minutes).
  3. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  4. Set the cooked asparagus to the side.
  5. Using the skillet, slightly melt the “butter.”
  6. Stir in salt and pepper to melting "butter."
  7. Add asparagus and parsley to mixture.
  8. Cook until heated (approximately 1 minute).
  9. Remove from heat and toss to coat asparagus in the mixture.
  10. ENJOY!



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