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Old 05-25-2005, 05:00 AM
Thomas B.
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I suffer from severe arterial deficiency due to calcification resulting in 90% occlusion in the left leg and 70% in the right. I had been taking 5 mg daily of Coumadin to help increase blood flow. Additionally, I walked until it hurt and then some as often as possible to grow additional arteries at the doctor's suggestion. HBO therapy was tried various times for the same reason. Still, I had to take 40 mg twice daily of Oxycontin and 10 mg of Lorcet as needed (usually 120 mg daily) for the breakthrough pain.<br><br>In April the vascular surgeon that is treating me thought my toes and immediately joining tissue of the left foot were so bad that they might need to be amputated. Additionally the large toe had a very bad infection. So he sent me to a foot surgeon in the hopes he could do something for me. The nail of the large toe had to be removed. Good thing because the infection turned out to be fungal and was easily treated. (Distorted nail from lack of circulation made it impossible to see before.) He also suggested that I take 100 mg of Pletal twice a day to see if it would help my circulation.<br><br>I discussed it first with the vascular surgeon. He didn't think it would help any more than the Coumadin but agreed that it couldn't hurt. So I started taking 100 mg of Pletal twice a day.<br><br>Slowly I was able to walk longer distances, increasing from 200 feet in April up to 500 feet in September before severe pain set in. Since it increased so gradually, the vascular surgeon and I thought it was more likely due to my walking as much as possible. The foot surgeon agreed but thought that the Pletal was helping as well.<br><br>The beginning of September I went to El Salvador for a month to visit with some old friends from my Embassy days there. I forgot to refill the Pletal before leaving and ran out after the first week. Further, Pletal is not available in El Salvador. After a week I noticed that I was starting to feel pain after walking shorter distances. By the time I returned the first week of October, I was back to walking 200 feet before severe pain set in. I refilled my Pletal prescription as soon as I got back and now, one month later, I am back up to about 400 feet of walking before severe pain sets in.<br><br>So, Platel does work, at least for me. I proved the hard way that it just wasn't exercise and the HBO therapies. In the future, I will make sure that I am never without my Pletal for more than a few days.
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