The only way I know if I am bleeding is if I see, smell, touch or hear the blood. So I will be in bed and my hand move down and find some sticky warm mess, or I will be on the loo and hear a tinkle of fluid dropping into the pan and so put a gloved hand under me and pull it back to see the bright read blood; or I will wake up and smell old blood, pull back the bed sheets and see it.
Sometimes it’s not much and others its quite a bit; and rarely its a great deal. I’ve had this problem since about 1995. That’s when I became breathless and had a blood sample taken and was rushed to hospital for a blood transfusion.
Once I knew what the cause of the problem was i.e., regular little bleeds I could mitigate the problem by taking iron. However this all changed when in 2003 I had a mechanical aortic heart valve fitted following some heart attacks. That procedure meant that I needed to take Warfarin to stop any blood clots. Warfarin and regular bleeding don’t go well together.
Because I was working, the routine of going for regular INR checks at the NHS was impracticable and risky. You can wait for over an hour for the blood to be taken and if it’s not done regularly my INR levels can be dangerously out of range. So I purchased a Coagucheck machine and have carried out weekly self testing since 2003. Whenever I come into contact with NHS staff this throws them: they don’t appear to like it, or even believe it sometimes.
Anyway this approach worked well until 2010 when I had a major bleed. It was the biggest bleed I have ever experienced and I thought I was going to die. Since then my INR chart has become my bleeding chart and as it manifests my the fear I have lived with since 2010. Lets hope my recent hemmeriodectomy reduces both the bleeds and the fear.