Self testing while on vacation out of the country

I live in the US, and will be travelling to Europe in one week--We are flying to London and then cruising around the British Channel Islands and making stops each day in Ireland, Scotland, and LeHavre. I am a little nervous (no, probably a lot nervous) because the trip is two weeks on the ship and I self test my INR weekly. A little fear if my numbers are out of range, and I am far away. This is the first time I will be out of the country since my diagnosis last year of APS and Factor V Leiden, and my Warfarin therapy .

I would just like to relate how nice the nurse practitioner in my hematologist's office is going to accommodate me. Because it is going to be almost impossible to phone in my results from Europe to the US from the ship, she gave me her private email address and said if my numbers are not good, I should email her and she would discuss with the doctor and email instructions back to me if they have to adjust my warfarin. If numbers are good, just continue on same dosage and don't send results to her.

This is going to ease a lot of tension for me and I could travel with a "clear mind".

There are some really very nice people in this world!!!


13 Replies

  • Indeed there are some good people out there looking after us.

    Before my days of self testing I had to make all sorts of arrangements if travelling. On a trip to South Africa, my then GP had arranged for me to see her brother, a doctor, if I had any problems. In the US my sister, a EM senior nurse arranged an INR check in her hospital.

    However, since I 've been self-testing I have always found things much easier , indeed no issues I couldn't manage have arisen.

    I hope the same goes for you and that you enjoy your trip.

  • Thanks---I'm still a little nervous about it, but relieved that I can contact them if needed.


  • Hi Mozelle,

    Do the tests more often (follow the INR) and at the same hour every day. Try to take the warfarin at the same hour (as you usually do). Make notes and also if you eat something very special and different.

    Take also with you a copy of K-rich Foods and vegetables so you know. I always drink a glass of Redwine for dinner. If you drink, try to drink the same amount every day. Constancy is the word! I am sure you already know these things. If the INR is high eat some K-vit rich vegs. Do you have Fragminshots to take if your INR goes under ex 3.0 (that is so for me)?

    You are lucky to be able to selftest. It will be ok. Have a nice time!

    Best wishes to you from Kerstin in Stockholm

  • Hi Kerstin

    Good idea, thanks. It will be a little confusing at first because of the time difference-I think that in the UK it is 5 hours later than the US. I generally test 7:00am in the morning here, so if I test 7:00am in UK, it is only 2:00am in the US.

    So I guess if I have to email them, I will hear towards evening which will be okay.

    They said I don't have to do shots as long as I am on the warfarin.



  • Enjoy yourself! The UK is beautiful at this time of year!

  • When I travel to UK, I adjusted my warfarin time in sync with my adjusting to the new times for all my other life habits, such as when meals eaten and when to sleep. So the first day you might want to take your warfarin a couple of hours earlier. Then the next day earlier still until by day 3 or so you are on UK time. Then the reverse back home.

    Have fun! Sounds lovely!


  • Sounds good. I will do that. Makes sense. Thanks.

    I've been following the weather--about 15° to 20° cooler in Ireland and Scotland--


  • I'm sure you'll be fine, have a great holiday

  • Thanks

  • I have travelled extensively across time zones in the last few years. I'm on warfarin and self-manage. I was originally worried about under or overdosing, but decided to buy myself a digital watch and leave it on UK time. I set the alarm to go off at 23.00 hours, the usual time I take my warfarin. Therefore, I get to take my warfarin regularly wherever I am and when I get back to the UK I'm back in sync. I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

  • I'm taking in all the suggestions of how to manage my warfarin, and I really appreciate everyone's input. I take it 6:00pm every night here in the US---I guess I could just continue taking it at that time ( take it 11:00pm UK time) and this way I'm still taking it every 24 hours. I'm sure it will work out.

    Thanks everyone.

  • Hi all who have responded,

    I did very well on my 2 week cruise around the Channel Islands. We flew home last night, 8/13, and besides the trip being wonderful and seeing the "other side of my world", I managed very well with my self-testing and the warfarin. I was able to email the nurse practitioner in my hematologist's office back home because I got a too high INR reading, and she emailed back with instructions for me. She actually didn't change my warfarin dosage, but told me to eat some more green leafy veggies ---the next week, my reading was in a good range.

    Ireland was beautiful, so was Scotland, and Liverpool.

    Thank you all who have been helpful with your suggestions of how to manage the warfarin.


  • So glad you did have a wonderful journey! Nice weather also I guess.

    Good to hear that we can travel and managing our selftesting so well. You must be proud of yourself.

    I always eat more green vegetables that are rich in K-vit when the INR is a bit too high and within 12 - 15 hours I have lowered my INR.


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