I have been a member here for a while and vegan for several months. My daughter prompted me to take the step as she decided to become a vegan and I joined her. I haven't posted for some time due to some serious health problems that have occurred since then, and life has been highly stressful.
In November my daughter had a sickness and diarrhoea virus that wiped her out and left her immobile on the sofa for several days. She had a couple of trips to the hospital to check for dehydration although she was ok as I'd kept her going with lots of rehydration fluids. After the third week of the virus she began to recover but after several days she had a massive Deep Vein Thrombis. She developed a large blood clot in her groin and the doctors began the long investigative procedure to discover why a 15 year old should get this. Yes, immobility can cause DVT but she is 15, fit, active and very healthy.
She was put onto warfarin and has been attended blood clinics weekly ever since, to check her INR levels and ensure that her blood is thin and she isn't at risk of the blood clot embolising. They plan to take her off warfarin in March. However, the warfarin was not thinning her blood enough and they no longer wish to keep increasing the dose (too many other risks). A blood test came back saying that she has Leiden Factor 5 defieincy, which is basically a fairly common blood disorder which means that the blood clots up too easily. This is why the sickness virus led to a DVT and it explains everything.
The problem - and this really IS a problem - is that the clinic arranged an appointment today, to teach her how to self-inject a drug called Heparin, in addition to her regular warfarin, to ensure that her blood is suitably thinned out. They wanted her to inject herself daily until the blood has stabilised. She looked it all up on the internet last night and discovered that it is made from something taken from pigs. She went to the clinic this morning and threw up everywhere, then refused the drug. She came home, went to bed and has been in a state of anxiety and upset all day.
She will be off the warfarin in March. Without a daily injection of Heparin, the consultant said that she will be considered insufficiently de-coagulated and runs a high risk of developing another blood clot. Without Heparin, blood clots can embolise - bits break off and lodge themselves in the lungs, the heart or the brain. She could die or be brain damaged if this occurred.
She cannot see her way to taking a drug that comes from an animal source. There isn't another one. She had Heparin initially after the DVT but didn't know where it came from at the time. Now she does, and has realised the implications of NOT taking it, but really doesn't, and cannot, think that her life is worth more than a pig's.
I find it difficult to discuss this with her as I am her Mum and I become extremely stressed, anxious and panicky just thinking about the fact that she is refusing medical advice. It has been enormously stressful watching her suffer with it all the first time round, and to deliberately run the risk of developing a further one with worse complications is unthinkable for me.
I would appreciate your thoughts, gently put as we are fragile, and will show her any useful input that any of you may have. I appreciate it greatly and hope that somebody can be helpful in this very difficult situation.