It's to set you up for the punchline (which may not give you a punch in the stomach the way it did me).
INR=International Normalized Ratio.
Finger prick=drop of blood
And a drop of blood, Reader Dear, when it is paired with a particular, properly working piece of equipment (found at every medical lab) will yield a person's INR reading (printed-out number).
The International Normalized Ratio reading will tell you how "thick" or "thin" your blood. Thick blood tends to clot too quickly. Thin blood keeps the clotting at bay. The medication intended to thin the blood can vary, but the most commonly used is Warfarin. It's nickname is Coumadin (I much prefer the nickname, Reader Dear. [I happen to know that Warfarin is the hidden drug of choice when rats are offered their final meal]).
Now, Dear Reader, I had been medicated with Coumadin for weeks. It is a tricky medication, but I didn't realize just how fickle. Here are some of the facts:
1. It's very important to figure out the dosage so as to keep one's blood at the proper viscosity. Taking an INR reading every few days is critical to knowing how much of the drug to ingest.
2. A proper reading for my condition (hoping to avoid another heart attack) is anywhere between 2.0 and 3.0. Under 2.0 and one might as well not bother taking the Coumadin. Above the level of 3.0 and one can bleed like water from a wide-open tap!
3. An INR over 5.0 is risky. 8.0 is extremely dangerous. Internal bleeding from any little bump or jolt can quickly take one to the promised land (possibly chatting with holy beings).
All of this wordy explanation, Dear Reader, has been to set you up for the astounding (and slightly unnerving, if not downright terrifying) news that I got upon reaching the Emergency Room of the hospital.
My INR reading was 10.*