Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pericarditis.

Comment from: waitinginfaith, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

Initially, I had chest pain on my left side all day except when I went to sleep. The pain was bearable. The pain went away for a few days and returned during a family trip. From that point on, the pain increased. The pain increased during and after physical activity. I also noticed that it was worse when I slightly leaned back. Leaning forward relieved the pain. When I returned home I went to my doctor and he immediately diagnosed it as pericarditis. Just to be sure, he ran an EKG and noticed the inflammation in the sac around the heart. He said it is caused by a virus and will take up to two weeks to heal. He prescribed to me Norco (I have to take two pills to relieve the pain, but end up being nauseous). He also gave me an anti-inflammatory drug. He did a blood test to make sure there aren't any other contributing factors. I'm waiting for the results. Stress makes the pain worse. Sitting still quietly for long periods of time seems to lower my pain level. I am on day twelve and I am hoping to have it resolved soon.

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Comment from: gwl, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 21

I had an attack in December 2013. I had a day and a half in hospital, my pain was eased by sitting up. I had the condition diagnosed about 3 years ago. This was the first attack I have had, no problems since leaving the hospital. All heart tests came back negative.

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Comment from: MadWriter, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 19

I was working some long hours and lifting some heavy merchandise when I felt my left shoulder blade start to hurt. I thought little of it, probably just a strained muscle. Then a week went by and it felt worse and I felt a little feverish, still I thought it was from the overtime. I had a vacation coming up and felt I could just sleep it off. That night I felt the pain move from my left shoulder right across my chest to my right shoulder. I tried going to bed, but no matter how I was positioned in the bed the pain got worse. Eventually I managed to get ten minutes of sleep standing up propped up against the bathroom sink. For the pain, I took about seventeen Aspirins over the course of five hours. My breathing was little shallow puffs as my lungs were collapsing. The pain felt like someone twisting my left arms until it was about to break, while someone else was sticking an icepick in my neck, while a third person was sitting on my chest and rubbing my chest with sandpaper from the inside. I didn't react to any pain medication except morphine which worked for a mere twenty minutes, then it was back to the grueling pain. I was given some antibiotics and some sort of pain killers and was sent home after two days in the hospital. I was also given a warning that it would recur about every two to three years. Well so far, nothing. And I wish this on no one.

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Comment from: GregB, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 03

I came down with pericarditis on March 15, 2007. The day I came down with it, I encountered flu-like symptoms. The flu symptoms abated within a few days. Two days after, I came back to work from what I thought was the flu and I nearly blacked out when I ran up the steps going to my office. I developed shortness of breath and dizziness. Normally I do not get out of breath as I am a fairly constant walker who had successfully lost nearly 80 pounds thanks to diet changes and exercise. Within the next week and a half the doctors did a myriad of tests to conclude on April 1 that I needed to be admitted to the hospital with fluid around my heart and lungs. At the hospital, the doctors did emergency surgery to drain the fluid from around the heart. Nearly 60 pounds of fluid were drained from my body. Today, I still walk quite a bit and enjoy good health.

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Comment from: salmon95, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 17

I am a 49-year-old man who recently traveled to Texas for a business trip. I was conducting a presentation when I started feeling some pain in my chest. I did not think it was anything other than maybe some indigestion as I had just had a small lunch. In a very short period of time, the chest pains got worse, and I was having a hard time breathing. I still did not want to say anything to anyone, hoping this would pass. I could not have been more wrong. Things got bad very fast. My chest and breathing became extremely painful to the point I thought I would pass out. I told a nurse, and she brought me to the ER. They did an EKG and CAT scan of my head and chest. I also had very high blood pressure, so I was given meds to bring this under control. I was still in a lot of pain and could not lie down. I was diagnosed with pericarditis and admitted to the ICU overnight and then to the telemetry unit overnight and discharged the next day. I was told to take 600 mg of ibuprofen three times a day and consult a cardiologist as soon as I returned home. I will be calling on Monday; however, I am a bit nervous as I am still having shortness of breath and some slight chest pain.

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Pericarditis - Symptoms and Signs Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with your pericarditis?
Pericarditis - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment or procedures did you or a relative receive for pericarditis?
Pericarditis - Causes Question: Did an inflammatory disease or infection cause your pericarditis? What was the cause?

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