Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pericarditis.

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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Comment from: Ab, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

It started out as shortness of breath and heartburn like pain. I went to the doctor on a Tuesday and was diagnosed with ulcers and put on medication, the following day it got worse and that evening was admitted into the hospital with ulcers as the main suspect. I had an epi something done on Friday and discharged that afternoon. immediately I developed a cough that wouldn't stop and the following morning I was back in the E.R, for the first time the doctor decided to send me for an x ray and he discovered the heart had become so enlarged it was pushing on the lungs. He recommended I come back on Monday and that is when I was admitted and told I had pericarditis. At this point I had lost a lot of weight and didn't eat much. The pain was immense and I was relieved to hear I would be going for surgery the following day (Tuesday). It went well and I spent 10 days in the hospital then went back to normal life. I was put on tuberculosis medicine as well for 8 months. I had missed a whole term of school, but I still managed to catch up without repeating that year. I was 15 and turned 16 a week after surgery and I am 25 today, completely cured and healthy only the scar left as a reminder.

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Comment from: sick of it, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I found out I had acute pericarditis a few months ago. I had severed pain in my chest and could not sleep well. No matter what I did. I could not even walk far. I was off work for a month. I went to four different hospitals because of my breathing and chest pain. Two told me it was angina. Two told me it was pericarditis. I had all kinds of EKG tests, stress test etc. I was hospitalized twice. I still didn't get the answers I was looking for. Now it is back, my left hand gets numb with severe chest pain and headaches it has been like this for a couple days now. I am wondering if it is more than what I was told because no one told me it could reoccur. I don't want to put myself threw endless tests for them to tell me to rest.

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Published: July 29

I am a 31 year old male who just got diagnosed with having pericarditis. I was experiencing discomfort in my left shoulder, like a sharp pain. This began in the morning on a Wednesday. It was Friday evening of the same week when I tried to lay down to go to sleep when I experienced a sharp pain in my chest which did not allow me to breathe very well. It did not matter if I went on my back or on my stomach; even on my side I still felt the pressure to my chest. I went to the emergency at 4:30am to find out what was going on and at first they thought I may have a bladder problem because one indication of that begins with pain in your shoulder as well. But after doing some blood tests, a few EKG's and an x-ray of my heart they determined I had inflammation of my heart (Pericarditis). They gave me a prescription of some drugs and I am currently recovering at home just trying to take it easy and hope that I am okay.

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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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