Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pericarditis.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I am a 35-year-old female from South Carolina. I was told that I had pericarditis two years ago and was in the hospital for three weeks on and off for this. I was treated with Prednisone, and now, this past Sunday night at 3 a.m., I woke up and felt as if I had a 300 pound person sitting on my chest. So, I went to my doctor at 8 a.m., and she did an EKG and sent me straight to the hospital for an echocardiogram. Sure enough, it has come back. I feel so tired and really short of breath. Today, they started me on Prednisone again, and I go see a heart doctor Thursday morning.

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Comment from: 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 23

I was previously diagnosed with paracarditis a few years ago. If you've just been diagnosed it can be scary. A few days ago while at home I began to have somewhat intense chest pain. I chalked it up to indigestion and waited for it to go away. It didn't. In fact the pain increased to the point where I thought, for a moment, that I could be having a heart attack. Reluctance got the better of me and I didn't go for medical help until three days later. It turns out that it wasn't a heart attack but probably a recurrence of pericarditis. I'm still not feeling well and am still a little nervous. The moral of my story is any chest pain, however severe needs to be checked right away. And since I'm a former firefighter/emt I should know better. Never second guess chest pain.

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Comment from: patbush34, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

When I was younger, I had a problem, but the doctor did not find anything wrong with me. I had intense pain on my left rib area while trying to sleep. I went to see him again and he found nothing. Finally, I went again, telling him that the pain was not too bad when I had my bra on. When I took my bra off and went to bed, that's when it hurt. Finally the light went on in his head, and he sent me to the hospital. I not only had pericarditis I had double pericarditis with fluid around my lungs and heart. I stayed in the hospital a week.

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Comment from: outch, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: August 14

Pericarditis is a very painful, uncomfortable experience. I am 16 years old and was diagnosed with coxsackie and pericarditis 2 days after my birthday – having sharp painful cramps around my heart and severe muscle pain. It may all sound discouraging but the severe pain greatly influenced my school points and kept me from doing stuff like dancing, tennis and other adrenalin sports. I really hope some smart doctor can come up really fast with a cure or just a better treatment for both illnesses.

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Comment from: Scarlet, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 06

My husband was released this past Monday from the hospital after being diagnosed with pericarditis and pericardial effusion. He ignored his doctor's advice to call if the pain in his chest returned. He thought it would just subside. He had to have emergency surgery yesterday to drain the fluid because the fluid accumulated so quickly again in the pericardium. He was close to heart failure. Had we not gotten to the hospital in time that could have been it. Do not ignore your pain if it worsens, and make sure you go to your doctor or the hospital. This isn't anything to ignore. We had never heard of this before last week.

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Published: July 01

I am a 78 yr. old woman. My experience with pericarditis began in my 20's. I experienced edema, shortness of breath and great heaviness in my legs, also headaches. I was diagnosed in 1960 with Chronic Constrictive Pericarditis. As you can imagine, my Dr. was a great diagnostician to find the problem. I remember I had what was called a stereo x-ray, he used an instrument that was used for spinal taps I believe. I entered the Hosp. on Sept 7, had surgery on Sept. 14, 1960 in a little neighborhood hospital. They said that the only thing that seemed to be having a pulse was the Aorta. My liver had pretty much disintegrated. They peeled the pericardium, which was very thick from scar tissue, like an orange. They said you could see the heart beginning to beat as they operated. I had a long recovery, but now, 48 yrs later, I am fine. And very grateful to the two Drs who saved my life.

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Comment from: Sheila, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 14

My son was 24 when he died of pericardial tamponade. He did have a kidney disease at the time, but the coroner said that wasn't the cause of his death. He was found in his bathroom on the floor. Please don't think that just because you are young, it can't happen to you. It can. Please seek medical attention if you have any symptoms.

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Patient Comments

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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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