Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pericarditis.

Comment from: RAE, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

I am a 57 year old female in good health. At the end of September 2016 I experienced a sharp pain in my lower left rib cage. The pain came and went and after 6 weeks of feeling more and more fatigued, a heaviness in my chest, pain in my neck and shoulder blades and extreme shortness of breath, I went to my family practitioner who diagnosed the problem as a pulled pectoral muscle. I asked for a chest x-ray because of the shortness of breath but she did not recommend it. I became much worse within 3 days of that doctor visit and ended up in the emergency room. EKG was normal, CT scan and lab tests showed inflammation. I ended up being hospitalized overnight with an echocardiogram showing pericarditis. I was prescribed 600 mg of ibuprofen 3 times/day for 7 days and .6 mg colchicine 2 times/day for 90 days. I stopped taking the 600 mg too soon and all symptoms returned after 8 days. I saw a cardiologist who said to follow the original prescription plan for an additional 6 weeks. After, all labs were within normal limits. The cause was never determined but leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune concerns were ruled out. Last week I was concerned that some of symptoms were recurring and asked for the lab tests to be repeated, they came back within normal limits, thank goodness. This took from September of 2016 to the beginning of February 2017 to clear.

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Comment from: ad, 19-24 (Patient) Published: May 02

I recently was diagnosed with pericarditis and I have to say it does get better. I went abroad and somehow got it in some type of viral infection. It is awful, I will admit. There were times I thought I was having a heart attack because I would get random rapid heartbeats and wouldn't be able to breathe, but I was told everything in my blood was fine. I had an abnormal heartbeat from the panic attacks I would get when experiencing some of the symptoms as any young person would get a little nervous. If you have anxiety, it helps to bend over and count. Always keep track of your symptoms and report any weird symptoms to your doctor just to makes sure nothing is over-looked. Symptoms are heart flutters, tightness/pain in chest, and shoulders (especially when you inhale), neck, jaw and sometimes arms. Your legs may also be stiff at times but it never lasts long. You will get through this! I'm three weeks in and although I have had healthier days I am feeling better. Take it easy, take your medicine and once you start feeling like yourself, go out and do something. It helps.

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Comment from: Anna B., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I started experiencing mild chest pain. I went to a minor emergency facility just to be safe. As I lay on the exam table pain greatly increased. I was given chest x-ray, blood tests, and EKG, which were normal but the pain was so severe I was given morphine and transferred to hospital. All tests were normal. I was discharged. One day later low grade fever started. My chest continued to hurt especially when taking deep breaths, bending over or lying down. Fever continued and 1 month later I was finally diagnosed with pericarditis with some effusion. I had no prior symptoms or illnesses.

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Comment from: D, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 29

I felt a dull pain in my chest for 10 days before going to hospital. They say I have viral pericarditis which has not been confirmed, the doctor says everything is pointing that way. It has been 5 weeks since I went to the hospital and I am just starting to feel better this week. For the first 4 weeks I was taking high dose aspirin and staying home as it seems to get worse if I get any part of a cold, with a virus already in me it was easy to catch anything going around. I felt like I was going to die for the first for weeks, but now I am finally starting to feel better after 5 weeks, so hang in there and rest, rest, rest. And good luck.

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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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