Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Symptoms and Signs

What symptoms and signs did you experience with your pericarditis?

Comment from: Lauraf, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

I experienced pericarditis twice since having heart surgery; the most recent was with the worst symptoms. I still cannot lay flat without pressure and pain and yesterday I can say the pain was a ten on a scale of one to ten. Strangely enough my echocardiogram was normal even though my symptoms are so intense. I took Tylenol with Codeine when the pain was at its worst and it allowed me to feel like I could take a breath again. They're also treating me with Motrin to take down the inflammation. I think a big part of healing is getting diagnosed and of course going on the anti-inflammatory drugs.

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Comment from: dawngirl1975, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

With my pericarditis, I was very stressed, and I started to swell up. My eyes and face were swollen -- others at work noticed it first. In a week's time, I could not wear any of my clothes, and I could not lie on my back. I could not breathe. Soon I was unable to walk because my torso was hurting so bad. I was in the hospital a week before they figured it out. They finally did a CT scan and they saw my whole body, heart and lungs were outlined in fluid. They drained 20 pounds of fluid from me. My immune system attacked my heart and did some damage to one of the bottom sacs. I had to see a cardiologist for a while after that and do echocardiograms. She told me that if I don't get rid of the stress in my life that I would be six feet in the ground. I quit my job and started to take better care of myself. Now I am battling other stuff. Stress can kill you. Remember that.

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Comment from: Mick, 35-44 Male Published: July 25

I had a heart procedure done called an ablation to prevent atrial fibrillation. I then got pericarditis and two weeks later had 1.6 litres of fluid drained from the pericardium. I have had pericardiis in April and now have got it back but this time it's different and echo shows no fluid or enlargement of the heart. I feel a stinging feeling around the chest and very hard to breath like shortness of breath and asthma.

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Comment from: Steve, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 23

I started with flu-like symptoms in mid-July and it felt like a very bad virus. I then started experiencing chest pain when walking, which gradually worsened so that I couldn't walk up the hill to the train station where I live. Then it got increasingly worse and the dull pain in my chest spread down my left arm to my elbow and fingers. I was concerned that I could be having a heart attack. I am a 51 year old male in good health and reasonably fit as I cycle, don't smoke, and drink occasionally. I went to the local clinic near work and was seen for about five hours. They did two ECGs and a blood test for enzymes that were negative and showed me in good health. I was allowed to leave but the pain got worse and I became very fatigued, almost exhausted. I went to my own doctor who diagnosed viral pericarditis and gave me a course of anti inflammatories that I am now taking. My symptoms also included pain when I lay down but not pain when I breathed in. I appear to have a moderate case and am now recovering while off work. I suspect I will have to take more than a week off to recover though, possibly two or three weeks. We will see!

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Comment from: Moe, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

My pericarditis started when I woke up with a pain with every breath I took. The doctor told me I was fine, and I went home and the pain was gone after a week. It came back after two days. I saw the doctors every two days and still they said nothing was wrong. My heart rate went to 149/100 and they started to do tests on me. I was 20 years old when this happened.

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Comment from: 45-54 (Patient) Published: June 02

Diagnosed with pericarditis a week ago aftre experiencing severe pain. Three vists to the ER later I developed A-fib and had to be converted back to a normal rhythm. Prescribed 800 mg of Motrin 3x/day which had some effect, them it got worse. Now on Prednisone corticsteriods to try and reduce the inflammation. This condition typically resolves itself over time and a positive attitude is a must, even better, humor. Easier said that done when you're doubled over in pain, but hey - this doesn't kill you but it tests your mettle to be sure. Keep well everyone.

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Comment from: ceebee, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 26

Terrible chest pain that varied from a tight cramping sensation around the heart that would spread across my chest and diaphragm, to a sharp stabbing pain in the area of the heart that would spread up my neck and shoulder and that I felt with each heartbeat. Pain would worsen if I bent too far forward, lay flat on my back, coughed, or breathed deeply, and would ease if I leaned forward slightly and took shallow breaths. My heart at times would beat very hard and\or fast, as well as irregular. Had a constant heavy sensation and tightness in my chest. A pounding headache, weakness, occasional anxiety, and felt tired all the time. Despite treatment, this is still going strong, and I've had it for a month and a half now.

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Pericarditis - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with 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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