Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Symptoms and Signs

What symptoms and signs did you experience with your pericarditis?

Comment from: Cardi, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

I had the flu, took regular multivitamins, and after a few days I was ok; or so I thought. I started coughing, this continued for days then I started feeling pain in my chest more to the left side. Anything that caused the lung to be inflated including deep breath, sneeze, or yawn, I just have to cut it short as it feels like the lung is touching the heart. I saw a doctor, got anti-inflammatory medications but still feel the pain. I was sent to do blood tests including HIV as I started night sweats and fever. Then the echocardiogram showed pericarditis, the damage to the lining of the heart and lung. Hey, be careful, flu can kill.

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Comment from: heather1012, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

A few years back I started getting run down and very tired. It was not abnormal as both my boys were in hockey and in school so I was running around a lot with them plus I worked a full time job. However, I noticed when I went to bed at night the pressure on my chest was unbelievable. After a week, I had to sleep sitting up. I went to the doctor and he said I must have strained a muscle and prescribed me muscle relaxants. It didn't help and the next week I went back. This time they told me it was an anxiety attack and that I should slow down. Well, by this point I had, because I could barely breathe. The third time I went, my husband had to take me to emergency and again they said it was a pulled muscle but my husband insisted on tests. So they started an EKG (electrocardiography) which was excruciating because I had to lie down. Luckily, a friend of ours who just happens to be the cardiologist was walking by and asked what was wrong. I told him and he checked me out right then and there. He knew right away that it was a viral pericarditis and discussed the matter with all the previous doctors I had seen. I was prescribed prednisone which took 8 weeks to minimize the symptoms. I still get a "sore heart" every once in a while but it only lasts a day or so and doesn't require medications.

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Comment from: carina, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 17

I'm a 42 year old female. I had flu symptoms and a bit of a sore lower jaw. I did not pay much attention. When my flu symptoms went away and was actually feeling better, I woke at 2 a.m. in the morning with severe pain on my neck, chest, and lower jaw. I also have a constant pain that only makes it worse with every breath. I've read before that the lower jaw pain could be the heart, woke my husband up to take me to the hospital. I was diagnosed with pericarditis and given anti-inflammatories and pain killers. I was also in ICU for three days. I am currently waiting to see a Cardiologist, but just two days ago I felt the jaw pain mildly all day so I took pills that night (the anti-inflammatories) and woke up fine the next day.

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Comment from: Gayle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

I was diagnosed with on October 30, 2012. It is now February 13 and still suffering. Initially, I had severe chest pain in the middle and left sideDifficulty breathing, extreme pain in left shoulder, ear ache, inflamed throat, couldn't lean back or bend over. It was painful. I had Morphine in the hospital. Only drug that eased pain was Prednisone. I take Nabumetone 750mg. He did not give me Colchicine.

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Comment from: kchurch91, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I woke up in the morning with severe pain in my throat. Later on it was in the middle of my chest and then in the middle of my back. The pain was so bad I could not breathe. I was admitted in the hospital and the next night the pain went to my left arm and back. I was given 6 mg of morphine within an hour the pain was so bad. I do have rheumatoid arthritis so my doctor gave me 90mgs of prednisone and then I'm on 60mgs a day which has helped a great deal.

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Comment from: Db9, Published: March 08

I was sick with a virus diagnosed as bronchitis and after two weeks it went away. I started lifting weights again and felt fine. After playing pickup basketball two weeks later I felt very slow and out of shape. I went home and felt fine and then three hours later I felt like I had a weight on my sternum and couldn't breathe. After being diagnosed with pericarditis, I have has a ton of trouble falling asleep and stress has hit me very hard. It has been impossible for me to sleep the night before a test (awful during midterms week) and I have slowly regained all of my original symptoms after initially improving.

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Patient Comments

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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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