Patient Comments: Pleurisy - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your pleurisy?

Comment from: Mrskbc, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

I had pleural effusion (the kind with liquid in the lining of the lung, not the dry rubbing kind). This happened to me around 15 years ago when I was barely 30. I don't remember a gradual increase in symptoms, but I woke up one morning and it hurt to sit up. I laid back down and went back to sleep for a while. I thought I must have slept funny. But later that morning, I was unable to even get out of bed because of the sharp stabbing pains in my chest, especially on the left side. I couldn't get a deep breath. It hurt worst when I tried to move. I was home alone and waited it out for a long time but finally had to call an ambulance. It was agonizing even having them move me. I must have had it really a lot worse than most people on here, because when they were done diagnosing, imaging, etc., it turned out that I had one collapsed lung (due to the quantity of fluid) and only partial capacity in the other. I was hospitalized for almost two weeks and had fluid drained by aspirating two different times, one of which was nearly a month after the initial incident. I have a slight feeling in my lung again now, 14 years later, that I suspect is pleurisy again, but apparently there is not much to be done anyway but wait for it to clear up, unless it gets a lot worse like it was for me last time.

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Comment from: Cindy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

It's been 8 months since I was diagnosed with pleurisy. I had sharp pain, shortness of breath and got exhausted easily. I had fever throughout the time I had pleurisy (1 month). It took an additional month to heal. But I still get upper back pain every so often.

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Comment from: pleurisy sufferer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I have never had pleurisy before. It started out with back pain and I could feel a slight increase in back pain with breathing. I went to my physiotherapist who tried to fix me and gave me exercises to do. The next day I started to develop pain in my left chest area and it seemed to be worse with movement so I didn't think it was a heart attack. The physiotherapist thought it might be the exercises so I stopped doing them. The pain got so bad, it was similar to the time I closed the car door on my finger but with each breath over and over 20 times a minute. I could only take shallow breaths without extreme pain and it was getting hard to talk as I was gasping for air with each breath. I went to the emergency room (ER) where they did chest x-ray, blood work and EKG and found out that it wasn't a clot, or a heart attack. They gave me a muscle relaxant, and Naprosyn which ended up being the right treatment. I went back to the physiotherapist and he checked and told me no way is this muscle or bone related and he thought it might be pleurisy, so I went to my family doctor who thought he might be right and talked to a physician friend of mine who agrees, and I am having less pain. I found out it is good to try and breathe as deeply as possible to keep the little air sacs open in the bottom of your lungs as they can collapse slightly and you can get pneumonia if you don't have it already. There is a dry type, likely either a virus or from an underlying cause such as TB, cancer, auto immune disease, or the wet kind, a bacteria where you are sick before the pleurisy begins with a chest infection. That type requires antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory like Naprosyn, ibuprofen, or a steroid; the dry type, just an anti-inflammatory and time.

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Comment from: Creolefromtheheart, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I first had Pleurisy two years ago almost to the date. I had a stabbing pain in my back that was worst when I took a deep breath. I was in so much pain I couldn't even move. I went to the hospital where they did hundreds of tests and two days later they still sent me home in pain not telling me what was wrong. I went to another hospital where they said I needed to have a bowel movement, which was wrong. I then went to my long time family doctor who told me I had pleurisy and explained everything.

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Comment from: vickie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

Hi I'm a 53 year old female. I've had pleurisy for 5 weeks. I started out with a bad sinus infection. I started having real sharp pains in my back between my shoulder blades. I thought pleurisy was only around rib cage but the sharp pains went from back through the front of my chest. I worked every day for 5 weeks in severe pain. I had 3 steroid shots and 3 rounds of antibiotics. The doctor said the reason I can't get better is because I haven't rested. So now I'm finally going to rest and hopefully I will get better, but I am so tired now. I hope nobody else ever has pleurisy it is a very painful thing to have!

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Pleurisy (Pleuritis) - Diagnosis Question: How was the diagnosis of your pleurisy (pleuritis) established?
Pleurisy (Pleuritis) - Treatments Question: How was your pleurisy treated?
Pleurisy - Causes Question: What was the underlying condition that caused your pleurisy?

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