Patient Comments: Pleurisy (Pleuritis) - Diagnosis

How was the diagnosis of your pleurisy (pleuritis) established?

Comment from: rhino1, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

I am a male in my early 40s. I woke up this morning with pain in my chest left side especially sharp when breathing in. I have often felt this throughout my life, but in short bouts maybe 10-30 minutes. I would just keep trying to breathe in until it would go away. This one went on for 4 hours and got me thinking it may be related to my heart, especially since I smoke 1.5 packs/day. My wife took me to the hospital, by then pain was much worse and felt like it was spreading. After an EKG, blood work and x rays I was told all looked fine and that I most likely had pleurisy. After hearing what this was it made perfect sense. When I would breathe in or lay on my right side it felt as though something sharp was poking my lung and was very painful. I was given some inflammatory medicine via IV and given scripts for ibuprofen and Percocet and was told it would heal itself in about 1 week. I was also given instructions to drink a lot of water and get extra rest and to work on breathing in deep and stretching every hour while awake. It has now been about 3 hours since I was released (4 hours in ER) and the sharp pains have greatly subsided but am tired and worn out from the day's event.

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Comment from: msdick, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I just got out of the hospital today. A couple of days ago I felt a dull pain in my left chest. It was just an uncomfortable felling like a pulled muscle. I wanted to reach in there and stretch it out. Then it got to where it felt like a mass in my lung, like a ball or something. I then got real sharp pains when I would breathe in deep, the pain shot up to my shoulders and under my arm, so of course I think I am having a heart attack. They did all the blood tests, EKG's and things that you have all discussed. No heart problems at all. They say its dry pleurisy and it is like sand paper. All I know is it is very painful and constant pain. I am wondering now why so many of you got antibiotics and I didn't? They gave me strong Ibuprophen and Oxycodone?

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Comment from: lissie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I am 25 years old and 5 months pregnant. My first sign of pleurisy was heart attack symptoms. The chest pain hit me very suddenly and felt as though I was having a heart attack. My left arm was going numb and I got very sweaty. Being pregnant and going threw this was a challenge for me. They first did an EKG, then they gave me morphine. I had an ultrasound to my heart and radiation to my lungs to detect any blood clots. All test results came back normal. Pleurisy was my diagnosis, although no one has told me yet what caused this horrible ordeal.

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Comment from: Lew, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 05

I am finishing my third week with pleurisy. It is getting better but slowly. I have tightness in my chest, occasionally shortness of breath, and increasing fatigue as the day progresses. My doctor said it is a viral infection that will go away. I'm still waiting for a good day. The additional complication in my case is that I told the doctor I was having tightness in my chest and difficulty breathing. So he put me in the hospital overnight for a bunch of cardiac tests. No heart problems. I complained of tightness not pain but, pleurisy can mimic some cardiac symptoms. Be aware.

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Comment from: Lam78, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

My first run-in with pleurisy was in 2006. I first noticed that I had shortness of breath. My chest was heavy, as if someone was standing on it, and I was in a lot of pain (sharp and consistent). I went to the emergency room because I couldn't stand the pain anymore. They ordered a CT scan of my chest, and it revealed fluid in my right lung. They were baffled as to why a healthy-looking 28-year-old had fluid in her lung. A pulmonary doctor was assigned to me, and he decided to drain the fluid and have it tested. I was also sent for a PET scan that revealed many tiny cysts in my lungs. The results came back as lymphangioleiomyomatosis, also known as (LAM), and it only affects woman. Other symptoms include: pneumothorax, chyle effusions, and shortness of breath. Hang in there; be persistent to find out what your body is telling you. It could save your life.

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Comment from: 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 08

I've had pleurisy three times now. I am in good physical shape and do not smoke regularly, but I will partake in a cigar once in a blue moon. The first occurrence required a trip to the emergency room while I was out of town. Pain started in my middle back and then moved around to my lungs. Eventually, it covered my whole lung and mid-to-low back area. The ER doctor gave me a big shot of Torredol and the pain and condition subsided within an hour. The two occurrences since have been similar. I have growing and spreading pain over the course of about four to five hours. The treatment was the same on round two and worked. Treatment on round three included a steroid "D Pack" following the shot. The steroid made me very jittery and light-headed. I believe all instances were brought on by exposure to either smoke or cleaning agents and a high-moisture environment.

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Pleurisy (Pleuritis) - Treatments Question: How was your pleurisy treated?
Pleurisy - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your pleurisy?
Pleurisy - Causes Question: What was the underlying condition that caused your pleurisy?

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