Patient Comments: Pleurisy (Pleuritis) - Diagnosis

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

Comment from: 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 18

Late in the work day I started to feel a stabbing pain in my chest. The pain was not severe, but I knew something was not right. That night the pain increased. I could not sleep because every other breath was painful. The deeper the breath the more pain I felt. For a few minutes I thought I could be having a minor heart attack, but the location of the pain was at the top of my rib cage, on the right hand side, just below my chest, nowhere near my heart. Early the next morning the pain had not subsided, so I went to the hospital for treatment. The only symptom I could provide the doctor was the stabbing pain during deep breaths. He took first checked for inflamed organs then ordered chest x-rays. He found a tiny area between the two linings where fluid was built up. He decided to treat it as if it was pneumonia. I was prescribed ibuprofen, anti-biotics, and pain medicine.

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Comment from: EP, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: August 17

I'm 13 year old boy. About a week after my appendectomy in May I had flu like symptoms and a dry cough for a week. A week later I had dull pains in my chest the GP could not find reason for it. Pediatrician ordered EKG and heart sonar, all normal. Pains worsened to sharp, stabbing pains. Last week I had severe chest pain and shortness of breath, pain under my arm and around to my back. I thought for sure that I am the first child ever to get a heart attack. My Mom took me to GP he could not find reason for symptoms and then she took me to 2nd GP who diagnosed me with pleurisy after a stethoscope exam. Bloodtest's revealed nothing. I drink Cepodem antibiotics for possible bacterial infection, and get lots of rest and eat healthy foods. I have relief when I sit in a bent over position with my chest on my knees. I try to take deep breaths even if this is more painful to prevent shortness of breath. I get more relief from 2 Suncodin tablets per day than from Ibuprofen. I'm waiting to get better. . EP

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Comment from: Marie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I was diagnosed in the ER. I thought I was having a heart attack since the pain was on the right side of my left lung. I went through all the tests to rule out a heart attack and then $1500.00 later the doctor said it was pleurisy. He sent me home with 800 mg ibuprophen and a prescription pain medicine and told me to stay in bed for 4 days. That was about 5-6 years ago. I was 31-32 years old. I did smoke for a long time but I quite when I was 29. Since then I have had Pleurisy 4 times. The 4th time is right now. With the 2-4 time I have not been sick before getting it. It just woke me up at 4:00 a.m. this morning. I don't have health insurance so I just take 4 200mg ibuprophen 4 times a day and rest as much as possible until the pain goes away. I was told by a friend that once you have pleurisy it never goes away. It just lies dormant in your body and you have reoccurring episodes.

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Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I am 22 years old and I am going on a month dealing with pleurisy complications. I had surgery to remove a rib up by my neck related to a car accident about a month ago and had a minor complications. I got a nicked lung that resulted in a small collapse in my lung. I bounced back fine and was released from the hospital the next day. About 2 weeks later though, I still didn't feel myself. I had horrible muscle spasms in my back and side and was so winded and out of breath. I started running low grade fevers and decided to go to the ER. They did a chest CT and found that I had significant build-up of blood and a clot surrounding my left lung. I had a chest tube placed immediately in the ER (extremely painful) and was in the hospital for 3 days before they took the tube out and let me return home. After being home for only 36 hours, my symptoms returned with aggression and I was back at the hospital, this time I had so much fluid build-up (as a result of inflammation from my chest tube) that they decided to operate. I had surgery 5 days ago to scope my chest cavity and drain a quart of fluid from my chest. They left a chest tube in for 2 1/2 days and I came home 2 days ago. I am struggling with continuous pain from the large incisions in my side from the 2 chest tubes and still feel weak and short of breath. Be persistent. It is scary and the symptoms can be fairly non-descript. You know your body best. I have learned that from this experience. I am 22 and I think that my doctors take me much more seriously now that they see how critically sick I was. Hopefully I am out of the woods now, but I have the battle scars to show the painful experience that I went through.

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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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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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