Patient Comments: Pleurisy (Pleuritis) - Diagnosis

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

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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Comment from: IreneP, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I had a persistent, bad cough for too long -- almost two months! But it started with an allergy to mold, as I was in contact with a lot of mold spores, which gave me asthma and started the coughing. I had bad pains in my back and the coughing was so hard, I had to go to my doctor. She listened extensively and heard the “rubbing.” That is how my pleurisy was diagnosed.

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Comment from: Trent, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: December 02

I'm 24. I play basketball on a competitive level, so I am very fit. I don't smoke, and I rarely drink. I often get muscular pains due to hard exercise, but after four sleepless nights of sharp, stabbing pain in my chest, shoulders, and neck, I went to the doctor today who diagnosed me with pleurisy. He perscribed me antibiotics, so I hope I will be out of pain ASAP!

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Comment from: Momof5, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

If you even suspect pleurisy, get thee to a doctor! I started with a cough from an allergic reaction. The physician's assistant (PA) said, "Take Zyrtec." About two weeks later, I had bronchitis and a big case of the run-arounds from the doctor's office, who phoned in a script for antibiotics, body unseen. Two weeks after that, the pain has dropped to my lower lungs, and feels like I'm being stabbed in my back and in front, just under my right breast. Finally, I got past the receptionist and nurse to see a different PA, who did a spirometer. I couldn't even get enough air to blow it. I got the nebulizer treatment (helped a bit) and was sent for X-rays. Four days later, I had not heard from my doctor and the inhaler was useless, as I couldn't inhale. Finally, I ended up in the ER. The doctor there said that two months with these symptoms was too long, and ran another chest X-ray and did a blood test. There was no sign of an infection and my lungs were totally clean. But my eosinophil count was “off the chart.” So, just because you have no signs of infection does not mean that it is not pleurisy. Don't ignore it. Don't try to self-medicate. Don't take “no” from a nurse or PA. I now have a prescription for prednisone, Tylenol with Codeine, albuterol, Claritin, and a search for a new doctor's office. Be proactive – you would if it was your child who was sick!

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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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