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Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis
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9:30 am - chest pains, difficulty breathing, feels like a kid sitting on my chest. It doesn't get better but not worse either. 3pm I finally get in to see a doc. Likely pericarditis. Go home, take massive doses of ibuprofen for 24hrs and see if that helps. If not, back to hospital for full ekg/echo/etc. Possibly caused by heart attack, but certainly not definite.

"Pericarditis is an inflammation (-itis) of the pericardium (the fibrous sac surrounding the heart)."

I still feel like I have a sack of potatoes on my chest.

I am thinking about going on leave from work.

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
Last edited by: AndyPants: May 25, 08 8:44
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, I'm really sorry to hear that!! Sounds awful and incredibly scary. I know you will, but please be careful and watch your symptoms closely. Keep us updated!!

Leave from work sounds like a good idea. Nothing is more important than your health.
Last edited by: HeidiC: May 25, 08 8:48
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Get better soon AP, that is so scary. Glad you got to the doc. Thinking of you..

RR

http://www.twofiftynine.blogspot.com
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [runlikeamother] [ In reply to ]
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Oh and by the way, the signs of a heart attack (myocardiac infarction or MI) are very different for a woman than for a man.

What to watch for: chest pain, difficulty breathing, fatigue (extreme even), nausea/feeling of indigestion, cold sweats. The biggest difference between men & women is that the chest pains are significantly stronger for men than for women, and the fatigue or nausea is significantly worse for women than men.

When women have MIs, they usually don't list chest pain as the primary symptom. Also, women tend to wait longer then men in complaining about how they feel. Thirdly, which was true in my case, I had children to care for which delayed me in seeking medical attention.

Needless to say I won't let that happen again. :-(

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Holy cow! I hope it's not an MI or pericarditis! If your doc thinks it might be an MI and you're still having chest pain, I'd go to the ER--you'll at least get an EKG and blood work to rule out an MI there regardless of this holiday weekend.
Get better soon!
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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(((((hugs)))) I hope you feel better soon.
tc

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: I am a PhD, not a medical doctor. The closest I get to surgery is topology.
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Gosh AP I'm very sorry to hear about this. You are young for an MI (aka heart attack), but I'm not saying it can't happen.Other causes could be infection, autoimmune diseases(ie lupus),trauma , rheumatic fever and more. YOu are right symptoms are different in a women. Some diabetics have silent MI's in which they have no symptoms. In any event I am worried about you. Didn't you recently ask about a rash on your face? Will you mention this to your doctor?

Did they do the MI workup on you at the hospital?? I can't imagine the doctor sending you home if your enzymes came back positive or if you had EKG changes. Dressler's syndrome(pericarditis post MI) shows up weeks to months after the MI. I just wanted you to know that so you can think back in time, and not worry that the MI is acute.

Did the doctor ask you to stay on bedrest?? Please ask your doctor for advice on your activity level. If you will be taking massive doses of NSAIDS (ie advil) please ask you doctor about taking Pepcid as well. Pepcid will help with any "stomach problems" caused be the advil. YOu may be more comfortable propped up in bed leaning slightly forward, but you probably figured that out. IF you will be on bedrest you may also want to take Colace (stool softner)100 mg 2x/day and drink lots of water. YOu don't want to get constipated right now.

Rest up and please let us know how you are doing! Email me or PM me anytime.
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [PC] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks PC, I just PMed you. Dr said nothing about bedrest, but I sure get fatigued quickly, I have to sit and rest and catch my breath a lot it seems, even when only walking 10' or so. Damn, that reads badly doesn't it. Wonder if I should just drive to the hospital now. AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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It does read bad, and I would probably go to the hospital if I were you. I know you also mentioned concerns about a pulmonary embolism earlier this week and that probably needs to be ruled out if they decide it's not pericarditis/MI. Your symptoms are not inconsistent with PE. BTW, PC mentioned lupus above; I'm pretty sure that blood clots are more common in people with lupus. Whatever it ends up being, it seems like something you need to have checked out NOW! I'm thinking of you.
Heidi
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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How is your stress level ? High level of stress makes the same symptoms of a Heart attack.

It's strange that you doc sent you home without doing the full exams . Or at least an ECG.
Did he ask you to take aspirin ?

I would go back to the hospital if you are still bad. The other factor is that if you think too much on heart problems ... you will feel the symptoms very soon...

Luiz Eng
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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pericarditis and endocarditis are the main reasons that I discourage patients from flying with viruses- there seems to be a propensity for the virus attacking heart tissue whilst flying - which could be pressure/stress related.

with you rash I would REALLY be worried about lupus or other autoimmune disorders and you deserve a full workup NOW. I cannot believe ANY doctor sent you home with concerns about MI or pericarditis....certainly the latter still warrants ruling out the former....

your symptoms sound like endo or pericarditis and you need an EKG, enzymes and an echo done....

feel better...

---

cat
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Just so everyone can breathe a touch easier, I just got off the phone w/ Andy and she's walking up the the ED now.

Will keep you posted as I hear back.


<If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough>
Get Fitter!
Proud member of the Smartasscrew, MONSTER CLUB
Get your FIX today?
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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AP, you are way too young for a heart attack, and way too healthy. Get this little bugger figured out and get healthy quick!

Parke


Behold the turtle! He makes progess only when he sticks his neck out. (James Bryant Conant)
GET OFF THE F*%KING WALL!!!!!!! (Doug Stern)
Brevity is the soul of wit. (William Shakespeare)
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, Andy. I hope you are OK. I'll be thinking about you in Denver. Please let us know how you are.
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Geez, get better! Thinking of you in Seattle.

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Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Home you figure it out, and start feeling better soon!


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Miles of Life --- Powered by MarkyV
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, sorry to hear this. Get better soon...so you can keep kicking Khai's butt ;-)
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Wow... Thinking of you !!!
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Marker for blood clot came back positive, she's going in for a chest CT now.

From the background noise it sounds like P is there w/ the kids, so it would appear that she's got great on-site support...


<If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough>
Get Fitter!
Proud member of the Smartasscrew, MONSTER CLUB
Get your FIX today?
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the update. I'm glad they caught it and I hope she's doing okay. Very, very scary. Please let us know anything you hear.
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Ok - just got off the phone w/ P (who had to go home to put the kids to bed). CT came back clear, no apparent signs of a clot. She's still there as they're still doing more testing, but it could potentially be something as "simple" as adjusting to the thyroid meds, stress, overtired, etc. I'd like to think it's a combination of those...

Will post again when I know more - or ideally, she'll be cleared to go and can tell you herself. That's what I'm really hoping for...


<If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough>
Get Fitter!
Proud member of the Smartasscrew, MONSTER CLUB
Get your FIX today?
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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Keepin you in my thots today, AP, & hopin you're up and about soon!
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Keeping you in my prayers! ~~~~~~~~healing vibes~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Wow AP, that's some scary news. I hope it all turns out okay.
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Re: Scary day ysterday: Pericarditis [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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Hi all --

Thanks for the thoughts and wishes. They ruled out almost everything. While the marker for blood clot was positive in my blood tests the CT scan showed a clean chest. Heart was described as "perfect, textbook" by the echo techs. Small amount of unhappiness in the sac, so home for the week and NSAIDs, with the stern promise to come back if I feel even the slightest bit off. Will follow up with Internal Medicine at VGH and my GP on the blood clot thing. The Emerg Doc said he thinks I've got one somewhere but it's not yet become a problem, so following up sooner than later is appropriate.

The funny things you hear as a (reasonably) healthy individual in the ER:
"Um, I had to turn the lower limit alarm off on your EKG so it wouldn't keep you up all night."
"Your PulseOx is better than mine, yet you are getting out of breath walking up a flight of stairs?"
"That's the cleanest bloodwork I've seen in months."
"Do you smoke? Wait that's a dumb question."

And some of the characters you hear and meet in a major ER - well... they're pretty f*n hilarious when you think about it. I almost felt bad for being there and taking up the bed.

So bed-ish rest this week, follow-up with IM next week and return to light duties early next week if I feel ok.

Guess my OLY in July is not such a hot idea ;-)

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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