pericarditis

hi all! i posted a little over a week ago about chest and throat pain when i breathe in starting after i had my PM implanted. last week (4 weeks after implant), i was on my honeymoon in the Georgia mountains with what i thought was a cold that wouldn't get better and my chest and throat were starting to hurt more, so i went to a local doctor hoping to get some meds and enjoy the rest of the week. well, the dr heard something in my heart and ordered and echo, so the next morning i went in for an echo...short story, there was about 3 cm of fluid around my heart and i was transported by ambulance to atlanta to st. joseph's. turns out i had pericarditis (fluid build up around my heart) which was apparently some cause of the pain in my chest and throat when i would breathe in. they did surgery that afternoon to drain the fluid, cut a pericardial window (to keep from getting a fluid build up) and inserted a tube to drain fluid for the next 48 hours. they tested the fluid to see if a virus could have been the cause but another possiblity was a lead had punctured my heart causing this fluid build up. i was wondering if anyone had experienced anything like this and if a cause was the PM implant. i guess it's a blessing that i went on my honeymoon where i did bc my cardiologist and general dr had dismissed the pain as post surgery pain and cold/allergy causes.

anyways, if anyone has any information on a similar experience i would love to hear about it. this site has been a tremendous blessing especially since i am 22, and have no one else my age around with similar experiences. i learn a lot from hearing from others and am glad i found this site when i did. thanks!

paula


8 Comments

paula

by jessie - 2007-05-29 09:05:39

i have had a head cold since jan and have x 2 of antibiotics and it never leaves. i am wheezy also. noone will listen to me so i see my cardologist friday and i hope he will listen. so it makes me anxious when i read what you have been through. take care hope you continue now to improve jessie

I agree

by queen_beez - 2007-05-29 10:05:25

With you Jessie. The doctors do not always listen when we tell them that we know our bodies and something is different and wrong. They all think they have seen it before and i think they want to put us in these cookie cutter molds but we are all different and I wish they would treat us as such. I am very happy you were able to find out your problem and get the help you needed, too bad it had to be on your honeymoon though. It all could have been fixed sooner if your own doc would have looked into your problemms deeper. I , too , am feeling this way Jessie and I just saw my cardio. He said to me to try to deal with it for the time being and hopefully time will heal and I am just a slow healer and my body is dealing with it differently than others. I am so NOT the textbook type. I always have the problems and the symptoms are opposite. I say go and push Jessie until they listen ,just like Paula did. Luckily she caught it in time and I hope you find your answers too. I will call again and maybe there will be a time when they listen and I feel this " head cold" gone. And my pain will be a thing of the past.
take care.
Susan

thanks

by jessie - 2007-05-29 11:05:32

thanks for all the support. i feel better able to cope with this and to ask and again try to find out re anything wrong. i think he will order some tests and then if i know it is not heart related then okay i can deal with it. i dislike doctors and don't trust them at all and this goes back many years and it is hard to deal with now as i was always very healthy and hardly ever had to go except for yearly tests. here i am an older lady with all of a sudden concerns for health for the first time. so thank you again and i will keep pushing . jessie

pericarditis

by luckyloo - 2007-05-29 11:05:39

dear paula,

i am so sorry for what you're going through!

fluid around the heart could most certainly have been caused by the lead poking through. when my lead came out of my heart a day after it was put in, they had to do a stat echo for that reason. i felt terrible chest and throat pain from the lead bouncing all over shooting electrical impulses to my diaphragm and all over. then the blood irritates the heart tissue, gets inflamed , infected etc. i'm glad you got really good care in georgia. were you at sibley heart center. they are top notch there i hear.

hope you're feeling better soon.
luckyloo

A word to Jessie

by Surferman - 2007-05-29 11:05:56

Hi Jessie,

Sorry to hear you're having problems. I wonder if an echocardiagram might not reveal something. At least it would help to rule out somethings related to the heart.
Surferman

I think I know what you are talking about!!

by swilson10 - 2007-05-30 01:05:51

I posted last week about my recent hospital visit for lead extraction and PM replacement and I ended up having a serious complication which they told me was tamponade caused by pericarditis. Essentially the fluid (300 cc) built up around my heart to the point that my heart was collapsing causing my blood pressure to drop along with other serious problems. I am glad to hear that they caught your problem before significant damage to your heart occurred. I still am uncertain what the long term effects of this incident may be, but I am grateful for effective and immediate response of the ICU staff. By the way I too am 29 and have been told I have a healthy heart other than my sick sinus syndrome. I too often feel alone in this journey as many of my doctors and other professionals are quick to note how young I am to have these problems and how unusual some of my complications have been. This site has been a real blessing in helping to normalize my experiences. Congrats on your Marriage!!!!

thanks!

by paula07 - 2007-05-30 11:05:36

thanks to everyone who responded. it's nice to know you're not alone...even though this is something you don't want others to have to go through.

ela-girl - i felt the same way with everyone listening to my heart saying you could hear the "rub" (the friction in my heart) they think it could be a sinus infection that traveled to my heart like yours, but couldn't find any definite cause. thanks!

swilson10 - i also had 300cc of fluid around my heart and my blood pressure was low for the couple of days i was in the hospital. everyone tells me how young i am and the dr were very interested because they hardly see pericarditis in someone my age..not the most fun thing to hear.

thanks again for hearing from everyone...it makes it easier knowing there are other people out there who can relate.

God bless,

Paula

Been there, Done that!

by ela-girl - 2007-05-30 12:05:26

Hi, Paula.

I had pericarditis back in the fall/winter for what seemed like FOREVER. I had my pm implanted back in October, and when I went in for my post implant checks, I kept having this nagging feeling something wasn't right. I had this "pain" at the time (didn't help my doctor was out of town due to a family emergency) and another, less experienced doctor kept telling me I was fine and that it was probably just that I was new to a pm and didn't know what it all should feel like. What an idiot! I wanted to scream! She didn't have a pm so how could she say anything. Ugh. Okay--sorry for the rant. Anyways...I was at school teaching one day when I just couldn't breathe anymore because of the pain. I went in to see my EP right away. Turns out...I had pericaridits--and he could even hear it! (which is rare I'm told--I was like a lab rat that day for the other doctors in the office--everyone and their brother was listening to my chest!)

Anyways...weeks later and tons of meds later...it finally went away. The doctor isn't quite sure what first caused the pericaridits because they caught it late but is sure that it was exacerbated from a sinus infection that had gotten into my lungs via drainage. The lining of your lungs is also the same lining that works over towards your heart's lining. The infection traveled towards my heart--something about the pm being a foreign object blah blah blah. I can't quite remember it all right now. You can read one of my old posts about it, though, if you feel up to it.

I am 29, so I know what you mean when you say you don't know anyone your age with a pm! Feel free to stay in touch with me. What kind of pacer do you have and why did you need it? I've been off the site for a couple of weeks because it was the end of the school year, but I'm usually. Take care!

Happy pacing-
ela-girl

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