Hi everyone - this is my first post, I am happy to have found others in my same situation, I have been feeling very isolated with this. I had my first bout about a year and a half ago, and thought it was over - I like others thought I was having a heart attack, was kept overnight for lots of testing and sent home with a pat on the head and told nothing was wrong. $6000 worth of hospital stay and testing. I just got out of that financial mess, and about six weeks ago it came back.
My internal medicine doctor finally diagnosed paracarditis, and put me on Prednisone right away. I started off at 20mg, but it has come back about once a week since, and right now I'm at 45mg to have any sort of pain management. I ended up in the ER again last week just to get some pain help. Everyone says the Prednisone is bad, and I already have osteoporosis, so I am worried about continuing to take it, but nothing else seems to help.
My doctor is now trying to refer me to a rheumitologist - is this valid? I am in the Denver metro area and hope that someone can make a doctor referral in this area. I have missed four days of work in the past month with this, and am getting fearful of losing my job. I am a law enforcement officer and I'm afraid to tell my employer that this is heart related, I'm sure they would find a way of letting me go. I can't determine how serious this is, I read some articles that say 1 in 1000 people gets this, and others that talk about surgery and your life being limited forever.
Also, any thoughts about this being hereditary? My doctor says no, but I remember my father having this too when I was a kid, and he had to had the fluid drained off. He also passed away from a heart attack some years later, and I have a lot of heart history on his side of the family. You bet I'm worried - I have always been very physicaly active and healthy, and I can't accept that this may be my future.
I had a bad broken leg several years ago and found a similar forum that really helped me through the situation, so I am really happy to have found this site. Thanks in advance for any responses.