i am new to this. my husband (53)has been ill for about 15 months, and now we are told that he needs a pericardiectomy. after a cross country flight last october where most of the passengers were coughing and sneezing (some even wearing masks- wish he was!) he was diagnosed with pericarditis.he was treated medically. after a hospitalization for afib the issue seemed to have resolved- or so we thought. he continued to be tired and weak a lot until a year later- this past november when he developed coughing and shortness of breath. he was then diagnosed with a right pleural effusion which was said to be totally unrelated to the cardiac issue, but also thought to be viral. he was worked up for autoimmune issues with normal results. he went on to have 3 pleural taps of 2000cc (the maximum supposed to be drained at a time) over a period of a few weeks. it was then recommended that he have a pleuridesis procedure where 4 liters of fluid was removed from his right lung. he recovered slowly from the surgery, yet continued to cough which was thought to be from the talc placed during the surgery to prevent fluid accumulation. we were assured by his cardiologist that there was no cardiac involvement. he continued to grow weaker, and cough. finally he had a ct scan which showed thickening of his pericardium (4-8mm) and then an echo cardiogram which showed constriction but no myocardial involvement-(normal ejection fracture) which was a relief because he had 2 stents placed 3 years prior.
we are now facing pericardiectomy and he will undergo a cardiac cath this week. we are in the philadelphia area and i remember reading an entry from "MERL" who was also in our area and wondered if she ever had her surgery. i would love to communicate with her if she is reading this.
this blog has been so helpful, and reassuring (mostly) at a very scary time.