Pericarditis & Pericardiectomy Part IV

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Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 6/28/2005 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone and Welcome to the 4rth new Pericarditis and Pericardiectomy Thread Part IV!  yeah  
 
The forums are only allowed to get so lengthy and then they are locked.  They're still here, so if anyone wants to check further back on this forum, tongue we do have a Pericarditis I and II and now III.
 
They're very informative and many current and past members have literally shared their lives with us here at HealingWell both before and after their surgeries.
 
Best Wishes to All!!  
 
Hugs, tongue Teri
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
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   Posted 6/28/2005 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Cathy...I'm thinking of you.  I hope your surgery went well and I know everyone is waiting to hear from you!!
 
Much love and many hugs, Teri tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Frand1118
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/28/2005 1:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Teri! Maya G...I had the same problem as your boyfriend. In September, they took out 900 ccs of fluid. In April, they took out 300 ccs of fluid. I've been tested for everything!!! Still no answers. My cardiologist has me weening off the prednisone and I should be done in 2 weeks. With my last surgery, they said they took a good size piece of the pericardium off. They said that if the fluid comes back, it will go into the sac that covers the lung. I sometimes have days where its tough to breath, but all in all feel pretty good. My last cardio appt. went well so I don;'t have to go back for another 3 months. I hope its resolved. They thought initially that it was TB but thank goodness it wasn't. However, I do wish they had some idea what caused it. I had absolutely no symptoms and it was caught by complete accident so I was lucky. Best of luck to him. This site gives me piece of mind.

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 6/28/2005 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Fran! It's great to hear from you here and I'm glad to know that you are on the mend!! ~ though that is a lot of fluid! I've heard where sometimes it is mistaken for TB. So I don't think you were alone with that initial thought. You take care and keep us posted on you as well!!

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Maya G
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 6/29/2005 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Frand, thanks for your story! So, did you have a pericardial window or a pericardiectomy? He is back on 40 mg of prednisone and feels great right now (thank god he isn't suffering any side effects from it), but the problems started again last time when he went down to 20 mg. The doctor said they may have tapered too quickly. My fingers are crossed but I am worried that we will have problems as we begin to taper. How long was the fluid/inflammation returning before they decided to go in and do a surgery? My feelings are that they really want to wait before they go in and do anything invasive. Thanks for sharing and I am so happy that you are feeling better.

Frand1118
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/29/2005 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Maya, My 1st surgery, in September, was a window through the sternum. The 2nd one was a partial pericardiectomy under my left breast. Is your boyfriend on any inflammatories? The fluid started coming back after I was off my meds in November and they operated again in April. So 5 months. I was on prednisone the whole time too. I have days where it is difficult to breath...like today...it stinks. I'm ok sitting still but as soon as I get up to move its hard. I also get terrible heartburn at times which I never had until all this happened. See what happens when you turn 40! You just have to take it 1 day at a time.

Mister_S
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/29/2005 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, everyone.

Cathy---hope all is well.  I would imagine that you are out of the ICU by now, and that they'll be discharging you sometime in the next few days!

Fran and Maya....  Yes... the sac that covers the lung...  the pleura...  I discovered (thanks to an X-ray that was taken during my post-op followup visit [got my stitches out!]) that I've got fluid in my chest.  I already knew this, though.  I could feel this sort of bubbly, gurgling sensation under my ribs, particularly when lying down, or at night.  The good news is that the stuff is not in my lungs; my lungs are perfectly clear.  But, on Friday, I get to got back to the hospital so they can poke me with a needle and drain off the fluid.  Awesome, eh?  yeah

RE: cardiologists at USC (for Maya)---my doc is Rory Hachamovitch, and I thinks he is just terrific.  Very concerned and very thorough, and he was the first medical person (aside from the nurse) to come and see me after my surgery. 

---Mister S


Maya G
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 6/29/2005 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks very much Mister. We will put in a call later today.

I'm so sorry you have to be back in the hospital to drain the fluid... if it is not in the lung, where is it? Darren (my BF) had to get the fluid drained out of the pericardium (500 ccs of fluid) and it was really OK... after all you've been through it will be fine. Its crazy, with this pericardium, it just does not want to let up! What is the deal?

You'll be in my thoughts and I thank you so much for the referral.

Storri
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 6/29/2005 7:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Teri. Nan. Andrea, mister. Les

Out of surgery and I am alive. The heart did flip out during surgery. Went into Atriall Fib;and they had to paddle me to stop the Atrial Fib. Finally got me back into normal rythum. Pretty scary for awhile. Going into surgery was not that bad because they really tricked me, they said they would take care of me and they decided to move me after surgery to ICU to NURSE RATCHET, and this lady was the nurse from hell. I was givin an epadureal, it did nothing....tick tock, all night long, the pain that I felt from the drains was like nothing I had never felt like this, she was so mean that if I moved off my back she would punish me and push me back in to place and tell me i was not allowed to move. She would grab the blankets underneath me and yank them.

Storri
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 6/29/2005 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry had to start again from here, was getting upset. This woman and apparently no one else didn't realize they had numbed my lower body instead of my upper body. My upper right thigh and lower back started to become extremly numb I cried hysterically all night long.I cried out for my family; my husband and the nurse kept telling me basically to shut up or she would make life really miserable for me.

The next morning I begged and begged for my tubes to be removed' and finally the next shift came and literally that evening was like laying on a bed of the sharpest needles. When the next shift showed up I told them that my right side of my body was becoming completly numb. They called pain management who agreed that the epiderma was hitting a nerve that was causing my lower extremities to gain complete numbness and come to find out i had no pain control; 0 pain control at 4 of my insisions sights so basically i spent the entire evening and till morning with no pain medication until the pain managment team was called when they found out my right leg was numb. Well i have to finish the rest of this tomorrow, I am exhausted and i have to go to bed, cya then
Cathy

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 6/29/2005 8:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Cathy!!!  I'm so very very glad to hear from you!  I was hoping and praying we'd hear from you soon! tongue You made it and that is the most important thing for now - one big step and then small ones - one at a time.
 
I'm sorry to hear you had such a nurse!  devil   I'm hoping that as you feel more alert and more out of pain that someone will explain to you exactly what took place!
 
With Love and very gentle hugs, Teri tongue    I miss you!!
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
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   Posted 6/29/2005 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm just soooo very excited that you made it through, Cathy!! WooHoo!! :) Just had to kick my heels one more time!!!

(((((Cathy)))))
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
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   Posted 6/29/2005 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Mister, it sounds like you have a PE (Pleural Effusion)? We all normally have some fluid around the lining of the lungs, but with PE the fluid increases a lot. I know after bypass surgery this can happen and they thought that's what I had. However, I had Pleurisy (Pain) in this area with no effusion. Do you have some SOB (shortness of breath)? Is it painful? Hopefully, once they drain this excess fluid you'll feel much better, Mister!! Best wishes to you!!

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Nan2
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Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 6/29/2005 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Halleluya!!!!!!!

Cathy...I'm so sorry for your pain but it is SO GREAT to hear you complaining about it!!!!!!!! Congratulations! I'm so thankful you are through surgery and with it enough to be ticked off! I have been thinking of you all week so I was very excited to see your post! Thank you! Impressive to be emailing on day 3...you are my hero!

I had a nurse from hell too...I barely remember but my family tells me that I was very clear that she was not allowed back in my room to take care of me :) I hope by now you have some good pain control...that is the least they could do!

I'm so glad you are on this side of it all now! Every day will get a little better...you won't believe it! One day at a time and take it easy! Thanks for posting a note...so thankful it went well. Can't wait to hear every detail when you feel up to it!

Congratulations again! Nan

Nan2
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 6/29/2005 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Mister...I had that fluid too...I called it soap suds...crazy feeling. Sorry that you have to go through that! Just don't look at the needle and it'll be over before you know it. I was close to having that done but never had to have it. Hope you are feeling tons better otherwise. Congratulations on getting your stitches out!

Nan

Mrozek
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 6/29/2005 11:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Cathy,

Congratulations!!! You postings were very informative... It seems that my pericardiectomy is coming up at Cleveland pretty soon... maybe I should get the name of the nurse... just for as a precaution.:>)))

-mrozek

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 6/30/2005 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
lol mrozek!! I think we all think we have the nurses from mars right after surgery, but most of the time when you look back - they probably helped to either save your life!, or helped prevent another problem from happening!! Believe me, I had one of them for my surgery, too, and now I look back and realize I was not her only patient. :)

Please keep us updated as to when you're going in mrozek!! We want to help you with any questions that you may have, too! :)

Big Hugs, Teri xoxoxo
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Storri
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 6/30/2005 7:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Guys...
WELL I am still in the hospital and hoping they will leave me out Sat or Sun.  For the most part it went as planned....the "going in" part was tough...nothing like they said it would be...kicked my family away almost right off the bat..took me to this small room where I completely lost it...They went and got everyone, then I got about an hour visit time.  They took me to the OR, no IV nothing....I was crying pretty hard, just out of plain fear...of the thought of not coming out...no memory from there...they started asking me questions in the OR...not good, I said, please just put me to sleep now...the
anesthesiologist was not the one I met with days before, so this guy knew nohting about me, but like I said worse of all was the nightmare of the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT, where they let me LIE for easily 12 hours NO pain meds nothing.  They administered the epidereral; and they hit some nerve that sent the medicine down, so I ended up with numb legs and buttocks..but NOTHING ABOVE that, and the nurse was so mean and cold, I can't even express the nightmare.  I just Thank GOD it was just one night of TUBES..I think if you are properly medicated, I can see how you might sleep right through it, but not I said the fly...
I just had a coughing fit, if anyone has a coughing trick that doesn't feel like your insisions are ripping open, please tell me.  I want to tell you more, so much to tell you, but I am seeing crosseyed...they just gave me an 80mg oxy; and a shot of diliduad...wherewas this in ICU????arggggg  I need to rest, I will finish later guys..Cathy

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
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   Posted 6/30/2005 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   

Cathy, now that I understand what happened a bit better - I am so very sorry!!  I've only had epidurals with steroids going into my back - never with surgery, so I can't even begin to imagine what you went through!! sad ((((Cathy))))  As you start to feel better, is there some way you could talk to your Dr. and find out why all the last minute changes??  I do know that in a hospital, things happen, emergencies come up, people become ill, so that could explain why the different anesthesiologist? - but I wonder why they let your family go so quickly, if they promised you otherwise?  And why weren't they able to give you pain med.'s during that 12 hrs.  I hope you are able to ask some of those questions, Cathy, before you leave!

Do you have a small pillow to cushion your chest for your cough?

Keep us posted and please know that you are in my thoughts!!

With Love and Hugs, Teri tongue


"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Betsy May
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 6/30/2005 10:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone, Well I,m 7 weeks out and you can add my name to the Pleural Effusion list. I've been short of breath and asked my daughter to listen to my lungs and sure enough the left side girgled. Well, it took half the day today for the doctor to see me, get xrays and have it confirmed. The bad news is they won't perform the procedure till I'm off this darn cumadin for 4 days. That would be the 4th of July so they delayed it to Wed. because Tues. I have to get a blood test to be sure the drug is gone. What a pain. So I'm back in the do very little mode for few days.
Cathy, I hope things are better. I'm actually surprized you're on the computer already. I don't think I was awake or elert enough to do that so quickly. So glad you made it thru. Betsy

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 6/30/2005 10:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Betsy, I'm sorry that you've been hit by that pleural effusion, too!!  sad Whenever they go in and do any type of heart surgery they have to maneuver and move around the heart, the rib cage, the lungs and all the muscles and nerves that surround these areas are involved.  So sometimes these problems crop up!  I developed the 'pleural rub' but I was lucky and didn't develop any PE, however, I still continue over 10 months later with the pain on the lower left portion of my rib cage!  They tell me it could stay or go away with time...In my case, I'm not going to complain - I'm far better off than I was a year ago. yeah
 
You rest up and take care of yourself!!  Keep us posted!
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
xoxoxo
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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dancing_water
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 7/1/2005 1:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cathy,

I am very glad to hear that you came through all right. But I am shocked about the treatment. I had thought that the Mayo Clinic is one of the best centres in the world. I got so much better treatment in Christchurch New Zealand.

But very soon you wil feel much better and you will forget this trauma.

All the very best from

henk

New Zealand

Maya G
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 7/1/2005 9:01 AM (GMT -7)   
All I have to say is, you are all heros.  In life, we have got to take what we are served, and you are all pillars of strength in facing what you are facing.  I'm telling you, I see it in my boyfriend, and it really fills me with admiration and respect.  It is wonderful news that Cathy is OK (albeit the nurse from hell experience) and while there are still bumps in the road ahead for some of you (pleural effusion, etc), you are all really flying high.

Mister_S
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 7/1/2005 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Cathy!  So glad to hear that you're back among us.  Good to hear that you're surgery went well, and that you're now on the mend.  Strange, though, that your nurse was so evil...  There's a special place in hell reserved for people like that.  I can definitely relate to the pain issue.  They were giving me pain meds (Vicodin and Dilaudid), but they just didn't work.  Eventually they gave me morphine, and that helped a great deal.

As far as coughing goes, I think that you just have to accept the fact that it's going to hurt for a little while.  You have a different incision from the one I had (right?  I had a sternotomy---straight down the middle of my chest), and so I'm not sure how you should deal with it.  Teri's suggestion re: the pillow sounds like good advice to me, though.

In any case, that pain is rough but it gets better pretty quickly.  I remember that I got about 20 minutes of sleep in the first 36 hours after my surgery.

 

I did indeed have bilateral pleural effusion, and so I went in for my thoracentesis yesterday.  (I love the official, medical name for the procedure: "CT-guided drainage of bilateral pleural effusion".)  It turned out that there really wasn't all that much fluid in there, or in any case they weren't able to get that much fluid to come out.  Honestly, it seemed like the people who did my procedure were boneheads and imbeciles.  But, all in all, it was no big deal.  I was in and out of the hospital in a few hours.  The thoracentesis itself was a bit painful, especially when they're dragging that stupid tube across your bone, but not all that bad.

I do feel a little better now, but in all honestly, it wasn't all that bad to begin with.  Just some tightness in the ribs when I took a deep breath.  In any case, thanks to everyone who wished me well.

Maya---the fluid was in the pleura, or the area that surrounds the lungs.  There are these so-called "dead spaces" in your body, and the pleura are among them.  Normally they're empty, but sometimes, such as after a major surgery, they can become filled with fluid.

Betsy---sorry to hear that you're in for a good ol' chest tapping.  It goes quick, at least.

And Cathy, again, sorry to hear about your crummy nurse!  Do they have a charge nurse there, so you can report her?

All of this makes me a bit curious about others' experiences with their various hospitals' nursing staffs.  I think I was very lucky insofar as my nurses were all great--very nice, prompt, sweet, etc.  Also, I was asked by the charge nurse at virtually every shift change if I had any problems w/ any of the nurses....

Au revoir,

---Mister


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 7/1/2005 12:52 PM (GMT -7)   
My male nurses were very nice to me!! lol All 2 of them. Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:

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