had a Pericardiectomy (pericardial window)

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/20/2013 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
performed a couple months ago due to a megga amount of fluid built up because of chemotherapy side effect. 
I healed quite quickly, but lately I've been having massive chest pains, like someone has my heart in a vice grip. I've been to my onconolgist and my cardiologist and both say there is no fluid retention (because of the window)... so, my question is:
am i pushing too hard at the gym?  I've started lifting weights to get rid of some flab, a lot of twisting and turning, and measly 5 pound weights.  The pain is so terrible right now that it's hard to breath and walk. And lets not even mention laying down. That's not happening unless I'm sitting up.
I'm new here (like today new) so please don't ignore like my CML board does smilewinkgrin

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/21/2013 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  I am sorry to read of your pain as well as your dx.  Do you generally have pain with your CML and could the pain be from your sternum ( bone pain). 
Muscle strain could cause your pain and you have stated that you have been working out really hard for you.  Even with light weights, if your body is weak from chemo and you already have had heart problems, it may not take much of a work out to cause a strain.
Your history and your symptoms are a challenge when trying to sort out what may be going on.  I know chemo can cause just about anything as I am on chemo also.  However, your heart would be the place for your Drs. to start when trying to identify what is causing your pain.
Do you happen to keep a pain journal so that you can note what you are doing, time of day, intensity of your pain, what makes it better and what makes it worse? 
My best advice, be your own advocate and if you feel you need to be seen re this chest pain, present to an ER, call your Cardiologist and make sure every thing is being done to try and help you with the crushing chest pain.
Thinking of you and hoping you are soon rid of the pain.
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Three the hard way
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/25/2017 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm three days home from the ccu after having a pericardial window done. This encounter included eight days in the CCU three of those days with a chest tube that looked and felt like a garden hose. I'm astonished that there was really no Aftercare instructions given... I have read so many horror stories on here about people that cannot lay down and that has been my biggest problem. I'm a back sleeper and the worst part of this is that I can't lay down. My Aftercare was two aspirin a day colchicine and a pill for the uric acid in my stomach. There was no mention of how long it would take for me to feel normal again and they were really no physical limitations to speak of that they gave me. What am I to do I'm an active 48 year old grandmother of three and I don't like this. I would be very grateful to receive a reply from anyone that knows something that would work

Post Edited (Three the hard way) : 10/25/2017 10:55:52 AM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16607
   Posted 10/25/2017 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I saw your post & wanted to say hello. I am a little at loss here as I do not understand why nothing was discussed prior to surgery. I would have had a list in hand with questions for the surgeon. I would call the surgeons office & speak with his nurse about your concerns. She may be able to answer your questions if not she can ask the dr.. The discharge papers list info on what you can do & potential things to watch for.

Do you have a recliner you can sleep in? If not, how about a family member or good friend that would loan you theirs for a bit. I am guessing propping yourself on pillows has not helped.

You know the internet is a wonderful tool to learn about different things. However, some times its just not the best thing either. I say this because of your comment about reading the horror stories associated with this surgery. Please try to keep in mind while reading these horror stories, these are people you do not know or know any of their circumstances surrounding their surgery, lots of unknowns. The people that are doing well, they are living their life as they should be, they are not posting in forums. I think you may be somewhat stressed after reading so much so maybe you should step back from reading. Instead concentrate on you & your healing. I do mean this in a compassionate way too.

Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20254
   Posted 10/25/2017 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
yep to susie. keep strong.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2018
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/20/2018 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a pericardial window three weeks ago. Before I went in I read all the posts on this thread and I was terrified about the chest tubes being pulled. For me it wasn’t as bad as childbirth but it was painful and a trick you can use is tell the nurse to premedicate you first. I did experience for the first two weeks the hot and cold flashes that somebody else had been experiencing as well. My problem is that I am having tachycardia, I heart rate with walking despite normal heart function and the fluid being gone. I am also still short of breath. Did anybody else experienced the high heart rate and if so did it go away after time. I am also curious to know if anybody exercises vigorously despite having most of their pericardium gone.
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