Thank you Specky! I really appreciate hearing your story.
His case of pericarditis is quite unusual. He says he had his first attack about 7-8 years ago (before we met). It went away on its own, and he never had it diagnosed. Then, about 4 years ago (once we were together) he had a pretty serious attack... Finally went to the doctor, has his echo done, and was tested for all the associated illnesses (cancer, lupus, etc) and they found nothing. He was able to control the pain with ibuprofen and it went away. Back in May of this year, he started to feel very bad. Fatigue and a lot of pain in his shoulder. He went to the doc and via the echo they could see some inflammation and fluid. Doc gave him some painkillers and anti-inflammatory and said to come back the next day. This went on for about 2-3 days. On the 3rd day when I got home from work he was in soooo much pain, could barely take it. We got through most of the night, and at 5 am I decided to take him to the ER. The poor guy was suffering so much. At the ER, they found out he was in cardiac tamponade. The doctor said that if they would have waited 30 minutes longer to do the cardiocentesis, he could have gone into heart failure from the compression. They drained 500 ccs of fluid. It was brutal. He spent about 5 days in cardiac ICU, had atrial fib and a really fast heartbeat. They cardioverted him, the whole works. God, it was crazy.
Since coming home, they started him on colchicine and motrin. He started to have fluid again, so they put him on prednisone. Started at about 50 mg I think. When they started to decrease the dose, he was fine until 20 mg, then he had an attack again. So back up to 40 mgs we went. The taper has been much slower this time, to give the body more time to get used to it. We are at 20 mg again now, and it has been fine, except that he has started to feel a very very slight feeling in his shoulder -- he can't even describe it as discomfort -- less than a 1 is what he says. He had an appt with a new doctor (I'm always looking for 2nd and 3rd opinions) on Friday of last week and she took blood to measure the SED rate. She couldn't hear any rub. Well I was so worried all day yesterday, at what the SED rate would be. And thank god, it was a 1! That means no inflammation. So who knows what he is feeling. She said he is so in tune with his body, that he may be overly sensitive to the slightest thing.
We were both SO happy. I think he should stay at 20 mg for a while longer, than slowly go down again. He is still on the colchicine and motrin in the meantime. But he has energy and is feeling good. Yes, I am ALWAYS telling him to rest, and I always cook good food and make sure he eats lots of fruits and veggies. Good foods to avoid for inflammation include eggs, dairy, and sugar, FYI.
Thanks for all your input It is so helpful!