I have had so many bouts of pericarditis (since 2009) I have lost count! Ibuprofen, colchicine and prednisone - prescribed independently, or in different combinations. Unfortunately, I was returned to work too soon; as a flight attendant. By the end of the flight I had trouble making announcements. Eventually, I had to quit a job I loved at 52. Now I work part time for $12/hr.
I have not felt energetic since the first occurrence. I used to cycle 70kms a day - now I can manage 15,000 steps at a slow pace.
Unfortunately, symptoms seem to be unique to each one of us. I know that I have a flare up when I wake up after 4-5 hrs of sleep; spend 15 mins chest bent forward, then the rest of the night semi-sitting with 5 pillows. Including laboured breathing. Not conducive to a good night's sleep. Also what appears to be unique, I can count my heartbeats without taking my pulse or the use of a stethoscope.
Every time the EKG is normal, and if the cardiologist is not top notch - they cannot "hear the rubbing" however the echo proves it.
Now it appears my pericardium has been affected. The new cardiologist seemed sympathetic - but when I called after a couple of weeks, saying the symptoms were increasing as the medication dosage was decreasing - she said to call my GP!! No GP wants to deal with pericarditis.
She said I might eventually need to have the pericardium removed to avoid heart failure. I have witnessed my father have 4 congestive heart failures - not a pretty sight.
So if you are diagnosed with a FIRST pericarditis - YOU MUST insist on having an echocardiogram before returning to regular activities. A second flare up may lead very quickly to a chronic situation!!!
Has anyone tried anti-inflammatory diets?
Can poor kidney function be a cause?
Are diuretics helpful?
Help....I'm getting discouraged!