Hi Everyone, I am a new member here, even though I lurked a lot previously, especially last year, when going through some tough times.
Anyway, a bit of a back story:
Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with constrictive pericarditis. At that stage I had actually lived with it for a number of years, getting an "attack" once a year, roughly a year apart. It stayed undiagnosed for many years, with different doctors ascribing the pain to various things, from pneumonia to stomach problems, but never being able to give any relief or concrete evidence or anything like that.
Last year I had another flare up and went to a GP which thankfully picked it up on the EKG.
He gave me some medicines (colchicine and something to slow my heart rate) but my condition did not improve.
I eventually got an appointment with a specialist physician/cardiologist, and he saw a noticeable thickening of the pericardium on the echo, and scheduled an angiogram and some other tests. By that time my condition had deteriorated quite a bit.
I do not have a medical aid, but only a hospital plan, so in order for them to pay for the tests I had to be booked in to hospital. By the time the results came back there was tamponade and my lungs were extremely full of fluid. (I am not that learned in all the technical terms, so I might be off on some terminology.)
Anyway, I didn't leave the hospital, and they scheduled an emergency pericardiectomy. I had to stay in the hospital for a week and wait for my condition to improve enough so that they could operate.
The surgery was successful, although I did not experience any of the immediate relief some people report. Maybe I am just not good with pain, but the first few days after was excruciating.
After about another week I went home and recovered there. After about 8 weeks I had another relapse, with identical pain and a CRP that was through the roof. I was hospitalised for another week, and all they could really do was give me cortisone and weight for the infection to go away, which it eventually did.
Now, it's been just over a year since my operation, and I seem to be getting sick again. I am again experiencing the tell tale out of breathness, raised pulse and pain when I lie down, especially on my back and left side. Has anybody experienced anything like this?
The doctors that helped me are very much of the opinion that they fixed the problem, and it cannot possibly be the same thing, so I am trying to get in to see another doctor.
TLDR; has anyone ever heard of pericarditis returning after a pericardiectomy? Is it normal to have so much discomfort and pain a year after the operation still?
Any reply or input will be muchly appreciated.