Hello, Ten years ago I was so sick for 8 months I would not even call my life living. I had gastroentestinal problems, chest pain and I slept in a chair (because I could not breathe laying down).I had no energy or motivation. My Dr. at the time treated me for many things and also did a lot of testing. He did a endoscopy, colonoscopy, chest x-ray, ECG and many blood tests etc. I just got worse and worse. After the colonoscopy he told me that it was all in my head and even though I was already on antidepressants he prescribed more plus pain meds. In august of 1996 I was so sick that I went to the ER room 3 nights in a row. The first night they did EKG, gallbladder scan and chest x-rays and told me I may have a virus and prescribed an antibiotic and sent me home. The second night I was even sicker and they ran the same tests and came up with the conclusion that I had possible bronchitis, changed the antibiotic and sent me home. The third night I was nearly out of my mind and threw up green liquid (a wastebasket full) on the way to the hospital. They once again ran the same tests. All of these times many Dr.'s listened to my heart and did not find anything wrong. This night they decided to keep me as I may have pneumonia. The next morning a technician came to my room to do an echocardiogram. He just began when he turned off the machine and left the room, telling me God Bless You on his way out. Things happened very fast after that. My husband was rushed from the waiting room to my room to tell me that I had pericarditis and a lot of fluid on my heart. I was rushed to ICU and had a swan gantz inserted. I was hooked up to many machines and my family was scared to death. I was on a morphine drip for the pain so I was not too scared just concerned.
The next day a heart surgeon was sent in to do a pericardial window and over a quart of fluid was taken off of my heart. I had viral pericarditis. I remained in ICU for four days and was then moved to a regular room for two days and released. What a nightmare and little did I know the nightmare was just beginning. My first night home was okay. When I woke up the next day my right arm was swollen and blue. I immediately called the Dr. and he said that I should move it around some and then the swelling would go down. I showered and noticed that the swelling was worse so back to the hospital I went. I had an infection and several blood clots on the right side of my chest from an improperly inserted swan gantz.(this was not told to me at the time) I was on heparin for five days when I began to have chest pains on the left side again. they became so severe and the nurses were trying to call my Dr. and were not getting a response. A nurse that was assigned to me leaned down close to my ear and whispered "have your husband call a cardiologist and get rid of the Dr. you have and find another one". I was so lucky that she told me that as I was bleeding from the surgery site from 7 days prior. I would have bled to death inside and soon at the rate I was going. The cardiologist removed the heparin drip and sent me to CCU for three days. There is much more to this story but I will stop now. Every Dr. I saw told me that they did not understand how not one of the Dr.'s that listened to my heart could hear any rub, but no one did. So, pericarditis is a very serious thing and I had never ever heard of it until I got it. I was on Indocin for three weeks after I was released. I also noticed that before the pericarditis was discovered I was sweating a lot but too sick to complain about that. I am so thankful to be alive today. My concern and prayers go out to others that have suffered from pericarditis. It is a life altering event even if you do not reach the point that I did.