My name is Ana, and I've had pericarditis for a couple of years now. I actually started having chest pains sometime at the end of 2003, but a Dr from an urgent clinic said I had probably pulled a chest muscle and prescribed an antiflamatory, which seemed to take the discomfort. The pain came back a couple of more times, so I just proceeded to continue taking the antiflammatory. Finally, in October 2004, I got it again but it got so worse I couldn't breath, walk or anything and my weist and feet were swollen.
Once at the hospital, (the pericardium was full of fluid and my left lung as well) they proceeded to perform a CT-guided pericardial drain placement with drainage of fluid. Then I had a left video-assisted thoracic surgery, in which a pericardial window was placed. They took a biopsy, but no definitive diagnosis came out of that, so they concluded it was a post viral illness.
After a month in the hospital, I was discharged.
Ever since, I've paid many, many visits to the ER, Urgent, Dr's office with recurrent pericarditis. They've now diagnosed me with chronic pericarditis, they call it 'autoinmune pericarditis' since I've had arthritis-like symptoms as well.
I haven't been able to stay off prednisone for more than a couple of months, without coming down with it again.
I have read so much about this condition, and still find it hard to give up to the idea that I may just have to live with this forever.
My husband and I have been trying to have children, but with no luck, and being on these medications obviously postpones all of those plans. I can't even hold my little nephew without injurying my chest somehow. My family worries so much,, and that hurts me.
The prednisone works for controlling my symptoms, but it makes me feel miserable with all of the secondary symtoms I get.
Due to my most recent episode (being the worse one after 2004), I've once again being put on disability, and I wish to dedicate the time I now have in my hands to see what else I can look into to recover from this all together one day. I hope I'm not being irrealistic.
Thanks for 'listening'.