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Lovely stay in the cardiac care unit

When I have a flare I get quite used to getting pleuritic pains. This time round they were different. No pain on inhalation, but instead I had burning sensation under bust and to left of sternum radiating into neck, jaw and shoulder.

Purposefully I ignored it for some time as I am aware of the signs of a heart attack, but knew it would be lupus related and I would be looking at a week in hospital whilst they caught up with me.

Finally I had to tell my boss what was happening as I still had 9 hours of my shift to do. Of course if you flag up chest pains when you work in an ambulance control room it is never going to be a subtle reaction so got the literal lights and sirens reaction with a side order of lectures from the crews!

I am high risk for DVT's, etc due to the antiphospholid syndrome I was admitted for loads of tests. EEG was normal all way through, Tritonin was elevated to the "grey area" - upper range of normal, my potassium was in my boots, as was my BP at 60/40 at times, angiogram showed a good strong heart with "superb" blood vessels surrounding it. Translation - not cardiac but lupus related - pericarditis.

When I was discharged the Cardiac Sister was thrown as none of her usual lectures worked - no weight issues, don't smoke, cholesterol is where is should be, I exercise and eat well, no high blood pressure. Nothing she could add to what I do as I already do everything I should to control my lupus. Basically, other that my lupus I am very healthy for my age which is good to know.

I am happy I took that step and got it checked out even though I knew it would be lupus related. When it comes to chest pain it needs to be checked - if only to give you peace of mind. If I get another attack of pericarditis I know what to expect and I have the confidence of knowing my heart is fit and healthy.

2 Replies

Hi Davros, it sounds like you are an expert at looking after yourself, and doing all the right things to stay well despite the lupus. It was just as well you got it checked out though and that you were working in the right place for expert help and attention!

Did you have to /up/ your dose of drugs too deal with this pericarditis? I hope you are feeling more comfortable now. xx


Hi Dryad,

Am feeling a bit better thanks but still be at least a week before I can go back to work. My meds have been left unchanged as the standard treatment is anti-inflamatories which I can not have because I am on warfarin. Steroids I won't take as my INR is extremly unstable so won't risk it. So just have keep hydrated and rest.


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