Worst Pleurisy of my lifetime - Does anyone have any wisdom for getting through this?

Worst Pleurisy of my lifetime - Does anyone have any wisdom for getting through this?

I woke with the worst pleurisy of my lifetime yesterday morning. Unlike prior bouts with it, this is strictly my RA acting up. No fever, pneumonia or obvious infection. Yesterday was very uncomfortable but by evening I was having some moderate relief from increased prednisone. This morning the pain was back with a vengeance. I've been up and and about for a few hours, enjoyed a few bites of brunch with my husband but that's about all I feel I can manage for the day aside from cuddling my St. Bernard. Does anyone have a tip for getting through this in a little less pain? I'm also due to have my Actemra infusion Tuesday. I don't know how this latest development will play into if they will proceed with the infusion or not. I will call my rheumatologist in the morning to see if I need to cancel the infusion or not. I hope not as my joints are just now responding really well.

Thanks for your time and consideration in reading this :)

8 Replies

  • Is it possible that you have a blood clot? My Mum suffered from "pleurisy" for years but it turned out that she was having blood clots in her lungs and was then diagnosed with Antiphospholipid syndrome ( an autoimmune disorder as RA is an autoimmune disorder). Just a thought. Clemmie

  • Oh goodness that's quite the thought. My rheumatologist seems pretty certain it's pleursiy because of my lupus and RA Dx but you're right, that is something worth looking into as it's been a decade since I've had such an attack and it is like no other bout I've had.

    Thank you for your response.



  • Quick update, I emailed my rheumatologist who responded almost immmediately which was shocking. He's always good about getting back the same day and happens to be on call this weekend. He said your insight was very good and to never ingnore lung pain like this and Lupus and APS are closely associated. Very much so, however due to a couple of factors (one of which being I a low AHF factor) and previous testing he was not as concerned as he would be otherwise and if that wasn't the case he'd send me to the ER immediately. I definitely learn something new every day about these autoimmune disorders. A never ending series of layers and layers.

    Thanks again for your time!

  • Glad he got back to you so quickly. I hope that you feel better soon. Clemmie

  • Knowing just how your are feeling with plerusy. My last bot was so painful lasting for three weeks. Mr RA dr wa concerned because I ewas not getting better. Set me to ER asap and found that I had a blood clot and Pheun too. Run to the ER and have it checked out. You know you body better then anyone else. Hope you feel better soon

  • I've never had pleurisy but have had a spontaneous pneumothorax, don't know if the pain is similar but the only way I could get comfortable before I eventually went to the doctors was to sit in a reclined position, specifically to the left as it turned out it was my left lung which had collapsed.

    If the pain continues do see your GP, he may wish to arrange an xray to determine how to treat, though you probably know this if you've had pleuratic pain previously. I hope it doesn't linger & you're seen promptly.

  • I'm a bit hesitant replying because of my username. Suppose I could do with a cuddle. When I had pleurisy, the only way was the three Rs. Rest, Rest, Rest. Luckily I had my family to look after me and the antibiotics kicked in quickly. Mind you I didn't have RA as well then. You have my full sympathy and I wish you all the very best and hope it will go away soon.

  • Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I truly appreciate it. I've been resting and sleeping a lot, please forgive my delayed reply.

    My doctor had me up the prednisone considerably in both dosage and interval and I will be backing it back down as I was in the process of weaning off of it. The good news is I responded fairly well and while it's not completely gone, I'm much more comfortable and not feeling distressed. As I mentioned before, I definitely learned something from this and know now to say something even if I'm sure it is pleursiy. A possibility of a blood clot is definitely something not to mess around with. As I mentioned earlier, I have a low antihemophiliac factor as I am a carrier of hemophilia and I can symptomaticly bleed (I am currently black and blue from the prednisone) so my doctor said a blood clot is nearly impossible in my case but one of the first things he'd consider if another patient of his presented with the same symptoms. I am cleared to go ahead with the infusion and aside from the pain from the pleurisy, I'm feeling pretty good and my joints are the best they've been in years. This will be my fourth Actemra infusion and I'm hoping I have continued success. It's the only thing that has worked for me aside from massive doses of prednisone.

    I really enjoy this forum. Thank you all for your consideration and kindness!



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