View Full Version : New pericarditis / pleuresy symptom, could use some advice or perspective!

10-11-2012, 04:18 PM
Hi all. I've been diagnosed with SLE for about a year now, been suffering for about 16 years (I'm 30 years old). The last two years I started to experiencing intermittent bouts of pericarditis and/or pleuresy, but the last few weeks it has gotten worse. In Jan/2012 a doctor confirmed on a chest xray that he could see some swelling around my lungs but that he hoped the NSAIDs and a weeklong bout of prednisone would kick it, so to speak. Unfortunately, its back this month and the worst I've ever felt it.

Today I am having crushing chest pain which worsens when I move or twist, take a deep breath, or attempt to pick something up. The pain is radiating down my left arm, left shoulder and left hand and hasn't subsided for about two hours now. I'd say on our very "tough" pain scale for Lupus patients, its still only a "6" in severity, but unlike knee pain or fatigue, chest pain is a more "scary" symptom that's harder to ignore, at least for me.

My question is, how many of you experience these symptoms and if so, what is the difference between "normal" pericarditis / pleuresy that should be treated with just NSAIDs and rest, and a more serious complication? How would I know without another possibly unnecessary trip to the Urgent Care clinic? Thanks for the advice on this new symptom, I'm hoping to get some frame of reference on the severity and perhaps some "home-remedy" advice.

~ Deannegirl

10-11-2012, 04:53 PM
The answer is that you never mess around when it comes to internal organs. I know you don't want to go to the Urgent Care but extreme pain having to do with organs is never messed around with and a trip to the ER/ Urgent Care is always called for.

Please let us know how it goes!

10-11-2012, 08:49 PM
I agree with Tgal 100%, especially given the fact that this pain could involve your heart (pericarditis). While pleurisy may not be as much of a threat as pericarditis, the latter could be extremely serious.
Never, ever hesitate to seek medical attention when your internal organs are involved and be even more diligent when the heart is involved.
Please do see a doctor immediately and let us know what is decided.

Peace and Blessings

11-07-2012, 03:12 PM
Just wanted to give everyone an update -- turns out I had a little case of Walking Pneumonia (with a little pleuresy). I'm better now, two and a half weeks of fighting it and I finally feel nearly 100%.

Thanks for the advice, its always better to be safe than sorry with the symptoms we have!

11-08-2012, 09:48 AM
OOOOOH, I am so glad to hear this. Well, not glad that you have pneumonia, but glad that it is an issue that can be taken care of and that you are feeling better. Thank you, so much, for keeping us updated!

Peace and Blessings

11-08-2012, 12:03 PM
Glad your doing better.
Getting medical advice is always the best unfortunately i'm one of those people who doesn't go to a doctor or hospital unless in dire need. Explains why I was sick for a whole year before even going to a doctor only be diagnosed with lupus....hmmmm.
Really I go by the if I can still walk i'm good motto or if it's a really consistent symptom. It was how I was raised so I don't think it became good advice when dealing with my lupus. I should start following y'alls advice.