View Full Version : Right Chest Pain; Cough; Fever...What now?

03-29-2007, 06:40 PM
Just when I thought I was getting a handle on things...

The past several days I've had pain in the right side of my chest/body - nearly up to my shoulder. Pain is sharp when I breath in; move around. Also have a dry cough and intermittant fevers (not high...low grade.) I called my rheumatologist and she couldn't see me, so referred me to my PCP or our local urgent care. She wanted to rule out pleurisy, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism. I had blood tests, chest xray and CT scan. Nothing. It still hurts; symptoms haven't changed. So what else could this be? Could this be related to my lupus? Sjogrens? Or is it more likely something else entirely? (Or maybe it's nothing at all?) I did recently have a bad respiratory thing and had antibiotic for that (lasted about a month.) Anybody got any ideas?

03-29-2007, 07:17 PM
Did she do a sed rate? Lupus pneumonitis can cause similar symptoms but may not be visible on an x-ray. Did the PCP prescribe anything for your symptoms?

03-30-2007, 05:59 AM
I think she just did a white blood count (usual infection indicator, I suppose). No, no prescriptions. I'm taking ibuprofen for the pain, but I know I shouldn't be taking a lot of it since I'm still on steroids (10mg). I see my rheumatologist on the 10th. I guess I can just ride it out.

03-30-2007, 06:22 AM
Pneumonitis is usually related to inflammation rather than active infection, so a WBC might not show anything - you really need a sed and a CRP. Can you call the rheumie and ask about bumping your prednisone for a week? If it's inflammatory, that might be enough to get it under control.

03-30-2007, 06:36 AM
Lord, I hate to increase prednisone again...I hate the stuff. Yeah, I know - I have to learn to live with the ups and downs. I will be talking to her today - she wanted me to follow up with her. I will ask her about that. Thanks, Marycain. Your advice is always so helpful.


03-30-2007, 08:13 AM
I know - I hate the stuff too - but sometimes a short bump or something like a medrol dosepak is just enough to get you over a hump without a long term increase. And if it is something like pneumonitis, better to get it under control quickly. With lupus and sjogrens, you really can't be too careful about anything with the lungs.

03-30-2007, 08:40 AM
I am sorry you are having a tough time. I have had chest pain like that too - up to the shoulder blade and in the ribs. Its really painful (mine was left side). I found that tylenol blue (aches and strains formula) or robaxacet - something with a muscle relaxant helps a bit. Not sure about whether this is safe with your other meds. Its weird stuff - I get neck pain like that too. It leaves as quickly as it comes though so hopefully for you this is a short episode......

03-31-2007, 02:05 PM
Hi Mnjodette!

I am SO sorry to hear that you are in so much pain and that the doctors do not know what is wrong :cry:; there is little more frustrating than that.

Get better soon! I will keep you in my prayers and sincerely hope that this is not anything serious.

God bless!

04-02-2007, 03:39 AM
Thanks for your concern, Ilovehistory and Karen. Marycain, the doc put me on Levaquin and bumped up my prednisone for a few days. I DO feel better. Fever is gone, as is much of the pain. Dry cough still there some. She suspects slight case of pneumonitis. I'll talk to her today about bringing down the prednisone dose again and I see her next week. One more hurdle crossed.....

04-02-2007, 06:50 AM
Jody -

Thinking of you and hoping this all gets sorted out quickly. You've had a hard time of it with Lupus recently and you eserve a break!


04-02-2007, 08:48 AM
Hi Mnjodette!

I am SO glad to hear that you are feeling better and hope that everything clears up soon! I will continue to pray for your speedy recovery.

Keep well! :)