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How long does pericarditis take to heal?
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How long does pericarditis take to heal?

I am sorry to bother you, but I am a 55-year old self-employed engineer, and cannot obtain health insurance at any cost, because of pre-existing conditions.  My cardiologist is difficult to reach most of the time, so here I am.  I am a relatively healthy person, with good strength and stamina, a normally healthy immune system, and I live an active, athletic life.  The only significant health problem I have is related to my heart, which has unfortunately challenged me with an aortic root aneurysm (4.8 cm) and PVC's (and now pericarditis).  

About 3 weeks ago, I suddenly developed sharp pains under my left breastbone and the left side of my back.  After performing an EKG and conducting an examination, my cardiologist of 2 years diagnosed it as pericarditis/pleurisy, and prescribed ibuprofen.  The pain largely dissipated over the first week, leaving me with symptoms of labored breathing in my left lung, and a popping type sound around my heart that is somewhat uncomfortable and unsettling when I lay on my left side.  I have been sleeping on my right side for 3 weeks, with relatively normal breathing on that side, and have slept well.  As of today, the labored breathing has improved, but the popping sounds have not.  

How long does it take for something like this to resolve.  Given my current status, it would seem that this condition would last well over a month.  Is this a normal timeframe?  Is it possible that the other heart problems were a precursor of the pericarditis, and therefore indicates that I can expect more of the same in the future?  One of the weird  (but good) side effects of the pericarditis which I am unable to fathom is that the PVC’s have diminished significantly, so at least something good has come out of this.

Thank you for your help.  This forum is a great service to people like me.  
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Avatar n tn
I had pericarditis with pleuresies after an afib ablation, the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Took a solid week just to be able to climb up the stairs in my house without heaving for breath, took a solid month on high doses of volteren. Good luck.
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Avatar n tn
Thanks for the response--it helps a lot.  I guess I just have to be patient.  Good luck to you too.  
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Avatar m tn
I just got out of the hospital, after going into atrial fibrillation, I was diagnosed with a virus and pericarditis.  I am breathing OK, however my left lung is not working as good as my right because fluid built up and deflated the lung.  They have removed the fluid and I am home now.  Just wondering, when will my lung function come back?
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