Hi all--if you can stand to read this brief history, I'd appreciate any firsthand experience or first-rate info you can offer:
In November 2009, I went to the ER late at night for a 104 degree (and climbing) fever. They were unable to tell me what was wrong, only that it was a viral infection. I went home with a diagnosis of "viral pharyngitis," which made no mention of sores inside my mouth and on my lips. They noted my high pulse, but attributed it only to fever. I took the usual ibuprofen-acetaminophen combo until the fever went away. The sores went away within a week. The staff at the ER referred to my blood work as "very good."
Then, in December 2009, I went to the ER a second time with a pulse of 120, but no other symptoms. They did an echocardiogram and found I had a pericardial effusion. I was told to take ibuprofen and that it would go away on its own in a few weeks. My blood work was again pronounced "very good."
It's now nearing March 2010 and though for a while between January and February my pulse improved, it is now getting worse and on top of it, I have chest discomfort and slight shortness of breath. I am concerned the problem is getting worse, and looking for answers as to what could be wrong.
Previously, I ran twice weekly. Only recently I have tried running again, but my pulse goes above 160 if I run 6 mph for 2.5 minutes, which is considerably higher than usual. For example, in October 2009, I ran 6 mph for 2.5 minutes and my pulse barely broke 130.
In particular, what could cause such a problem? I was initially afraid I might have HIV; however, I do not engage in risky behavior and myself and my partner have both tested HIV negative in October and January.
- Could a coxsackie virus have caused the initial infection and the effusion?
- Could HSV-1 have been the culprit? I recently discovered that my partner's roommate has HSV-1, because she uses a topical ointment for cold sores.
Could a virus cause a prolonged effusion such as I have? If not, what could?
If I was administered minocycline (orally) 8 years ago, would this have any effect on my pericardium that would make me more vulnerable to a pericardial effusion?
If this persists, can it have long-term effects on my heart (e.g. thicken the muscle or anything like that)?
And lastly, of course-- ADVICE? Anything OTC I can take before I decide to make an appointment to get another echo and see what's what, at the expense of time and money I don't have?
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