(Please forgive me if this is not the right forum, was unsure where it fitted in)
I've been having very sharp chest pain since March 29th, which is in a specific spot on my upper left chest and radiates through to my back. It's worse when I lie down or take a deep breath. I was admitted to the cardiac ward in the hospital on the 5th of April and was diagnosed with viral pericarditis. My chest x-ray was normal, but the ekg and a few other factors support this diagnosis. I was told I could leave the hospital when I felt my pain was under control, and I left a week later and was given painkillers. I have been taking anti-inflammatory pills, as well as codiene and even oxycodone because the pain is very severe and prevents me from sleeping especially. I am eager to get off the painkillers, however the pain is still as severe as when I first got the condition and does not seem to be improving at all. I recently had an echocardiogram, which appeared normal (except for a few 'leaks' which are apparently of no concern). I also experience mild fever (which is controlled by paracetemol) and breathlessness. I often wake in the night feeling as though I can't breathe, and the pain is still too severe to lie down properly. It has now been almost a month, and I'm just wondering if my symptoms are normal for this condition, or when I can expect improvement. At the moment I'm unable to work or study, in fact it is a struggle to even leave bed. Thank you kindly for your help.
Sorry to read about the pain, that is a real that has to be dealt with and not with just pain killers. Have you posted in "Pain Management" on MedHelp? I do not know that forum, but it is the only one that came to my mind when I read your post.
I do not have heart rhythm experience that matches with your symptoms. Has your primary care doctor offered any path to a solution?
Thank you so much for your advice and care, I guess I just wanted to better understand this condition and what to expect. I do have a GP, but she has a bit of a waiting list, and they've all told me this condition is viral and is just going to get better on it's own but may take 'some time'.
I think I tried the heart disease forum, but couldn't get the post to work there, but I'm new so I might be getting it wrong, will have another go.
Are there any medical professionals on these forums do you know?
Thank you so much again for your interest and best wishes, they are much appreciated.
We occasionally see a response from a heart doctor on this forum, but not often. It is my guess from what I read above is sounds to me like a doctor would reach the same conclusion, especially given they can not directly examine you.
My family experience with oxycodone is it can be taken for several weeks without becoming a habit problem. That is, if the pain problem is resolved ther are no withdrawal problems stopping the pain medication. My wife has had several pain episodes that went on for more than a month and she was on this medication 24/7. I know he doctors were always concerned about the duration, but nothing bad has happened.
I am not familiar with the medical services in Australia, but I can say here in the US severe pain would see me making a visit to the emergency room of our local hospital. This has indeed been the case for my wife a number of times (she, as I are older) due to joint and muscle pain (some joint deterioration) and they gave her a prescription for oxycoden to help until she could see her primary care or other specialist doctor.
Just learning about your situation it sounds to me like some strong pain killer relief could bridge the time to healing/cure.
I do not understand the "always full" comment about the heart disease forum. Are you saying you don't get a response, or are you saying you can't gain access to make a post? I am not familiar with that forum but assume it operates much the same as this forum/community.
I just checked the heart disease forum, and there is indeed a daily limit on the numberof posts they will take now, and it is full! I could not post there today if I had a question,
However, ruby, I rhink you do need some answers from a doctor in person rather than on a forum. Here, we do not usually have to see our primary care docs to ask for a referral--we just phone his/her office and make the request. Can you do that in Australia?
If not, I would suggest following Jerry's advice: Just go to your emergency room complaining of severe pain and shortness of breath. That does count as an emergency, and should get you evaluated. It will also allow you to ask for a referral by the attending doctor in the ER, bypassing your too-slow- to-respond primary doc.
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