Hi everyone- My husband was having severe chest pain upon breathing, burping, coughing, etc. for a few weeks, along with coughing up green/grey phlegm in the morning and generally feeling lousy. He went for a chest Xray after seeing his doctor, who said it was probably a mulled muscle, and his Xray revealed a small amount of nonspecific fluid in the bottom of his right lung. He was told that was due to a viral illness and to repeat chest Xray in 2 weeks. His pain continued for almost 2 weeks, then began to let up. Then we went for his 2nd chest Xray, which revealed a "moderate" amount of fluid in his pleural area. Finally the doctor prescribed an antibiotic. I have researched these symptoms and it sounds to me like pleursy followed by a pleural effusion. But the doctor insists that the pain was coincidental, probably a muscle(!?) and says we must find the cause of the pleural effusion- 1st he said hubby must have removal of fluid w/ needle for analysis and a CAT scan of the chest- his manner really scared me!! Then he said he'd be willing to just do another Xray and bloodwork, and if the bloodwork is OK and the pleural fluid is decreasing even a little, he'll let it go w/ just another followup Xray. I've gathered that pleural effusion caused by pleurisy is less worrisome than pleural effusion without pleurisy, because then there is another reason. Does this sound like pleurisy to anyone? Anyone have similar experience? Any advice is greatly appreciated. -Dee
I just came home from the emergency room of the local hospital.
At 1 PM today, I had such shortness of breath that my husband called 911. I could not breathe, and was gasping for breath.
It was an asthma attack, and although my last attack of this nature was probably over fifteen years ago, I know that that was what it was.
The emergency room doctor was very indignant about all this. He claimed that it was a panic attack. Although the paramedics who transported me to the hospital had evaluated me for a good ten minutes before they ever left my house AND SINCE I only went to the hospital because they insisted, I was amazed to find a doctor who thought that I was some kind of kook there for the extra attention.
I am lucky that a good friend came down to the emergency room with me and advocated for me. But this doctor did not want to let go of his idea that I was not sick.
I don't quite know how I could explain the difference between a panic attack and asthma. I suffered from panic attacks four or five years ago (and since they were never treated by a physician, there is nothing in my charts to indicate that I have ever had them.) But the two experiences are quite different. With a panic attack, I never noticed an inability to breath, a feeling that I was gasping for air. (Though of course, someone else might have that symptomn during such an attack.) And I think my panic attacks were caused by a combination of two things: a move to a geographic location where I had neither friends or family, and the pervalence of "room air fresheners" in the housing that I co-rented with people. (the plugin kind of air deoderizers)
Dear Dee, In regards to your husbands pleurisy. I was diagnosed with pleurisy back in 1995. I thought I was having a heart attack and called 911. Upon examination in the ER that I was not having a heart attack, they took x-rays and told me I had pleurisy. I thought pleurisy! wasn't that something from the dark ages?! I was then told I had fluid around the lining of my lungs and they prescribed antibiotics. I had had bronchitis at the time and they said it was usually accompanied by infection from bronchitis. I researched it and found out its like an inflammation of the lining of the outside of the lungs and when inflammed it can feel like a heart attack or a very badly pulled muscle or a muscle cramp. Pinching, squeezing type of feeling. Sometimes it hurts to take a deep breath. My son and I both have it. It never goes away completely. We watch ourselves closely if and when we do get a cold. We both have asthma and try to never use our inhalers if we do not have to. Relief for pleurisy came come temporarily from fast acting inhalers or from Aleve, which is an anti-inflammatory OTC. Please check with your DOCs first before using Aleve over the counter as some people have interactions with it or cannot take it due to other meds they are taking. Wal-greens sells the generic for Aleve, but it costs alot. The Wal-greens brand is wal-proxen. I hope this helps your hubby. Take care and God bless.
Thank you for your reply- what you experienced sounds exactly like what my hubby had. It's encouraging to hear that it's something that can be dealt with. What really has me anxious is my husbands doctor insisting that this was not pleurisy, but an unknown pleural effusion from out of nowhere. From what I've read, a pleural effusion without pleurisy preceding it is a different matter- something that must be diagnosed since it's causes can be very serious- cancer, liver disease, heart failure. I'm confused on how my hubby could have had so much pain, just like described in pleurisy, and a normal chest Xray with only a little fluid in the bottom of the lung, and still the doc insists that there was no pluerisy, but instead an underlying cause. Does everyone with a plueral effusion need fluid drawn out with a needle and a CAT scan? I'm just getting the feeling that either the doctor is a bit crazy or I'm missing something. -Dee
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