For those of you who already know what Pericarditis is, no worries. For those of you who don't, let me educate you. This condition occurs when the pericardium (the sac-like covering surrounding the heart) becomes inflamed. Caused by a virus, it can range in severity from acute (short term) to chronic (long term). Now, let me tell you a story. You love my stories, right?
Our story begins on Thursday, December 8, 2011. I began noticing pain in my chest, localized just barely left of midline. Not a lot, just enough to be a bother. As the next couple days passed, it steadily worsened. By Saturday it was enough to worry me a little more. At work on Monday the pain became almost unbearable. I began sweating copious amounts, and could not catch my breath. A customer approached me and asked if I was feeling alright. I told her I wasn't feeling 100%, but it was ok. She asked me what was feeling poorly, so I informed her of the chest pain. Immediately she told me she wanted to call an ambulance, because I was gray.
I worked through the end of my shift, and called my Dr's answering service. He called back and said if I felt that I couldn't wait until the following morning to be checked out, then I should head into the ER. I did NOT want to spend most of the night in the ER, so I chose to tough it out. However, Tues morning I had to work an 8 hour shift, so I downed some Ibuprofen and went to work! Still no improvement, so after my shift I headed into West Linn to see if Dr Farley's office could squeeze me in. I got an appt for the next morning, and headed home. My breathing seemed to be a little more under control, and my color was better, but the chest pain was still intensifying.
I went in for my appt, and following a very thorough exam (including an EKG) it was determined that the muscles around my heart were inflamed. (Pericarditis) Caused by a virus, and probably exacerbated by the amazing amounts of caffeine I was consuming. He restricted my caffeine intake, and has me on Ibuprofen. If the pain does not decrease withing the next week then I will be referred to a cardiologist. He also told me to avoid stressful situations. I told him that I work Guest Service at Toys R Us, and he just laughed. Good luck was all he had to say.
I went into work and filled in my boss (Bill). He knew I had been having chest pain and that I was going into see a Dr about it. He told me I was not allowed to have a heart attack or get sick until after Christmas. When I told him about the stressful situations comment, we both began to laugh uncontrollably. Bill asked if the Dr had just signed my death certificate then and there. I told him I was scheduling a heart attack for January 15, 2012, after all the returns had been done. haha.
Sorry, some Christmas retail humor. Anyhoo, this should resolve itself shortly. I am still having strong chest pains, but hope they will subside after Christmas when I have a little time to slow down.
Just wanted to keep you informed!