Friday, December 16, 2011


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!

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