Acute Pericarditis

    • Anonymous
      December 16, 2008 at 4:44 pm

      Last Thursday I woke with chest pains and fever. I went to see my doctor who packed me into an ambulance for a half/hour ride to the hospital. It turned out not to be a heart attack but acute pericarditis, a viral infection of the sack surrounding the heart. It was very painful and I remain pretty exhausted. Like a cold virus there is no treatment for this baby either, just waiting to get better. No one knows how you get it but it can be associated with autoimmune diseases. I had a bad cold a few weeks ago and suspect that my immune system weakened by GBS was made more susceptible by the cold. Who knows. I am now trying to get well and hoping that it does not become chronic. It is my first high fever since GBS and of course I am afraid of a recurrence, but so far so good. Hope you are all doing well and getting ready for the holiday season. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      December 16, 2008 at 5:54 pm

      Jeff, Sorry to hear you’re having problems. You are in my Thoughts and Prayers. Please take care.

    • Anonymous
      December 23, 2008 at 11:37 pm

      Well-its been a very rough two weeks for me. I thought to get some support here but didn’t work out that way. I am leaving the forum and wish the best for all and a healthy new year. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      December 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm

      I am so sorry for not posting to your thread when I first read it. I feel we were not there for you when you needed us.
      I am happy for you that you have made it through these last two weeks and hope that you continue to improve.
      Take care and Happy Holidays

    • Anonymous
      December 24, 2008 at 3:26 pm

      Jeff, I am SO sorry you were going thru a rough time. I’m glad you are getting better. I’ve been going thru alot of bad things, too…I’m sorry I missed your calling for support.

      I do hope you’ll stay with us.

      Happy Holidays and wishes for a healthy new year.


    • Anonymous
      December 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm


      Sorry I missed your original posting. Things have been very hectic, I’m now trying [my wife say very trying at times] to be a caregiver. Hopefully only for a only a week or so more. I know that’s not a good excuse. I don’t know if the time of year or what, but the daily posting have been down the few times I have had a chance to look in.

      I hope you the Year bring you better fortune and better health. Pericarditis, can be a very painful situation. Hopefully, things have improved some by now. With a viral infection, there is nothing much there they can do except wait for the body to recover.

      You will be in my prayers. Sorry it took so long to respond.

    • Anonymous
      December 24, 2008 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you all for responding on Christmas eve. I didn’t mean to sound like I was sulking but it has been a tough time. I was taken by ambulance to the same hospital where I went with GBS so it stirred up a lot for me. I have felt overlooked on the forum lately for some reason and this time I did feel let down. My wife says I have trouble asking for help directly so maybe my posting didn’t express what I felt enough. But it does feel good to get support at times like these so thanks again for taking time. I am getting better slowly after almost two weeks in bed and hope to get out by Friday for a little bit. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      December 24, 2008 at 8:22 pm

      I would like to add to others the wishes that you feel better in body and in spirit. Regarding replys, you know from looking toward the outside that this is a really busy time of year and many of us spend all the energy we possibly can on our immediate family, friends, and those around us. this does not excuse that few people responded to you, but as Jim said, all the postings are down.
      I would also like to gently say looking toward the inside that I think there are many of us that need help, support, encouragement but are not the quite as adept at asking as we might be at giving support. I know for one, that the more I need something, the less it often shows because I am so used to being self sufficient and taking care of others. One reason I say this is that these last few months seem especially hard for you. There are lots of obvious reasons for this–you have had fevers and the pericarditis and not felt well. My sense, that could be wrong, is, though, that there is a sadness and need bigger than that. You mention memories that the ambulance ride and going to the same hospital brought back. The reason that I say this are 1) to point out that if some of the worry and sadness is fear about relapse and vulnerability with illness or if it is that the shadow of a very scarey time in your life when first you were diagnosed with this are part of the present, we are a group that can understand and relate to it if we understand a little better how to better support you. the second little point is to say that the problems with online support groups are thoughts scatter and since this is as hard as it is right now, it might help a little to have someone to talk to that could only focus on you and help you to pull back forward all the ways that have helped you cope in the past or a friend that can just listen about how bad you feel right now. I think that it would really help me sometimes to take 30 minutes and just be able to say (and cry, but I’m a woman) about how life has changed and my worries have changed. I could not do it for more than 30 minutes and I could not ask anyone to listen for more than that, but there are a lot of things that do get locked inside through the process of working so hard to be strong and brave that so many of us do.
      Again, I may be off base, but this is what my heart hears–sadness and lonliness and fear that the past will repeat itself.

      Since I am better at practical than the emotional, I have one other tiny suggestion. Are you on an anti-inflammatory medicine like indomethacin or naprosyn (or aspirin, even). Sometimes doctors also give steroids for pericarditis cautiously for their anti-inflammatory actions. If you are not on any of these, ask your doctor is an anti-inflammatory might help you with pain and the inflammation. Sometimes when a person has an GBS/CIDP or is other medicines, these are to thought of as much because of concern about complicating the picture of the neurologic disease, but NSAIDS are less a concern than steroids.

      Finally, I hope you feel better in health and in spirit in the rest of these holidays and in the coming year.
      WithHope for a cure of these diseases.

    • Anonymous
      December 24, 2008 at 10:23 pm

      Jeff, I missed your first post, but I am sorry you have not been well — especially during this busy time of year! I hope you will be feeling better soon and that you are able to enjoy time with family and friends during this Christmas season.

    • Anonymous
      December 25, 2008 at 12:22 am

      I hope you stay with us Jeff. You are Family.
      Sorry I can’t write much more, I’m in a relapse right now and can’t sit or type too much without problems. I hope you are feeling better and are able to enjoy Christmas. I do hope the pain is getting less and less as each day goes by. Take Care.

    • December 25, 2008 at 1:22 am

      Hi Jeff,
      I can give you tons of support and prayers. The reason I did not respond mostly is because pericarditis is out of my league. I do remember that my mother was hospitalized 2 years ago with an undetermined virus, initially she too thought she was having another heart attack. They suspected (I think) pericarditis and while they were waiting for test results, started antibiotics. i believe it was a long course of ivi antibiotics, that she would have to finish at home through home health. It turned out not to be pericarditis but I am pretty sure they said long term antibiotic treatment would be the course of treatment??? I hope the New Year brings better health to you. Please don’t give up on this awesome family and I am sorry I initially missed your post. I will try to be more considerate when I read others posts and respond with well wishes at the very least. You have helped me to realize the importance of helping as many people as possible. so please accept my apology for not responding more quickly. Merry Christmas and health and happiness in the New Year.
      Dawn Kevies mom

    • Anonymous
      December 25, 2008 at 4:10 am

      Oh no! I’m so sorry I missed your post Jeff – all I can say is that I was down with strep throat at that time and didn’t hit the forum for a few days, by the time I got back it was on another page. I’m so sorry, I do know what that feels like to reach out and grasp nothing but empty space. And I’m very sorry you are going through this right now, well anytime but now especially. I hope you find some relief today and can enjoy yourself and your family. Sometimes you have to mention a thing more than once with me, I know most of the time that old brain fog dominates me and things just don’t register. I don’t mean to be a space cadet – it comes naturally now that I have this wonderful disease. 😮

      Happy Holidays Jeff, I’ll be sending well wishes your way today.


    • Anonymous
      December 25, 2008 at 5:33 am

      Merry Christmas Jeff,

      I appologize to you as well for not responding to you. I spend more time over on the CIDP side or the main forum and totally missed your post.
      I noticed, the forum has been light the last week or so.

      I am concerned for you and Wish you well. God Bless you and watch over you and your family. Merry Christmas

    • Anonymous
      December 25, 2008 at 6:05 am

      Hello Jeff

      I’m so sorry you haven’t been well, this whole pericarditis experience must have been so horrible and scary. Hang in there.

      I hope you feel better today and that your condition improves.
      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

    • Anonymous
      December 25, 2008 at 10:33 am

      Thank you all very much. It was a joy to come on line this morning and see the responses. This group is a family to me and I felt that very much today. There is no real treatment for the kind of pericarditis I had-it is a virus and so, like a cold, there is not much you can do. I am getting stronger and hope to get outside for alittle while tomorrow. I had a bad cold before the pericarditis and add that to my residual fatigue and pain and it has been pretty hard so far this winter. There were days I couldn’t move I was so exhausted. It is better now and your prayers and good wishes will help me heal faster still.
      Withhope-you raise some important questions. I had to ask myself why I posted here and what I expected. I guess we can all ask why we post. I have a good support system at home with family and friends that mostly get my situation and offered me a lot of support this past few weeks. I am a therapist and all my friends are therapists so I can get plenty of one to one time when I need it. But there is still something about the online community that is special for me-perhaps because we all deal withGBS/CIDP all the time. I try to post as much as I can but being a therapist and with fatigue I give to my clients most of my energy. What I can do on this site I try to do because we all share something special in common that few folks do.
      Anyway-thanks for the support. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukkah. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      December 25, 2008 at 11:23 am


      Let me add to what others have said. I’m so very sorry that I didn’t comment on your post. Although I wasn’t sure what acute pericarditis was (I just googled it), I could have at least offered my thoughts and prayers.

      It seems that quite a few of members are dealing with different illnesses and issues as well as the hustle and bustle of this season.

      I hope you’re able to make it out for a while tomorrow as being cooped up in the house isn’t fun…although, if it’s as chilly and icy as it is here in Michigan, you may want to come back inside rather quickly. 😀

      You’re in my prayers!!

      Take care

    • Anonymous
      December 25, 2008 at 11:41 pm

      Merry Christmas Jef…

      I hope your outing goes well and all things continue to improve.


    • Anonymous
      December 26, 2008 at 4:59 am

      Now that I understand better it sounds very similar to what happened to a friend of mine. He got a virus that damaged his heart, he was in very bad shape for a long time, almost a year, then he started regaining strength and now, three years later, you’d almost never know except that he tires more easily than he used to and gets a little paler in the face. I remember his struggle to get people to understand because a lot of people around here have the attitude of “just get over it and get back to work” and hearing that he had a little virus (with a heavy sarcastic tone) doesn’t help them comprehend the permanent damage to his heart. I understand too what you say about this forum vs. your support system. Sympathy and concern are one thing, shared understanding is something else entirely. My husband sympathizes with me when I say my nerves are zapping me… but he doesn’t really know what that means.

      I’ll make a point to get over to this forum more often, I have to admit I’ve just been hanging on the CIDP forum, minimal cruising around other places… I’m lazy… what can I say? :rolleyes:


    • Anonymous
      December 27, 2008 at 3:25 am

      Hi Jeff! I was in the hospital when you posted and the week before had the flu and then a funeral right after the flu! So the past two week have been really hectic for me. Now my son is home and I won’t be posting much until he leaves which is another two weeks.
      So sorry you have gone through this. Me having Lupus there is that chance of getting what you have. So far I have been lucky and not had that yet and hope not too!
      I know of someone that had that and they hurt too because of it. Not fun having for I remember how sick they got. They landed in the hospital for theirs and stayed in the hospital for quite some time.
      Don’t overpush yourself and try to get as much rest as you can. Hope you feel better soon!

    • Anonymous
      December 29, 2008 at 10:56 am

      Thanks again to all of you. I am sorry to hear of some of your struggles too. I finally did spend one night in the hospital, mostly for tests, but am now fully over the virus. I am hoping my immune system gains back some strength as it has been two viruses for me in four weeks. Thanks again and a happy and healthy new year to all. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      December 29, 2008 at 2:53 pm

      I don’t get on here sometimes for weeks on end and am sorry I was not here for you. Jeff, you have been support for me at different times, whether you know it or not, and I would appreciate it for myself, and others that you would continue here as you have been for so long. I would say Dec. is one of the least likely months for me to get on here. The GRAND-babies keep me busy this time of year. lol 🙂 You take good care Jeff, and yes I know, it does get scarey at times. I have made 2 ambulance trips in 2 years and it does come to ones mind. Hang in there Jeff.

      Love & Prayers,

    • Anonymous
      December 30, 2008 at 6:20 pm

      Hi, Jeff,
      I sorta dropped out of sight for awhile since there were too many threads with the same people giving daily my opinion. You are the last person I would want to see leave this site. There is a special place in my heart that you have earned by getting out of your hospital bed when you were not able to walk. I just love that story. And you turned me on to some great books by an author you knew. Of course the GBS has made my memory a shambles…so now I truly act like the blonde I am!
      I am compelled to share with you the info that there are things to combat viruses. Olive leaf extract fights bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, etc Google it. I also take Vitamin C to support the white blood cells which will them fight the viruses. It is so simple which I think is why people don’t use these things. So if I can truly believe your night escapades, you can give me the benefit of the doubt. This week I fell on the ice and cut my right hand. A day later I noticed swelling and red streaks radiating from it. I got some extra warm water, put in some golden seal powder, and dabbed it on the sore hand. It took away the swelling and red streaks and it is practically healed two days later.
      So don’t leave……you make me question reality…and that is good!! But do get well…….

    • Anonymous
      December 31, 2008 at 10:40 am

      Thanks Drumer and Carolyn: Haven’t heard from you guys in a while. I appreciate your comments and suggestions and, no, I won’t leave-this is definitely part of my family. I am well, though still more tired than usual, but am over the virus. I go back to work on Monday and am looking forward to it. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      January 1, 2009 at 10:00 am

      Happy holidays to you. It is great that you are feeling stronger and better. It is great when people look forward in life.

      This thread has made me think of two things. First, the forum and how we are family to each other–to support and, when possible, to share experiences that have helped each individual. I am glad that you are staying, for you do help people to think and to think in a different manner.

      The second is about collateral damage. The virus starts the reaction in pericarditis, but it is the body’s over exuberant inflammatory response that causes the damage. This is the same with GBS and CIDP. Something initiated the reaction, but it is the autoimmume process that causes the damage. Some people say that we are predisposed to autoimmune or inflammatory diseases because those that get GBS/CIDP have a very reactive immune system. At the GBS/CIDP symposium, they were talking about potential treatments to help turn down the immune system (such as a drug that acts on complement–an essential part of response to infection but also non-specific. It acts like a battery of bombs directed toward the target non-specifically and so there is a lot of collateral damage on surrounding “normal” structures. The problem in GBS and pericarditis is that some immune response is required to stop the virus and no one knows what is the proper time or amount of regulation required. But, despite its challenges, I think we will.

      WithHope for a better way to deal with these problems so we all can move forward in life.

    • Anonymous
      January 4, 2009 at 10:05 am

      Jeff I just wanted to say I am glad you are better now and I know exactly the feeling with that particular virus because I have had it, granted it was before my GBS and now CIDP and it is an awful feeling and draining. I remember thinking I was having a heart attack also and that was 10 years ago (I was only 31) and I would be like my dad and have to have multiple by-pass surgeries, it was one of the longest ride in that ambulance for myself that I can ever remember and it only took 5 minutes! I can’t imagine going through that now and wondering if it would make me worse! I wish I would have caught your post but our electric went out because of 5 foot snow drifts and when it came back on our internet service was out for over 2 weeks.
      Again I am glad to hear you are better and my thoughts and prayers are with you to continue so! Take care!

    • Anonymous
      January 6, 2009 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Jeff,
      I am just catching up after being “gone” for a while. I hope you are doing better and relize that Paracarditis takes a long time if not forever to recover from. I am sorry for your suffering and for feeling let down by this forum. I have to laugh though, and I mean no disrespect, because you reminded me of myself two years ago when I was so sick and felt so out of control and vulnerable due to the illness, length of time feeling sick, medications etc. and when I didn’t feel people were giving enough I threw a tantrum and threatened to leave, knowing full well I was only hurting myself because I need this place. After cooling down and feeling more sane, I returned and am grateful I did. I just wanted you to know I so understand how frustrated you were and that the loss would definitely be ours if you had dumped us. I learned to be a bit more direct when I am in that place of needing people to respond and I hope to also get better at doing the same. I have always appreciated when you have taken time to personally respond to me so I give you my sincere best Jeff.
      Be well,