Pericarditis

Hi again, a biotronik pacemaker put in May 21, 2018 for SSS as well as fainting and flatlining.  I was diagnosed with pericarditis with effusion end of July but thinking back may have been symptomatic earlier.  My pacemaker is working fine, however my local cardiologist felt the lead had micro perforated and needed to be replaced stat.  My EP disagreed so I left it as is.   I received steroids for the first round of pericarditis and the fluid went to low but was there in small quantities all year.  This month, early April, I had an attack of very low bp in my bed, EMS arrived and would not even transport me until I had received two bags of fluid.  The next day I found out I again had pericarditis with a large effusion. I was hospitalized 5 days and fluid went to small-moderate with colchicine. The EP on call at the hospital thinks it’s inflammation, like my heart is rebelling against the leads, and says it happens, rarely, but it happens.  Anyone else experience this, and if so, symptoms and what you did.  I am going to Cleveland Clinic in June, as they have a pericarditis clinic.   Thx Members of the club we did not want to belong to!


1 Comments

Finally feeling better

by bionicdee - 2019-04-30 17:28:03

Hal, after my second pacemaker was installed in November 2018, for lead extraction and cardiac resynchronization therapy, I  experienced what you are describing as pericarditis. My first episode was the next day after surgery.  I discussed with my EP that I  felt as if he had punched me in the chest with his fist,I had trouble breathing in and out and had a cough. He kept me in intensive care for any additional day,  ordered another chest x ray and an ultrasound echo which showed inflammation around my heart sac.  He gave me a shot of prednisone before I left and I felt better initially. 

I made it through Thanksgiving and mid December.  However during that time I had an awful cough (aka cardiac cough) and was still very tired and my chest was heavy.  I had a pacemaker before and knew that I should feel better. I contacted be cardiologist, who reached out to my EP and he saw me the next day.  He did a blood test and xray showing I still had the inflammation. He gave me a 4 week regimen of low dose prednisone, with an appt for another 4 weeks. In the meantime,  I  had an appt. with my primary care physician. When she listened to my heart she heart rubbing in.there (supporting the pericarditis).  Still wasn't my best after the first 4 weeks and now we are in January 2019. 

My EP extended my treatment of prednisone (resulting in me having "chipmunk cheeks") and colchicine another 4 weeks. Finally in February I finally started feeling better. ( 8 weeks of that stuff).Went in to see the EP for my follow-up appt. Again,  we did the blood tests,  xray and ultrasound echo. This time the was no inflammation.  I finally felt somewhat normal by March. My pacemaker was/is good. My EP said that it wasn't anything that I did; it's possible my body just didn't like him messing around in there. My surgery was 6 hours this time,  a few complications. I know my body and my recovery from heart surgery  can sometimes be challenging. The first time (pacemaker #1) I had a heart virus, so I wasn't completely surprised. I just stayed on top of everything,  until I was feeling better.

I am fortunate that my cardiologist and my EP are on the same page.  I challenge them, if I  feel I'm not getting answers.  I don't know how healthcare is in your area, but you have made the right decision about seeking additional care until you get the desired result.  Its your health. Good luck and keep living!! 

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