I was diagnosed with acute pericarditis in May 2002. Since then I've had more episodes than I can count. My pericarditis is now referred to as chronic. I have had many medical tests to determine the cause and none have been found. I've even been to a cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center. Currently, I'm taking prednisone, colchicine, and amitryptiline. I pretty much control the dosage of prednisone by the way I feel. When I get it down to 5mg per day, I feel fortunate. However, after a few days at that dosage, my more severe symptoms reappear (chest pain). I had a pleural (sp.)effusion in 2003. I should also mention that I have a pacemaker. In 1997, when my first pacemaker was implanted on my LEFT side, my RIGHT lung was punctured. I can't help but wonder if that has something to do with the recurring pericarditis. The docs say no. Also about two weeks before my first episode, I had multiple bites by fire ants (connection?). The docs say no to that question as well. As you can see, I'm trying to blame this on something. Is this a relatively rare disease? Why isn't more known about it? I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Barbara, South Carolina, USA
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