I left you guys last with my results and the face I woke up at 4:30 on Friday morning with a panic attack.
Except it wasn’t.
So I pick up our story on Friday evening. My chest was still sore and I had been flat on my back for most of the day. Supline it didn’t really hurt but any more movement or a different position increased the pain.
I was on the couch when I got a message on Facebook from a friend whose a doctor, Clare Murray nee Webb. I hadn’t spoken to her for a long time, (since I was diagnosed actually) as she was based up in Dundee and also because I had mainly seen her at parties or through Harriet, another friend. (Who has also moved and so I sadly don’t see either. Distance and adult life is rubbish).
Anyway she always was super bright and has done really well for herself, becoming Doctor Webb a clinical teaching fellow at Dundee University. (Coincidentally joint number one for medicine in the UK… Maybe not coincidentally…)
She had read my blog and didn’t like the diagnosis of panic attack around the symptoms displayed, especially with the chest pain continuing all day. So we ran through some questions and she came to the conclusion it was more serious than that and I should get checked out again as the symptoms sounded more like a pulmonary embolism or something that should be ruled out rather than assuming it was anxiety (which to be fair I’m not really probe to).
I called 111 and they said the only time they could see me was oneish, and it was about eight forty five in the evening. So they suggested I go into A and E.
A quick phone call to my sister cadging a lift and in I went. (With a Helen waiting to pick me up if it went quickly) They triaged me within ten minutes and I had my own room within twenty, so that was good. Then I had blood tests, a chest x-ray, am ecg and a series of physical exams.
They ruled out pulmory embolism with the chest x-ray, the blood tests and my oxygen count but they still were not sure what it was. It was about 2:30am so I stayed in overnight.
No sleep was had due to noise and other patients, but in the morning after about five people had heard my story, been explained to about my condition and generally talked to, they said it was likely to be pericarditis. This is swelling and irritation of the pericardium, the thin saclike membrane surrounding your heart. Pericarditis often causes chest pain and sometimes other symptoms. The sharp chest pain associated with pericarditis occurs when the irritated layers of the pericardium rub against each other.
Luckily it’s not too serious, although it can cause complications if not caught and monitored. They discharged me and scheduled me in for an outpatient echocardiogram in a week or two. I also have to take ibuprofen three times a day for five days to control the swelling.
So with a sore chest I’ve been at home resting up since and slept like a log last night. One slight note of interest is that I had a cholesterol test when I first got diagnosed back in 2013 and it was 5.5 which they said was a little high and concerned them. I had the same done in these bloods and it was at 3.3. so some positive progress made somewhere!!
In hindsight I’m very pleased to blog about these things and even more pleased the brilliant Dr Clare Murray read it on her night off, engaged and then ran through enough questions to give me a second opinion even though she had to be up at 6 with her kids. There are some very kind people out there and she is one.
Now my next stop is a Wednesday chat with my professor about treatment for my platelet count and next steps. Let’s hope I don’t get any more medical oddities in the interim.