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    Pericarditis and Pleurisy with SLE pain...Help!
    beccajo19 posted:
    Hi, my name is Becky and I am new to the Lupus WebMD community. I am wondering if anyone has a helpful tip or suggestion on how to deal with the pain with pericarditis and pleurisy. I was diagnosed with SLE lupus 8 years ago along with secondary sjogrens, fibro and a few other fun ones. I have had pleurisy in the past but this is the first time I've ever had how painful! Any ideas to help deal with the pain?
    MIBeth responded:
    Hi Becky, I'm new to WebMD, but not new to Lupus and pericarditis. Hopefully, you've been properly diagnosed and treated for the Pericarditis? That's not something you self diagnose and treat. I have a lot of scar tissue and damaged heart muscle from having it so often. My best way to ease the discomfort was to apply really warm wet towels or a moist heating pad on my chest (not hot). My pain would be under my collar bones and between my shoulder blades. Other than steroids and anti inflammatories, it just has to run it's course. I would certainly call your doctor though, if you are still in a lot of pain. The fluids might not be disipating as fast as they should be. Good luck and take care!
    beccajo19 replied to MIBeth's response:
    Thanks MIBeth for the good advise. I did see my internal med doc on Tuesday and he listened to my lungs, heart and I told him how I've been feeling and that's how he came up with the Pericarditis. He told me with my case it's a catch 22 and he could not put me on Prednisone so he called in a script for Indocin 25 mg twice a day. I'm not sure if due to my blood pressure being so high for several months and different blood pressure meds not helping bring it down that's why he didn't put me on prednisone. I used the moist warm heat as you suggested and it felt great. Thank you. When do you know to call the doctor again? I mean how many days until I see a difference?
    Thanks again for your advise and help!
    allie_bf replied to beccajo19's response:
    Having had pericarditis a few times, I can say that the pain usually gets worse before it gets better. This can happen because if there was any effusion (fluid trapped between the layers of the heart's covering membranes) present, the gradual draining process leaves the membranes rubbing together in a pretty unpleasant manner before the healing is really underway. It can feel like someone's rubbing the inside of your chest with sandpaper. Prednisone is faster, but I had to settle for Indocin, too. It took a good 3 weeks to really make much improvement. Slowly resolving pain is not as much of a worry as a possible re-accumulation of pericardial fluid (usually indicated by feeling lightheaded or easy dizziness.) Ask your doctor if you can add some Tylenol to the Indocin; taking both helps. Some people do better with cold than heat, you could try that, too.
    beccajo19 replied to allie_bf's response:
    Thank you so much.

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