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Old 01-23-2004, 01:34 PM   #1
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pleurisy? advice? thanks

Have been reading past posts on lung symptoms and the closest one to what I think I have is pleurisy. A severe sharp pain like a knife going into my chest directly under the left breast that increases when breathing in (so when it happens I take as small shallow breaths as possible until the pain stops.) It has only happened a half dozen times or so in the past 2-3 years and each time lasts no longer than 5 to 8 minutes or so. And in between those episodes I feel the same pain in the same area but to a much much lesser degree. Most days it's pretty subtle, other days a little more pain (still quite tolerable) then the strongest ones that I dread. I tend to get upper respiratory infections once or twice a year that I stubbornly fight off myself with extra sleep and fluids (I always think that by the time I go to the doctor for possible antibiotics I'm probably on my way to getting better anyway--I worry how they are overprescribed.) And my mom has rheumatoid arthritis (she had some sort of operation that replaced her pinky joints and they don't bend now) and I've had some milder symptoms of arthritis for a while.I read posts here that those things can cause pleurisy. And that if you don't treat it it can cause tissue scarring. FINALLY coming to my questions!: I'm thinking of going sometime in the spring to have it checked out. 1. Should it be a pulmonary doctor and a CT scan? But in the meantime besides Advil ( I read that on this board) 2. does some type of exercise help or is that not a good idea until it is healed?( Don't know if I want to take the pleurisy herb mentioned.) What are some things you can recommend that help to heal--more sleep/rest/exercise/fluids/ anything else? I have low blood pressure too. Thanks for any advice or info!

 
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Old 01-23-2004, 05:31 PM   #2
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

First of all, don't be too quick to diagnose yourself over the internet.

Going to your general practitioner would be a good place to start, though. Pleurisy can usually be easily diagnosed because while listening to your chest, the doctor will hear something called the "pleural rub", which is a grating sound that the pleura make when they rub together.
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Last edited by jerrie97; 01-24-2004 at 08:05 AM.

 
Old 01-24-2004, 12:08 PM   #3
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by swimfast989
First of all, don't be too quick to diagnose yourself over the internet.

Going to your general practitioner would be a good place to start, though. Pleurisy can usually be easily diagnosed because while listening to your chest, the doctor will hear something called the "pleural rub", which is a grating sound that the pleura make when they rub together.

Thank you for your reply--definitely getting it checked out later. Since this pain is not continuous but sporadic does the doctor mostly hear the "pleural rub" sound while it's hurting or they should be able to hear that sound anytime, even when it hasn't been hurting that day? Thanks again.

 
Old 01-24-2004, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Usually pleurisy hurts constantly. Do you get short of breath during the episodes of pain? Do you notice any puffiness near your ankles?

I think if I were you I'd get it checked out sooner rather than later...
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:57 PM   #5
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Pleurisy is a symptom, not a disease in itself. Once a dr hears pleurisy they have to figure out what is causing itself and theres a huge slew of things that can cause it(any kind of viral/bacterial infection, asthma, surgery, etc, etc). Once the cause is found and treated..theoritically the pleuritic pain will go away. My dr tells me to take advil when I have pleuritic pain..and thats standard treatment for the pain really, once the cause is being treated.
Have you also considered chostochondritis(sorry may be spelled wrong!)? That happens when the cartilage between the ribs is inflammed for whatever reason(injury, infection, coughing)..it's quite painful actually! It's also easily diagnosed..basically if your ribs hurt when their kinda shifted around or feel tender/swollen..its chostochondritis.

 
Old 01-25-2004, 01:28 PM   #6
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Hi Moley,

I agree with pinkbanana. Pleurisy is a symptom and not a cause. Maybe it is something else. Mine is from chronic inflammation, infection due to bronchiectasis. I'm not saying that's what you have but just that it could be anything. Whether it's pleurisy or not like swimfast said call and get it checked sooner rather than later.

Keep us posted and hope the pain gets better

 
Old 01-27-2004, 12:13 PM   #7
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Sorry, I haven't checked back here in a while. Thanks for all the replies! To answer the different questions: I won't try to self-diagnose and will just wait to see what the doctor says! Due to some various circumstances I won't be able to go until April/ May. But if it gets worse will definitely find a way to go sooner. I do get short of breath but don't know if that's because during the worst episodes the more I breath in the worse the pain gets so I try to take extremely shallow breaths. Also, I get short of breath in general and will ask about that too when I go to the doctors'. I have had a pretty swollen ankle (only the left ankle) for years but that could also be because I injured it before, but if I remember correctly it was a little swollen before the injury. I didn't consider chostochondritis and was leaning towards pleurisy only because during the episodes the pain comes directly from the area of my heart and the pain worsens tremendously the deeper I breath in. Thank you for all the information and good advice, will promise to write back in the spring after I get it checked out. The worst episodes haven't come that often (around 6-8 times in a few years) so I feel I'm very lucky compared to people who live with extreme pain continuously or often! But when they do happen it IS pretty scary, feels like what I imagine a heart attack to feel like! You all take care and thanks again!

 
Old 01-27-2004, 12:17 PM   #8
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Forgot to add that for many years I have always run a temperature of 100 to 100.6 or so, don't know if that's normal, will get that checked out also. We use a digital ear thermometer and don't know if those are accurate.

 
Old 01-27-2004, 12:56 PM   #9
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

I never really implied that pleurisy was a cause...




Did I?
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Old 01-27-2004, 01:22 PM   #10
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

I apologize swimfast989, I didn't keep track of who wrote what, I don't quite understand your reply to what I wrote but I think that from my first post that it is I who have been speculating, thinking and implying that it might be pleurisy but from all the posts and reflecting on it more I see and know now that the only way for anyone to get a correct diagnosis is to go see a doctor, that that is good and sound advice. Thanks again to everyone and you all take care!

 
Old 01-27-2004, 04:43 PM   #11
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by moley
I apologize swimfast989, I didn't keep track of who wrote what, I don't quite understand your reply to what I wrote but I think that from my first post that it is I who have been speculating, thinking and implying that it might be pleurisy but from all the posts and reflecting on it more I see and know now that the only way for anyone to get a correct diagnosis is to go see a doctor, that that is good and sound advice. Thanks again to everyone and you all take care!

No need to apologize. It's probably me who should be apologizing for the confusion.
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Old 01-27-2004, 05:01 PM   #12
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

No, that's ok. It's so great how people can get medical information and advice through messageboards and websites but it just seems like there is a chance of miscommunication and misunderstanding! So I don't think it is anyone's fault. Thanks again, will be checking back later in the spring!

 
Old 03-05-2004, 09:53 AM   #13
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]I have just been diagnosed with Pleurisy. I was diagnosed with Costocondritis just before Christmas. Is there anyone that has both of these? I've been told that you can get both from a viral infection. The pain I had from Costocondritis was above my breasts and the pain from Pleurisy is below my breasts. I've been taking Tylenol for the pain as well as I'm trying Bextra which is an Anti-Inflammatory that I got from the ER. I know have a bad cold, so I hope it doesn't develop into something worse...is there anyone else out there who can sympathize?

 
Old 03-05-2004, 06:01 PM   #14
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by brittney60
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]I have just been diagnosed with Pleurisy. I was diagnosed with Costocondritis just before Christmas. Is there anyone that has both of these? I've been told that you can get both from a viral infection. The pain I had from Costocondritis was above my breasts and the pain from Pleurisy is below my breasts. I've been taking Tylenol for the pain as well as I'm trying Bextra which is an Anti-Inflammatory that I got from the ER. I know have a bad cold, so I hope it doesn't develop into something worse...is there anyone else out there who can sympathize?
I have had both also..not at the same time. Chostochondritis is really tough b/c the pain can feel like a heart attack! I'm a 17 year old girl, i'm not supposed 2 have these problems..but when I told my doctor about the pains(also have cardiac arrythmias & heart murmur), they immediately thought heart failure! I was devastated until an echocardiogram was done and showed a little pulmonay valve insufficiency, but not enough 2 be the cause..so they said chostochondritis. Advil helped it 2 go away. I think I got it from having a nasty bought with bronchitis not 2 long before. I also have had pleurisy. For some reason or another, my asthma triggers pleurisy when it gets real bad. Fluid fills up my pleura(lining of my lungs) and then it hardens..it's the most painful thing ever. That's when I know i'm in serious trouble with my asthma. Advil again helps but the problem is I have 2 be careful taking advil as it can trigger asthma. Pleurisy and chosto both can be caused by just about ANYTHING, including a cold. Actually when my dr was trying 2 figure out where I got chosto from, the first thing he asked me was if I had had a cold. Deep breathing will help pleurisy, which explains why my pleurisy-asthma cycle is a vicious one..asthma gets bad, can't take deep breathes..pleura fills with fluid..hardens..can't take deep breathes now from the pain..usually prednisone and nebulizer treatments of Xopenex help. A regular inhaler won't cut it 4 pleurisy if it's from asthma. But yeah I have had both of them, only I had chosto last year in about July, and pleurisy last year in November. So I don't think in my case they were connected..but they can be. Remember anything can trigger chosto & pleurisy.

 
Old 03-17-2004, 02:54 PM   #15
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Re: pleurisy? advice? thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by moley
...What are some things you can recommend that help to heal--more sleep/rest/exercise/fluids/ anything else? I have low blood pressure too. Thanks for any advice or info!
Hello Moley,
I am following doctors orders and have an appointment w/a pulmonologist monday to follow up for the pleurisy. At present, am in relapse from the first episode in mid February. I thought I was getting better then boom, it hit me like it never left. I'm taking Advil 2 or 3 every 4-6 hours with 1 or 2 8hr tylenol and have limited bending and those types of movements and motions that make the pain worse. I where 6" wide ace bandage wrapped around the chest and it seems to be giving me some relief. I had taken it off for a couple hours yesterday and the pains became worse again so I was wrapped up again. I do force a cough to keep the airway clear and breath deeply in between the pains.

It took a few weeks the first time to feel better then boom relapsed like it never was better but this time its the left lung, in February it was center and both sides, every which way. Anyhow, the ace bandages, advil and holding a pillow to my chest at night proped up in bead helps. If I lay flat I have trouble breathing so I sit up mostly. This morning I was trying to make the bed and I was having trouble with that because of these pains and I just cried. I needed help doing that simple chore. I hope the doctor can help with this. If this is long term, I will lose it.

If you have pleurisy its a symptom that something is going on so should get it checked out. Feel Better, Gemi

 
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