Question about pericarditis...

  1. Hi. Some of you may remember I posted about my husband before. He's 35 and diabetic. He was diagnosed as diabetic 2 1/2 years ago. Two weeks ago he started insulin injections (Humalog and Lantus) after being on various combinations of oral meds for 2.5 years.

    Anyhow, last Monday morning he woke up with very sharp chest pains and SOB. Given his problems and also the fact that his father (also diabetic) died at 50 of a heart attack, I was scared. We went to the ER. They did a bunch of tests: chest x-ray, labs, EKG, echocardiogram...and they diagnosed him with pericarditis. They did not admit him or prescribe antibiotics. They told him to go home and take 650mg of aspirin every six hours.

    So, the pain subsided, but he still has a dull ache. Yesterday he had his follow up with the cardiologist that saw him in the ER. The echo showed a slight abnormality, which I had to POINT OUT to the dr. He was about to just discharge him, but he decided to have the echo repeated in one month. Then he did another EKG and said it was slightly abnormal, but it may actually be normal for him. What does that mean?

    I am not a nurse (thinking of becoming one). In your experience, is pericarditis serious? I know the condition itself might not be, but some causes of it are. I feel like they should have made sure he doesn't have a kidney problem or a heart blockage. Am I just being paranoid? I know that many times the cause of pericarditis is not known, but shouldn't they be ruling out diabetic complications? Can they tell from his blood work if his kidneys are ok? I was really surprised they didn't do a stress test.

    Any info would be helpful.

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    About GraceM

    Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 21


  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    Once again, I have to refer you to this awesome bought I'm so glad I bought:

    Professional Guide to Diseases, Springhouse, 7th ed.

    which explains that pericarditis can be idiopathic, bacterial, funal, or viral in origin. But still, I would not try to guess what the doc is thinking; I'd call him up and ask. Write down all your questions. Ask him what s/s you should be alert for. And keep calling until you get answers.
    Good luck!
  4. by   prn nurse
    We were told the Lantis cannot be mixed with any other kind of insulin. Are you mixing his? How does he take it?
  5. by   shygirl
    We do not mix lantis with other insulin either!
  6. by   GraceM
    We are not physically mixing the Lantus with any other insulin. He uses the Lantus at bedtime, by itself, then the Humalog before meals. He's also taking 20mg of Lipitor per day.
  7. by   CEN35
    the kidney functions are the bun and creatinine. i am not quite sure why you asked about those?

    as far as the pericarditis:

    one the only sure way to see if there is a blockage, and how much is to have a cath of the heart done.

    non infectious pericarditis is not usually serious, and in most cases clears up on its own. -itis = inflammation. unfortunately, most people think of -itis as an infection. it can be caused by an infection, but isn't always the cause. examples: cholangitis, lyphangitis, prostatitis, pneumitis, and hepatitis. hepatitis is the same way. everybody hears it, and automaticly thinks of hepatitis a, b, c, d or e. those are the infectious types. however, there is a non- infectious hepatitis also, usually caused by a gallbladder problem, or stone in the cbd.

    anyways, back to the pericarditis: when i have seen a real pericarditis, the ekg is normal, except all the t waves are inverted. if he has a fever also, and maybe even elevated white blood cell count, then he may have needed anti-biotics. usually the abx are rocephin or vanco.

    unfortunately, there really isn't enough info here, for us to really know exactly what is going on?

    hope it all works out.

  8. by   shygirl

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