May 24, 2008
I had Mitral valve repair 3/2007 with severe regurg at 44. I was told that my recovery would be easy. A week or so after surgery I was told that I had staph and ecoli at the incision site, along with some type of rash that developed on both my palms and then moved down my thighs and towards my back. I had to visit wound care 3 times a week for 5 wks. After the wound care I had a pick line put in to administer iv antibiotics. By the time May rolled around I was admitted for extreme chest pain that radiated up into my left shoulder. The pain was so severe that I did not want to breath. After 5 days of observation I was sent home on steroids for inflammation. My Sed rate was over 70 and my CRP was 6.7. When June rolled around I had another attack- the on call dr. said I should take anti-inflammatories and left it at that- so I drove myself to the ER. Sed rate was in the 90s and CRP was still high. I was again admitted. 5 mds later I was advised that I would need a pericardial window to drain the fluids. I was hoping that this would solve the problems but it did not. I had a few more episodes of pericarditis. They increased my steroid use . My immune system was shot. I ended up with menningitis and was hospitalized again in Sept.
In Feb of this year I finally was able to get off the steroids- 2 weeks later I relapsed and went back to the ER. Another episode of pericarditis. SED rate was in the 70s again along with 6.7 CRP. Another round of steroids. Nearly a year after surgery and still feeling like ****. 50 lbs later from steroids and they still don't have a clue.
I decreased my steroids on my own and found a new Cardio. We both agreed to avoid the steroids and suffer with the pain to see if I could heal myself with just asa, colchicine and NSAIDs. I had one episode and it if was a rough one but I stuck to my guns and avoided the steroids. I actually feel better than I have since the surgery. My mind feels free.
We still don't know what caused all the pain but I tell you what if any of you watch the show HOUSE- I felt like a house pt and I definetly stumped all the physicians that cared for me. 5 admits 4-5 days at a time is more than enough. I wish I had answers but noone seems to know what caused all my problems.
I ended up losing my job for being out so long. 8 months for a mitral valve repair when I was told 8-10 wks.