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Sick for three months - pericarditis? Infectious disease?

Posted by @emmm in Heart & Blood Health, Mar 24, 2012

Hi - I'm a young 20-something female that was relatively healthy until the beginning of 2012 (running 6-10 miles a week!). In late December 2011, I had a strange rash on my leg following seeing a small bug (not a tick) and mice in the room/on the bed. I moved out. I got really sick and had a few things going on including fever, extreme night sweats, extreme fatigue and weakness, excessive sleeping, and non productive cough.

After the infection didn't clean up, I went to my country bumpkin GP. Was on a set of antibiotics and was tested for TB (due to extensive travels abroad), mono, pneumonia, and thyroid. Everything came back fine. The meds were up then I started having sharp pains in my chest from walking down a flight of stairs and my initial symptoms started getting worse.

This resulted in the diagnosis of viral pericarditis (at the ER and by the ID doc), steroids, another round of antibiotics, an EKG, an Echo, some other crazy blood tests, HIV test, parasite tests and a few other things I can't recall. That was early Feb. Throughout that I also developed a swollen knee and incredibly painful back and neck issues. Anti-inflammatory food did the trick - I hated the steroids.

It's the end of march and i still am running a low-grade fever and fatigued by 3:00 to 4:00 everyday. I started running again (very very slowly) b/c it makes me feel better (perhaps in control of an out-of-control situation) AND really helps with my inability to sleep (i think its boredom from a quiet life). I'm worried that its more than the diagnosis of viral pericarditis since I still have the cough, low-grade fever, lite night sweats, and fatigue.

Please note that a year ago I stayed with a friend in Bangladesh who had an extremely bad cough (TB?). Also that I was really sick in Rwanda and developed strange bumps on my arms, anemia, and extreme fatigue following swimming in a lake (bad idea?)

So many threads, eh? Suggestions anyone?

Tags: Infectious Disease


Posted by @emmm, Mar 24, 2012

Please note that all tests keep coming back good. Thyroid is a little off. WBC is normal. We aren't sure what it is. The exposure to bugs/mice happened in the last wk of Dec. The first extreme bout of illness was mid-January. Thanks all! 🙂


Posted by @arriba, Mar 25, 2012

Mice and their fleas carry leptospirosis--were you checked for that? Also, swimming in a lake in Africa could have exposed you to any number of things. I would seek out an infectious disease doctor--you have been to places that might put you at risk for things local doctors have never seen. I see you WERE tested for parasites but I would seek out diagnosis in a major medical center if you could.


Posted by @emmm, Mar 25, 2012

Thanks for your feedback! I haven't been checked for that. I originally went to the fastest ID doctor, but he's not as responsive as I would like. So I am looking for a new doctor. Any recommendation on getting into a major medical center? I live near The University of Michigan was thinking about specially emailing each ID doctor until I get a response. Any thoughts on the subject?

Thanks so much! My parents & friends are great at making soup and bringing movies. NOT so good at medical advice. 🙂


Posted by @arriba, Mar 26, 2012

I think most university hospitals have a "find a doctor" locator on their website. I know MDAnderson does(I had a big surgery there luckily NOT cancer). They will probably want medical records, most do. Check their website before you start emailing indivually although that might work. Please keep us updated as to your progress!


Posted by @emmm, Mar 31, 2012

So I ended up getting into UM really quickly. Initially a few viruses were tested for just to see if it was viral pericariditis. Out of the ten common viruses tested for (out of many) there were three strong viral correlations! So it seems like I definitely had a case of viral pericarditis. However, they are retesting for TB (administered incorrectly), parasites (not long enough), fungal lung infection (just in case), and running a urine analysis (rechecking results). Since, I still have night sweats, fevers, dry cough and fatigue I wouldn't be surprised if there are other issues. The major medical center push was the right idea. The BEST doctor I have seen ever.


Posted by @colleenyoung, Dec 20, 2015

Hi @emmm.
It's been a while since you posted to Mayo Clinic Connect, but I'm hoping you'll respond to this notification. Today a new member @sbrooks1986 posted about her Pericarditis Concern

There are similarities in your situations, so I was wondering if you had any information to share with her?

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