Just A Normal Day...

My Chest Hurts Once Again


My name is John Kelly and I am 35 years old. I have a normal job at a law firm, nothing too stressful but it can get overwhelming sometimes, and this is my story.

My Daily Schedule

I wake up at 5:30 in the morning, shower, make breakfast and wake up the three children for school. My wife usually takes care of getting the children ready because by that time I need to make my hour long drive to my job.

This particular morning my chest hurt a little bit worse than usual, of course I just shrug it off, it goes away in about 15 minutes or so. It wasn't a big deal to me, maybe just a little heartburn. I think all the time that maybe it could be some kind of complication from the surgery I had a few months ago due to a severe heart attack but after my checkups Dr. Avery said there would be a 15% chance of complications so I'm not too worried about the pains.

My wife on the other hand she's worried sick about me no matter how much I try to reassure her. She's been bugging me for weeks to go back to the doctor but I just don't think that it's that big of a deal. This morning as I was getting the coffee I grabbed my chest in pain for a split second and she gave me such a rude look! I should've listened to my wife a lot more...

I've been working at my job for about 10 years now and I really do love it. Like any job it can get very stressful especially working in a law firm. I have a lot of cases to review and it gets tough trying to help people out.

Everyone knows about the surgery I got and are constantly checking up on me which I really appreciate. Today my heart started to pound out of nowhere and the pain in my chest doubled, I could barely breathe. I stopped in my tracks to try and catch my breath and my best friend Jake was there with me to make sure I was going to be alright.

I collapsed. I don't remember anything much after that, I just remember waking up in a hospital with my wife sitting in a chair leaning over onto my bed, asleep. It was light outside when I woke up so I figured it was the next morning. I gently nudged my wife so she could tell me the missing information.

It was in fact the next morning, the kids were at their grandmothers house for the day and everything was being taken care of. Before my wife could start telling me anything Jake walked in. I had asked him what had happened to me. He told me we were sitting down at lunch discussing a case when he first noticed I ordered something weird. (I usually order a water and a burger, something quick and satisfying until dinner.) At this lunch I ordered soup and a tea, Jake calls this fever food, which I guess is accurate because I was starting to feel a little cold coming on. I got up to excuse myself to go to the restroom but as soon as I got up I stood there for a minute as if I went light-headed and then I just passed out.

Dr. Avery walks in with a worried look on his face. He walks over to me and listens to my heart. He then asks Jake to leave the room because he's not my family. Dr. Avery tells me that they need to run a series of test that monitor my heart. They do a chest x-ray and an Echocardiogram and CT, which is just a more detailed x-ray. Dr. Avery tells me that he's worried that the sac around my heart, the Pericardium, may be inflammed which is Pericarditis. He tells me that his could be the result of the surgery I got a couple months back. He leaves the room after prepping me for tests they are about to run.

About 5 minutes later a Nurse comes in and starts asking me a bunch of questions like, " Are you stressed? Have you ever had Lupus? Any recent car accidents? On any Medications? Any other health problems that they don't know about like kidney failure? etc." I told her that I'm pretty healthy but I just had surgery a couple months back from a massive heart attack but they already knew that.

Dr. Avery came back and told me that be viewed my test results and I have Chronic Pericarditis and it progressed so much that I have to have surgery to get the pericardium removed. There was a lot of swelling and scar tissue but it was managable, The risks of having no pericardium is that it'll be a lot harder for my heart to pump but it can be restored depending on how scarred the tissue is. I took the next surgery immediately because I didn't want any complications and luckily the surgery went very well. Dr. Avery gave me a prescription for some medicine and told me that if i have any problems I should call right away.