Well, I'm not sure I had exactly that, but my lupus diagnosis started when I got arrythmia (atrial fibrillations), where your heart beats out of rythm and the two chambers don't beat one after the other, or something like that!
I was fixed the first time with medecine. The second time (2 weeks later) I had an ultrasound and they found pericardial fluid (fluid filling the sack around the heart) and thought it was caused by whatever was causing my joint pains (they hadn't diagnosed lupus by then). I had no pain from the heart whatsoever during the whole period. Fixed again with medicine.
It happened a third time 2 weeks later when they had to shock my heart back to normality. I was then started on steroids (prednisolone) which they reckon took the fluid away. I was also started on flecainide, which keeps the heart beating in rythm and have had no problems since (a year now).
No-one wants to say it was definitely the lupus that caused it, but some docs have suggested it. So whilst I could feel nothing, the fluid casued the heart to beat strangely. It came on suddenly and I could feel it immediately. Just take your pulse to confirm it as your beats are all over the place.
Best to get checked out if you suspect something. Better to see than end up like I did!
When I flare, I generally get inflammation around my lung and heart (pericarditis). I'll do my best to describe how it is for me. The doctors always had difficulty with this description, but to me I said it feels like a raw wound. Most movements, like bending over or if really bad using my arms, makes it feel like someone is rubbing the raw wound. Also, anything that expands the lung, such as coughing, yawning, sneezing, hiccups, can cause much more severe pain.
I know that's not the best desciption, but I never know how else to describe it.
Karol, hope that you are ok and that if you are having any unusual symptoms that you get them checked out. I haven't had pericarditis, but my brother has, he had a really fast heart rate and terrible pain esp in his arms. He was told that the pain can be worse than a heart attack, he also felt very unwell and couldn't really work out why. Like a feeling of unease which I suppose could have been the heart rate.
Wow, after seeing this thread and reading about pericarditis, I think it sounds a lot like what I had recently. It was terrible pain, but not in my chest—in my back on the left side around the shoulder blade area, sometimes in the neck, and in and under the left arm (especially when lying down). It was unbearable, like something was going to explode. I finally saw my rheum. who did blood work and a chest x-ray, but I haven't heard the results. I go back early May and will find out.
Thankfully, about a week or two after my appointment, it started easing up and finally disappeared. Overall, it lasted between 2-3 months. Does this sound like pericarditis? Can it last that long and then clear up on its own? (I did take a short taper of predisone, which seemed to help temporarily, but it got worse again after the pred. before it got better).
What I would say to describe Pericarditis ..... Very Painful!
An extreme burning that hurts the worst when taking a deep breath. Feels just like a heart attack. A big difference between a heart attack and Pericarditis (Besides a heart attack leaves muscle damage) is that morphine doesn't relieve the pain away with Pericarditis, but it does for a heart attack. Strange but true in my experience with both.
I'm with Tom it feels like I imagine a heart attack would - it's the kind of pain that makes you call emergency services. Leaning forward helped my chest pain a little and lying down made it unbearable.