Myocarditis is an uncommon disorder caused by viral infections such as coxsackie virus, adenovirus, and echovirus. It may also occur during or after various viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections (such as polio, influenza, or rubella).
The condition may be caused by exposure to chemicals or allergic reactions to certain medications and it can be associated with autoimmune diseases.
The heart muscle becomes inflamed and weakened, causing symptoms of heart failure, which may mimic a heart attack.
For those of you wondering why I haven't been on IRC for the past few days, this is why: I've been being looked after by the wonderful doctors and nurses of Raigmore Hospital in Inverness after being rushed from my local GP via ambulance for heart attack-like symptoms on Tuesday morning.
Being 23 and having a cholesterol count of 5, a heart attack was considered unlikely, but the first ECG taken showed some cause for concern. After various blood tests, an x-ray, an ultrasound (seeing your own heart beating on a monitor is quite an experience), further ECGs, various injections and 2 nights in hospital I have been released, as the doctors are now confident that it was a virus to blame.
I would like to express my deepest thanks for the high quality of care I received from all concerned; my faith in the NHS has been greatly boosted (though since a certain close relative of mine is a nurse, my opinion was already pretty high).