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Nineteen year old male, 5'8, 170 LBS. Always have had a pretty crappy diet (lots of fast food, fried foods, soda, sweets). Also have smoked for four years and developed a constant post nasal drip that seems to be getting better since I quit. Have been a HEAVY drinker for two years. On average I would drink three times a week, at least 12 drinks per night, sometimes up to 17 or 18 drinks. In that time frame there were a number of flat out binges that could last longer than a week (drinking except when sleeping or working). Usually beer, but sometimes peppermint schnapps, cognac, vodka, etc... Started to notice after drinking binges especially, I'd develop beer *****. Anyway, I grew used to those since I was such a heavy drinker. Occasionally after heavy drinking I'd have a pain in my lower left abdomen/groin area. Occasional cocaine use, and very heavy marijuana use for atleast two years (daily user, smoking about 3 blunts a day)

Anyway a few weeks ago after a night of especially heavy drinking, I noticed a pain in my lower left tummy. I quit drinking, smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and smoking pot that day. After a few days, the pain subsided, but I began to notice a tingling under my right shoulderblade now and again. I noticed it acted up after meals, and especially at night. Now, I'm bi-polar with extreme anxiety and many panic attacks, so this scared the **** out of me. The pain intensified and I got more and more gas. (I've always been pretty gassy). pain spread to chest, lower right side more towards back. Pain is sometimes brought on when taking IN a deep breath. I developed a loss of appetite fueled even more by my anxiety, and developed insomnia which I'm sure didn't help anything. Right shoulder pain acts up especially when belching, with heartburn, or gas builds up in stomach. Stool can be regular looking and hearty, soft and well formed, or runny. Streaks of red can be seen in it, and on toilet paper after wiping.

I scheduled an appointment with a nurse practitioner who thought I may have an ulcer or GERD. She gave me a sample of Aciphex and ordered a blood test. Blood test came back normal with slightly elevated liver function. I saw my doctor a few days later who said she suspected mostly intense withdrawal symptoms feuled by my EXTREME anxiety. She had me get a shot of haldol which would hopefully take the edge off and help me sleep. I had actually talked myself into thinking I had cystic fibrosis. The next day, I went to the ER with the same complaints and was given another blood test that came back normal with slightly elevated liver function, a urinalysis that came back normal, a chest x-ray that revealed healthy lungs, and a GI x-ray that showed no abnormalities. Doctor is not convinced I have gall bladder problems this young, and sent me home. with a doctors appointment in two weeks.

Could this really just be an ulcer or GERD compounded with withdrawal symptoms and unbelievably high anxiety (I got a shot of haldol, a sleeping pill, and zyprexa, and I'm still on message boards at 3am worrying) Or is there something more sinister in my gut?


Yes, you absolutely fit the criteria for stomache and gallbladder problems, ESPECIALLY an ulcer. But if the pain is on YOUR left side, whether upper or lower, that is sort of a good sign in a sense, because your liver and gallbladder and on YOUR upper right side just under the last few rib bones and the liver continues down a bit. At least you don't have serious liver pain every time you drink like I do, which doctors can't explain. I am also a heavy drinker and marijuana smoker.

Also this is KIND OF unrelated but at the same time sort of related in the sense that it relates to abdominal examination. If you are ever worried about your appendix, or are having pains around your liver/gallblader/appendix, you can immediately rule out the appendix if you follow this very simple procedure:
(1) find the half-way point between the outside of the hip bone that wraps around your kidneys to your belly button (the line between the outside of the kidney-surrounding bone i can't remember the name of and your belly button should be parallel to the floor, a flat, straight line. You simply find the center point and poke in about an inch or two with your finger or as much as you can comfortably stand. When you REMOVE your finger, and the skin returns to its normal position, you will experience a good amount of pain if your appendix is inflammed. If this is the case, you need to get to an ER immediately, because when it ruptures, you'll be praying for death. It is extroardinarily painful. This is super useful for saving a doctor's visit though.