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alcohol related sholder/neck/chest pain
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alcohol related sholder/neck/chest pain

Hi all.  I am a 39 yo female and just recently put two and two together and started freaking out.
First of all, for at least 3 years (i can't recall exactly when it started) every single time I drink any type of alcohol, within 1-2 minutes after one sip I get this deep, dull pain in the left side of my chest and neck and in my left shoulder and upper arm.  Once it starts coming on, it increases for about a minute, peaks for about a minute and then slowly fades away after about 10 minutes or so.  I get this pain even if I take a dose of Nyquil.  It varies in severity, but it happens to some extent every time I ingest one sip of alcohol.  Sometimes it is so bad that I just have to stop what I'm doing and breathe through it.  Sometimes I can just ignore it.  The type of alcohol I drink doesn't seem to be related to the severity of the pain.  And I can continue drinking and not have any pain once it has come and gone after that first sip.
So this has been going on for 3 years and I haven't thought much about it, since it always goes away and it hasn't gotten worse and it hasn't killed me yet.  But recently, just out of curiosity, I decided to search the internet to see if other people had that weird experience, because nobody I know personally had.  All I could find that matched my experience was Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  Immediately, it came to mind this follow-up CT that I have been putting off for 3 years.  I had a CT done 3 years ago for abdominal pain.  Incidentally, the CT showed that I have four lesions on my spleen.  My doctor told me most lesions on the spleen are benign and not to worry unless I start having other symptoms and to follow up in 3 to 6 months for a repeat CT.  Well, so much other stuff in life happened in the last 3 years, I just never followed up.  
Now, I'm just scared to death.  I can't go to the doctor yet, because I am switching insurance in January.  If I go to the doctor now and it IS lymphoma, the new insurance won't cover it, because it will be a "pre-existing condition".  So I just have to wait.  I do have a couple of small palpable lymph nodes on the left side of my neck, but I don't think they're big enough to worry about, but with the other stuff, I'm kind of starting to worry.
Does anyone know, is it even possible to have Hodgkins for years without knowing it??   Is there some other issue that can cause that kind of alcohol pain?
Tags: Alcohol
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I cannot answer your question regarding alcohol, but the insurance issue will work like this.
It is not a pre-existing condition if you go directly from one insurance to the other.  As long as you have no lapse in insurance it just picks you right up with the new insurance.
People get confused.  If you have insurance, and leave your job you pick up COBRA which is quite expensive before you leave your present job, then the COBRA gets switched to the new insurance on your new job.  We have had to do that with my husbands employment.
I have Leukemia, and there was no lapse in coverage and my coverage continued.
Only if you leave a job, and do not pick-up another insurance until you get a new job then because you were without insurance, even if its for 2 weeks then you are starting all over again which is when Pre-Existing Condition comes into play.
Like you, I have read that alcohol-related pain is a classic symptom of lymphoma.  The enlarged lymph nodes and the lesions on the spleen would be further indications of lymphoma, from what I have read.  If I were you, I would go and have this checked out now, rather than waiting for your change in insurance.
i was at the chiropractor's office this week and picked up a magazine. in it was an article about alcohol related shoulder/collar pain and i was shocked. i couldn't believe someone else had the same problem. however, as i read on they talked about lymphoma and got scared.

i had asks a few doctors along the way what it could possibly be and one thought it might be an allergy. another one did checked out my esphogus and nothing showed so i never went back and chalked it off to an allergy.

my pain doesn't happen every time i drink and i never have more than one or two wines or mixed drinks. the pain is very unpredictable,when i do get the pain... it seems to be lasting longer and is more intense.  i do have night sweats and other symptoms that go along with lymphoma and just recently the right shoulder hurts when i move it a certain way.

the pain in my shoulder/collar bone and now in my chest started several years ago. i believe there must be another cause because how could it be lymphoma when the symptoms have been going on so long. it just doesn't make sense. help me out here. what do you think
Welcome to our forum June.  I do not have Hodgkins disease, but I have heard that this does occur sometimes with people that have Hodgkins.  I did a little more research tonight on the subject and this is what I gathered...

Although it is pretty rare to have this symptom occur (about 2-3% of those diagnosed with Hodgkins), it is a pretty specific symptom (AKA a pathognomonic symptom) of Hodgkin's lymphoma.  This specific symptom usually precedes any other symptom you might get, including palpable lymph nodes, night sweats, fever or weight loss.  The areas in the body where the pain occurs is often where lymphoma is found.

You mentioned that you are experiencing some other symptoms of lymphoma.  I'm curious what they are, but really at this point I think it would be in your best interest to see another doctor.  I know this is probably scaring you, and I'm sorry, I really don't mean to, but I think your previous doctors were unaware of what this could be.  Rather than a general practitioner, it might be a good idea to see a specialist  if possible.  If you must see a GP, I would plant a bug in their ear about the possibility of Hodgkin's lymphoma.  I wouldn't accept that this is just an allergy.  

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