Filed under: JUNKe life
We’ve been doing well lately. An abundance of milk-blood to keep from running out. No worries. Yesterday morning I got a big surprise. It’s not really a big deal. But it’s a bit of a mystery. And since it’s still on my mind.
Yesterday morning I was awoken by my sweetie. Like many mornings, she was standing by my bedside, with our kitty in her arms, gently stating, “Time for our morning hit, my dear”. No doubt I would have slept solidly for several more hours but when she wants her morning hit, I know from experience that it’s pointless for me to roll over and try to catch some more zzzzz’s. She’d be back within minutes employing a more forceful method of awakening me.
So… I rolled out of bed, grabbed my housecoat and proceeded to the washroom to wash the sleep from my eyes. There’s nothing worse than trying to prepare our morning fix looking through a film of sand and gunk.
We use our trusty electric stove to do our cooking so next stop was the kitchen. I grabbed a few pills, washed the coating off them. As they dried, I washed last night’s residue from two spoons and dried them off. Then I rinsed them off with an alcohol swab. I took another alcohol swab and cleaned a few injection sites on my hands and arms, leaving my options open for which one I’d chose to use.
As I was swabbing the crook of my left arm – the traditional mainline spot (which has become a dried up creek instead of the swelled river it once was) – surprise! surprise! there was an enormous hard lump. Eh wot?!?! A fucking big miss.
I’d be damned if it wasn’t a big abscess. And I’d be further damned because I had no idea how I’d gotten it. It had been days since I last injected in that spot and I know I got all of that hit because I really felt it and even commented at the time that it always seems a bit more intense when I manage to hit that more direct vein. By the way, I’m one who likes the pins and needles and hot flushing of a good morphine hit, one that leaves me moaning or scretching with the agony and ecstasy of its burn, and I definately got it good that time.
If I hadn’t missed there, then how the hell was there suddenly a big solid lump there? And I do mean big. It was about the size of a silver dollar, and felt about a half inch in depth. It wasn’t yet hurting, and I doubt I would have even noticed it except that I swabbed there. But once I did feel it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Especially because I didn’t know when I’d missed a hit, nor where I’d missed one, that would cause such a big lump to form there.
I’ve been messing up a bit of late so I wasn’t completely suprised that I’d messed up some hit somehow. But still, missing a hit and not realizing it was really messing up. And yet, how about my burning a hole in the carpet sometime in the middle of the previous night? Yeah, I did that. And that’s messing up, isn’t it? I’d gotten out of bed (always a good idea) to have a smoke and sat at the foot of the bed on the carpet in front of the television. Next thing I remember was lighting up a smoke, and after a haul, as I was laying it into the ashtray beside my knee, I noticed something glowing on the carpet beside it.
Lo and behold if it wasn’t another light cigarette, barely half burnt down, burning a hole in the carpet. Stunned, I realized I must have lit that initial cigarette, nodded out back into sleep, dropped it on the carpet, woke a few minutes later, and deciding to have a smoke, not realizing I’d just lit one. So I lit up another. It was only after the first puff of the second smoke that I saw the first one burning a hole in the carpet. Aha, indeed I’ve been getting fairly wasted of late. And obviously, a bit sloppy.
And indeed it must be that somewhere within the daze of being wasted lately (hehe, pun there) that I missed an entire hit and didn’t even realize it at the time. How else would I find a big lump of an abscess from a hit I didn’t realize I’d missed?
So, for the past 24 hours, I’ve been doing my usual self-care when I have a miss. I put hot compresses on it to soften the solidity of the lump, and then gently apply pressure, hoping to loosen it up a bit. I’ve read that you shouldn’t try to break open a big lump, but that is a lump of infection, whereas this lump is just the solidifying of a hit of morphine substance under the skin.
What I’m hoping by applying heat and pressure is to assist it in disolving itself into the surrounding tissue so that it doesn’t further harden into such a mass that can become infected. However, I know from previous misses that it will likely become increasinly sore over the next several days, and it will probably be fairly painful at about a week. But then, once it reaches that threshold, it will start to disapate, and will disappear over the following week. Little harm, and no real foul.
But again, this mystery: what hit did I miss, and miss a lot of, that would have caused such a lump?
Well, there was one hit I recall that likely was the culprit. I was really quite out of it at the time, and was kind of veering into sloppiness of being over-opiated. But nonetheless, we decided to do one more hit before retiring for the day. For this particular hit, I’d inserted the needle into the main vein on the back of my hand. However, when I flagged, no blood appeared. Nevertheless, I was so certain the needle tip was in a vein that I just assumed that a little bit of dried morphine gunk had dried within the tip causing it to be slightly plugged. So rather than pull out, clear the plug, and re-insert into another vein, I just decided, albeit recklessly, to inject where I was by forcing through whatever little plug there might be.
Believe me, I don’t recommend such risky behaviour. I normally am very conciencious about safe injecting and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve stupidly gone ahead and injected after not seeing any blood when I’ve flagged. But I was so certain I was in a vein, even though, as I said, I knew I was getting somewhat sloppy.
I remember feeling very little from that injection, but at the time I just chalked that up to being already so saturated in morphine that that hit wasn’t enough to bang me to the next perceivable level. And I definately didn’t see an instant ballon swell at the injection point which indicates a miss into surrounding tissue. Such swelling normally happens so quickly when there’s a miss that I can usually stop the pressure of injecting within the first two or three cc’s going astray and I’ll immediately pull out with the fit essentially still full. But this time there was no indication that I was missing. So I injected the whole 1cc fit full of 100 units of liquified morphine gunk.
I’ve been thinking about this abscess for a day now and I still find it perplexing. Did I miss that whole shot in the back of my hand? And, rather than bubbling up at that spot, somehow the liquid travelled up the outside of the vein and collected in the crook of my arm? I guess that’s possible because what else could have caused this big lump to form there?
Needless to say, I’ve been taking extra care with my shots since my surprise find yesterday morning. Like every junkie everywhere, I really hate to waste a shot. And I only need this one wakeup call, to realize I was getting too laize-faire with the abundance of stock we’re lucky enough to have on hand of late.
Oh well, what’s life without a little mystery?
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