Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Needles! And A Little Injection Education

    Once again I find that I have to thank the freaking almighty 'forces that be' that I was able to get a new pack of syringes.  Now that I've finally found a place that I can buy needles from regularly (a challenge in itself but I'll talk more about that tomorrow) I find that I'm still faced with the problem of being able to get there.  Obviously I can't ask my mom, who usually gives me rides to and from work, to just stop real quick so I can run in and buy a pack of syringes!  
    It really sucked this last week because I had a fairly nice amount of dope that I bought, but my needles were shit.  I seriously have so many bruises all over my body from trying to hit myself with dull needles.  Plus there's always the added scare factor of the needles being dirty; contaminated with tiny bacteria that I can't see because they're no longer sterile.  And that of course is what leads to infections and/or abscesses.  Of course, sometimes just "missing" a shot can give you an abscess too.  
    Which brings me to something I learned after doing some research recently.  I learned that when you miss a shot, you should apply heat as soon as possible.  This was news to me since in the past I've always applied ice the injection site,  to reduce the swelling that occurs.  But apparently, even though ice will help minimize swelling, it's heat that will help your body to absorb the missed fluid quicker.  And you want that shot absorbed as quick as possible so that the fluid is not just sitting in the tissues, which leads to abscesses.  Applying heat also speeds up circulation, which in turn speeds up healing as well as infection-fighting potential.  Many sites recommend the use of a heating pad or a hot compress (seriously? who has a hot compress just hanging around the house?  I just use a really hot towel or washcloth.)     
    Of course preventative care is always good to.  It never hurts to wash hands and injection site before doing your shot.  (Honestly I'll admit I only do that about half of the time although I'm trying to be better about it.)  Anyway - preventative washing or not - it sure a lot easier on my poor veins to have a nice new rig that is not only clean and sterile but also sharp (hallelujah!) so that I can hit my veins on the first try.


lilly said...

in australia we have needle exchanges. you can pick up 40pack to 1000slab 1ml BD insulin syringes for free. they always ask to get dirtys returned but most people dont. otherwise all chemists sell 3 or 5 fitpacks with filters, swabs, sterile water and disposal boxes. they cost $5 for a 3pack and $7 for a 5to10pack. police are not allowed to hang around and then pull over cars leaving a needle exchange clinics. Lilly. (my life unspoken)

myklj999 said...

Y'know...quitting meth ain't as hard as ya think...but ya gotta stay away from ANYONE that fucks with it. I know...been there done that, finally woke up one morning and realized that the real me didn't exist anymore...kinda sucked.

I am not going to extol the virtues of rehab, because it never worked for me...but I got away from the bitch finally.

If you wanna beat it, it can be beat.

The only thing stopping you is YOU.

I know, I sound like an overbearing ass...and I don't mean's just...I do miss a LOT of people...and I would love to see more people escape that bitch's grip

I'm sure ya got a facebook...take a look at account of life on the bitch

I wish you luck...

Random Girl said...

Thanks to both of you for the input and I have responses to both of your comments:

   TO LILLY, I think that's awesome that there's needle exchange in Australia. They offer it in a FEW states here. But that's just if you're lucky enough to live in one of the like 4 out of 50 states where it's legal. I think that it SHOULD be legal and that it's inexcusable for it NOT to be. It's actually a rather hot issue for me and I'll go more into depth on my feelings about that subject in my blog either tonight or tomorrow. Also, when you say "all chemists sell [syringes]" I'm wondering - are there a lot of 'chemists' that you know? The only ones I've ever met were when I was in college and I have a feeling I'm missing something - thinking that chemist has different meaning in Australia than here?

   TO MYKLJ999, No - you don't actually sound like an overbearing ass. And I know from experience that what you're saying is true. That's kind of the annoying part of my situation these days; I do know that this isn't an impossible thing to leave behind. And I also know how much better I feel and how much greater my life can be when I leave it behind. But I'm sort of battling it out with myself right now and the smarter part of me is currently losing to the addict in me. But I do appreciate the words of encouragement. Inevitably change is on the horizon for me and I know this - either I'm going to have to make the change myself, or I'll be forced to.

PrincessAddiction1031 said...

Hey chicka! WOW!!!! It looks like you're getting more views~! :) YAY!
Anyways, Congrats on the new rigs!! I know how painful they can be. Since i8 been sober a while my arms are starting to go back to normal. I cant quit thinking about how the next time i do it, it will go so smoothly. LOL. The last time i hadda use a parvo needle :/ EEEK. Anyways, I loveee you.


lilly said...

by chemist i mean pharmacy or drugstore. not sure what u call them there. chemist is where u go get prescriptions filled and buy any over the counter medications. but the needle exchanges are a lot less judgemental.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for the blog. You have a lot of helpful info! Shame I didn't see your advice 3 weeks ago when I had my first ( and only! ) miss. I did by chance put some heat on it but I still have a small lump, about the size of a small hay fever tablet. Will heat work after three weeks. There is no pain (just feels a little odd) and no heat so I don't think there is any infection (yet!). Any advice would be appreciated. Good luck with whatever you want to do with your future. Steve

Carrion Doll said...

Sorry know this is old but I have been wanting to comment on some of your old posts. Just didn't want you to have to go back and read to have remember what you posted. But for the sake of injection education I just wanted to add that a warm/hot cloth or towel is a hot compress. It doesn't have to be a pre-made store bought or hospital compress. hot compress Great post non the less. Alot of people don't realize how important this step can be and how much pain you can avoid by doing this.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if any of you have had the misfortune to get "cotton fever" after shooting (or even if that is the term everyone uses for it) but it's basically when a minute cotton fiber gets injected with the dope into your veins. You don't see it, you don't feel it going in but shortly after shooting you develop flu like symptoms (fever, chills, and your entire body aches like never before) It has never happened to me personally (then again I have only mainlined on rare occasions) but it has happened to my ex a few times. If it EVER does happen to you from experience of dealing with my ex and helping him the best way to fix it is to either do another shot (if you are fortunate enough to still have some left or if you are able to have someone bring you some with a quickness and that takes a true friend cuz it's rare someone will drop everything and help you out especially when you already spent your money only to get cotton fever. If that is not an option because well, we all know how tweakers are and time doesn't exist cuz I'll be there in 15 min. turns in to them showing up three days later. So, if doing another shot of dope isn't an option fixing up a small water shot (yeah I know water headaches would probably prevent the will or desire to do that) but when you have cotton fever doing a water shot will actually flush out the fiber that is wreaking havoc on your body and bring you back to a somewhat normal state. It sucks that your high gets completely killed but you won't be feeling like you are about to die anymore. I'm not sure if anyone has ever experienced this or known someone that has but I was just relaying what I've seen and been told when or if it does occur just in case someone has the misfortune of it happening to them. Anyway that's my two cents worth.