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View Full Version : Really bad abscess almost cost me my arm



catmouth
07-06-2012, 08:11 PM
Ok, sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but I figured this seemed like the right place.

So towards the end of last year everything was fine, i hadnt shot into my right hand/arm in almost a week, had rotated to my left arm and one day i woke up and my hand was slightly hurting me when i went to shake someones hand for example...didnt think much of it. Day 2 I notice pain getting worse figured I must have bumped it on something and just iced it.

Day 3 my hand is swollen up like 3 times normal size and had me pretty scared but didnt want to go to hospital just yet (bad idea). Turns out on day 4 near the back of the hand/top of the wrist area my skin all of a sudden when i woke up looked dark and had a bubble type thing on it, i popped it thinking it was some sort of abscess and would try draining it myself as i've always done with others (none that ever acted anything like this one though) and proceeded to pop the bubble. Well some really nasty smelling liquid came out and my flesh looked black and not just bruised like when the bubble was there...

I went to the ER and the doctors all seemed amazed at how bad it looked (which scared me seeing them in awe and telling each other "hey go look at the kid in that exam rooms hand" etc...I told them the old I must have got bit by a spider thing and they were gonna do all kinds of blood tests to see what kind of action they need to take so to save them time i finally admitted "I'm also an IV drug user and injected dilaudid near that area over a week ago" and then they got all snobby with me, well you think that could be the cause of all this and started me on IV antibiotics and told me I'll be lucky if I keep my hand let alone my entire arm up to my shoulder, as the x-rays showed that the infection was so close to the bone that they couldnt tell if it infiltrated the bone yet until they cut into it, and also said the infection had spread all the way up past my elbow.

So I get admitted into the hospital, get surgery the next day and even though the guy that did the surgery was a complete asshole he did save my hand/arm. He said during the first surgery he just cut out the obviously dead tissue and left some questionable areas that might be saveable with a wound vac device and heavy anti biotic treatment. He ordered those for me and said he will do a second surgery in 48hours to check out the questionable tissue. Well luckily after 48 hours of their treatment the tissue ended up being saveable and no more cutting had to be done.

They did keep me in the hospital for just over 3 weeks though because they were afraid i'd go home and shoot up (which they were probably right)

Anyways, moral of the story when in doubt, go get it checked out by a professional. If I had gone 1 day later my arm would be gone for sure, but 1 day earlier and i could have saved myself a lot of trouble.

epione
07-06-2012, 08:56 PM
Damn that is scary stuff catmouth. Glad you got yourself to the hospital so it didn't turn out worse. I wonder how many arms, legs, lives have been lost because people didn't want to deal with junky scum prejudice.

SHELLEY
07-06-2012, 09:29 PM
pics or it didn't happen

no, but seriously, can we see a pic?

Indy
07-06-2012, 09:44 PM
just so you know, they can't legally force you to stay there, you could have walked out. not saying it would have been a good idea, just saying you could have.

so did you have to go through withdrawals in the hospital?

catmouth
07-06-2012, 10:57 PM
yes i got pics ill upload them soon as i find my camera....and nah i stayed b/c they gave me meds for free, didnt have to pay for my monthly doctor visit and even though they only gave me 180 30s instead of 210 or 240 whatever i was getting at the time it was free, regarding pictures, i have 1 color one of my arm with the wound cut open and then some black and white ones they gave me and a detailed description of how they cut into the abscess and "a bunch of foul smelling puss massively squirted out at us" lol....

edit...

alright my moms took the camera to work so i wont have it til tomorrow morning but ill post them then for you :D

makita
07-07-2012, 12:51 AM
Sounds like necrotizing fasciitis or MRSA. Scary as fuck.

thisisthehaunt
07-07-2012, 12:57 AM
I use different spots in my right arm/left arm (usually inside crease of my elbow), and have never had anything that looked questionable in my whole junk career (other than fucking missed shots). Anyone else? I seem to hear a lot of stories about abscesses and what not, but never had it myself. Maybe I'm fucking my veins long term by not using the same spot over and over again? By poking more holes in my vein than one? That sounds like shitty logic, just brainstorming.

makita
07-07-2012, 01:32 AM
I use different spots in my right arm/left arm (usually inside crease of my elbow), and have never had anything that looked questionable in my whole junk career (other than fucking missed shots).

Lemme guess: ECP user, not BTH? I know of many ECP users who haven't gotten abscesses or serious infections. Almost no long term BTH users. As for pill IVers, not my forte so I don't know, but with all the binders and shit I'd guess it's probably something closer to the BTH users.

And yes rotating is probably at least somewhat responsible for your good luck, as is probably having good ropy veins to begin with, a good immune system, good connects, and well..luck.

I always thought the fact that I grew up in NY, yet waited till I moved to CA to catch a dope habit, was ironic. I mostly had that thought when I was self-lancing yet another abscess.

thisisthehaunt
07-07-2012, 10:53 AM
Yeah, you're right. It's pretty good ECP (dissolves quickly without heat/no cut left over). I've always wanted to try tar, though.

Just1Fix
07-07-2012, 11:31 AM
You can still get abcesses w ECP. Had one once, was a 3 bag H, 2 dimes coke shot. Like any good IV user, was doing the knee steering thing, hit a pothole, missed the shot, 2 days later my 'crease' on my right arm was swole the fuck up. It wouldn't pop, day 4 ish I tried poppin more(my arm wouldn't bend out straight-was like I had my arm in an invisible sling) was nearly ready to go ER, but wasn't going without some back up- figured douchebaggery of docs, I'd likely be doin w/d til I could get up out of there. So coppin I was like "WTF smells like dead ass?" and it was me(who knew?) but apparently my popping efforts were 'delayed' and there was 'ooze' seeping out all over my sweatshirt. Was really relieved. I tend to think it was fucked cut in the coke and the excess dirt covering from work(I'm gonna go get it before I go home & shower)...

And I think 'bouncing' or rotating does help longevity of veins, also leaves less tracks. We are humans, we are addicts, and quite often our urge to use overrides sanitation sterility or safety. Using IV things can get ugly and go downhill quick, just try to be smart, safe & sanitary about it.

catmouth
07-07-2012, 11:36 AM
well ended up getting just under a half g for $50 late last night on the front so ended up nodding out for once, as it broke through my done and all that...anyways irrelevant for this thread. I found the 500+ pages of medical records of my month long visit to the hospital, with the pictures and all and figured until i get my camera ill share some of what they wrote:

"Catmouth is a 26 year old iv drug abuser who has been having onset of some swelling and discomfort on the lateral side of his wrist. He tried treating it himself by doing some lancing and said he was squeezing pus out. he has notede that the right wrist has been started turning black and become very foul-smelling so he sought medical atttention.

(for the next part i guess they contacted my old rehab or something cuz i didnt tell them this)

Past drug addiction. He has been addicted to narcotics for the last 12 years. He has been an IV drug user for several years. He has had several abscesses in the past and treated them himself. (the abscess part i probably told them but as far as the rest? no idea where they got that from)

Physical exam:
Catmouth is pleaseant and cooperative. he has somewhat of a flat affect. the right wrist hadd a dressing in place and this was removed. He has a large area of gangrene with black skin and tissue approximately 3 to 4 cm in diameter over the lateral side of the wrist/forearm, foul smelling. No active purulent discharge but there is soem serious sanguinous disharge from the area of puncture wounds I am assuming that he had done previously.
(lol i did poke in there with a sharp needle to see what i could squeeze out after popping the bubble and it was all just nasty smelling pus, right before going to the ER, and all those places turned into new bubbles/blister type things.

Plan: Debridement of the right wrist. I let him know theres a good possibility he may end up losing his right hand and possibly arm depending on the depth of the necrosis. Told him necrotic tissue is dead meaning it will not survive and has to be removed. depending on the amount of tissue that needs to be removed the wrist/hand/arm may be surviveable but may likely need plastic surgical intervention to cover up large defect.

Primary Diagnosis:
Y 6824 Cellulitis and abscess of hand except finger and thumb
Secondary Diagnosis:
Y y854 Gangrene
Y 6823 Cellulitis and abscess of upper arm and forearm
Y 04111 Methicillin susceptible staphylococcus aureus
y 04100 Bacterial Infection due to unspecified streptococcus
y 78039 convulsions
y 30400 Opioid type dependence,k unspecified use
y 3051 tobacco use disorder

Right dorsum of hand close to external stylus. Is isan area that is irregular and measures approximately 4x4 cm. It is black in appearance definite gangrene, foul smelling, metallic odor and the entire hand is very swollen. Possibly polymicrobial. The patient will probalby end up having plastic surgery for reconstruction down the line. Of course, given his active IV use we cannot let him leave the hospital.

Catmouth is a 26 year old male who was taken to the operating room where he underwent general anesthesia. Once under general anesthesia the right upper extremity was prepped and draped in the usual sterile fashion. The hand was eleveated for approximately 2 minutes and then an Esmach was used to exsanguinate from just proximal to the area of the infection up to the elbow and the tourniquet was inflated to 250mmHg. Once this was completed initial debridement was done using a #10 blade around the necrotic area. Once the initial stab wound was done with the #10 blade at the edge of the necrosis a large amount of pus that was very foul-smelling escorted out. Cultures were taken of this purulence and sent off as specimen. Initial debridement was done with full thickness skin loss through the area of grossly necrotic skin leaving a large gaping hole approximately 4cm in diameter. Initial debridement with very purulent area was done using pulsatile lavage, cleaning up the pus then using a curette to get down to more stable tissue. The very necrotic tissue was teased using a rongeur and the skin margins were debrided down to what appeared to be viable skin. There were some areas that were left questionable viability with the intent of seeing how it will respond with the wound vac after 48 hours for additional repeat debridement. they cleaned it and blah blah....

Anyways, never had plastic surgery skin graft sp? done b/c no insurance and couldnt get county to cover it so i had a take home wound vac for a month until it pretty much healed on its own and then went to wet/dry bandage placement having to go back/forth to hospital twice a week to get it change/looked at.

PICTURES VERY SOON. Camera should be here in next hour or so....

Microbiology:
Heavy growth prevotella corporis
Heavy growth prevotella melaninogenica
presence of anaeerobes has been confirmed
Heavy growth staphylococcus aureus
heavy growth corynebacterium species
probable contaminant. no further workup unless requested. isolated organisms are retained for one week
The isolated organism can be a source of infection. It is sensitive to multiple antibiotics tested.
Heavy growth beta hemmolytic streptococci group F
Very rlight growth staphylococcus aureus pateint had a previous positive culture reported within the last 2 days that contained same organisms

blackman
07-07-2012, 11:57 AM
Shit man. Glad you got to keep your arm. Be careful god dammit.




Pics.....

Princess Kitty
07-07-2012, 12:12 PM
Damn. You had MRSA in there. Was this all over a missed shot? Scary shit. Thanks for sharing. Makes us who muscle BTH think twice about doing it. This is some of the best HR the site offers. Personal experiences.

catmouth
07-07-2012, 12:17 PM
Damn. You had MRSA in there. Was this all over a missed shot? Scary shit. Thanks for sharing. Makes us who muscle BTH think twice about doing it. This is some of the best HR the site offers. Personal experiences.

Was shooting dilaudid into that area at the time and I didn't even miss the shot, well maybe a TINY bit did? Usually though when I miss even a litttle bit with dillys i can tell right away b/c of the instant inflammation all around the injection sight. But I did reuse the needle way too many times so I was thinking either tiny bit of miss or needle wasn't clean?

THIS is why needle exchanges shouldnt be banned in florida. Must cost them more hospitalizing people like me for a month then funding some exchanges would cost them...

SapphireBlue
07-07-2012, 12:48 PM
Damn. You had MRSA in there. Was this all over a missed shot? Scary shit. Thanks for sharing. Makes us who muscle BTH think twice about doing it. This is some of the best HR the site offers. Personal experiences.

It wasn't MRSA, it was methicillin SENSITIVE staph aureus, along with a crapload of other nasty bugs. The staph only grew out very light growth, so I'd say it was probably the least of his worries. Damn dude, you ARE lucky. Im sorry to be stating the obvious - as if you didn't know - but it's a hell of a story. Glad it all turned out ok!!

I was wondering how they treated your pain while you were in the hospital...we all know how addicts are left to twist in the wind when it comes to pain treatment. You didn't mention anything about it, so I guess that means you got the pain meds you needed (as an inpatient)??

odd
07-07-2012, 01:13 PM
I almost lost my right arm due to something. All I remember was hitting the crook of my arm in the AM before work. All day at work it seemed to hurt and be really sensitive. After work I went to a party and I remember thinking that after all the booze I had drunk my arm still feels like shit. Anyhow I go home and my roomate at the time sees my arm and tells me I should go to the hospital. I was just going to go to sleep and deal with it in the morning. So I sober up at the hospital waiting to talk to a doctor. I should also say when I signed in a doctor immediately jumped me ahead and got me a room/bed. So as I sober up and look at my arm I realize just how fucked it is. It looked like someone took a red sharpy and drew lines from the spot where I hit right up to me heart. I am getting prepped for surgery and the doc is like look "we don't know if we can save your arm" so of course I am wondering if I will wake up with no arm right as the anesthesiologist knocks me out. I wake up with my arm and a huge hole in it where the doc cut away the infected tissue. He told me had I gone to sleep I never would have woken up once those red lines hit my heart that would have been a wrap.

I had some type of blood poisoning or something. I did not miss and other than the swelling and pain I felt fine. No fervor, chills or anything. Glad to hear you came out ok. Scary shit to know that your use could cost you a limb or worse.

catmouth
07-07-2012, 02:01 PM
It wasn't MRSA, it was methicillin SENSITIVE staph aureus, along with a crapload of other nasty bugs. The staph only grew out very light growth, so I'd say it was probably the least of his worries. Damn dude, you ARE lucky. Im sorry to be stating the obvious - as if you didn't know - but it's a hell of a story. Glad it all turned out ok!!

I was wondering how they treated your pain while you were in the hospital...we all know how addicts are left to twist in the wind when it comes to pain treatment. You didn't mention anything about it, so I guess that means you got the pain meds you needed (as an inpatient)??


Oh pain treatment wise I brought in empty bottles to show i had scripts for roxy 30s methadone 10s 2mg xanax somas and it took em like an hour or so to verify but they gave me dilaudid IV (not much) until they did. Once verified though i got 6 out of the 8 roxy 30s i was supposed to be getting a day, 2 out of the 3 xanax a day, 1 soma at night + an ambien at night...as far as cigs go. was a smoke free hospital so they had me on the patch but the night nurse always took me out when he went on break and let me come smoke with him so wasnt too bad..and images are being uploaded to image shack as we speak. ill update this with a link to them in a second since i dunno how to resize and post em on this site


EDIT:

Aright, heres the pic's uploaded to image shack (sorry didnt know how to do it here) hope it works for everyone that wanted to see them and they are all black and white, hospital wouldnt give me color copies

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/689/1002341m.jpg/

(thats the gallery, 9 pictures to scroll through, enjoy)

SHELLEY
07-07-2012, 05:40 PM
damn son
thanks for the info and pics

candy
07-07-2012, 05:45 PM
I wanted to add that an abscess can happen anywhere in the body. It does not have to be at the site of the injection, nor does it matter what type of med or dope you are shooting.

It can be from bacteria on the skin or injecting equipment. And of course it can come from the dope, but maintaining good hygiene(washing your hands) and a clean technique will help to avoid this problem.

And, anytime you miss a shot, take care of it right away by applying warm compresses so the body will absorb the missed solution much quicker. This can help in avoiding an abscess. A missed shot is like a breeding ground for bacteria.

Glad they were able to save that arm!

catmouth
07-07-2012, 06:37 PM
I wanted to add that an abscess can happen anywhere in the body. It does not have to be at the site of the injection, nor does it matter what type of med or dope you are shooting.

It can be from bacteria on the skin or injecting equipment. And of course it can come from the dope, but maintaining good hygiene(washing your hands) and a clean technique will help to avoid this problem.

And, anytime you miss a shot, take care of it right away by applying warm compresses so the body will absorb the missed solution much quicker. This can help in avoiding an abscess. A missed shot is like a breeding ground for bacteria.

Glad they were able to save that arm!

Yeah candy thanks for that info. I do almost all that stuff except tend to a missed shot right away other than rubbing the site for a little bit i guess hoping to push some missed in the vein?? i dunno why really. Oh and thanks to EVERYONE, I'm really glad they kept it on me. Liked odd said its really scary going under for surgery and not knowing if your gonna wake up with just a nub left where your arm was. Another thing that sucked is going to my felony probation meetings every month i had the wound vac. It seems like they always wanted to piss me. Well 1 of the time the PO doing the test thought it was a cheating device with fake piss and demanded i take it off. I refused and told him its to help granulation on my spider bite wound etc etc...."Oh bullshit give me that thing right now your getting violated. But luckily another PO walked by and stopped the idiot.

And no problem shelley/everyone else that wanted to see, dont mind sharing :)

But the black n white photos i know its kinda hard to see was while i was under and they had just cut the black tissue open and that was all the necrotic tissue they had to cut out and gangrenous shit, i wish i had color copies,but the black and whites were $1 page and it was 549pages. I bitched though til i got it for free....knew that bitch was gonna pockit that $$$ i sure would have.

paups
07-07-2012, 06:49 PM
I wanted to add that an abscess can happen anywhere in the body. It does not have to be at the site of the injection, nor does it matter what type of med or dope you are shooting.

It can be from bacteria on the skin or injecting equipment. And of course it can come from the dope, but maintaining good hygiene(washing your hands) and a clean technique will help to avoid this problem.

And, anytime you miss a shot, take care of it right away by applying warm compresses so the body will absorb the missed solution much quicker. This can help in avoiding an abscess. A missed shot is like a breeding ground for bacteria.

Glad they were able to save that arm!

Ive found this to be the most valuable..
Even if it seems overboard.. be VIGILANT with your prep.
Wash your hands, cooker, wipe your work surface and clean EVERYTHING with iso before and after EVERY shot.
If you must reuse a needle rinse it several times with alcohol/bleach in between every use and keep them stored somewhere clean and dry.

I use sterilized tweezers to handle cottons and double filter every shot and I even wipe the needle tip with iso after loading the rig, before injecting.

I've had a few nasty abscesses from IMing BTH but every time I could almost pinpoint the shot that caused it and it was always a lapse in my cleanliness routine.

Most recently I woke up with signs of a bit of cellulitis and waited the day out but finally I sucked it up and went in to the clinic for some Bactrim. I am absolutely positive that I prevented a much larger problem by seeking quick care..

candy
07-07-2012, 07:41 PM
+1 paups. Being vigilante in your prep is going to save you from a great deal of possible suffering.

When I worked at Needle Exchanges in L.A., I was so surprised at the number of people who came in would say they didn't need any alcohol wipes. Although we would always put them in the bag when they came in to exchange dirty for clean along with other equipment, they would not want the alcohol wipes. Most would, but there were always those that just didn't seem to care or didn't want to bother with them.

Of course, they would then get a very friendly talk with me about the use of alcohol wipes and maintaining a clean environment, equipment, and getting care for any abscess as soon as possible. They would still reject them, but I always put them in there paper bag anyway.
We were also lucky to have a facility in L.A. that treated abscesses in those who were homeless/low income.

And wait until you get home to inject. Using a public restroom or somewhere else where you don't have access to soap and water is a bad habit. I know how bad being dope sick is, but I would rather wait it out until I got home then wake up with no arm.

catmouth
07-07-2012, 08:24 PM
Yeah after that incident i def got me a box of alcohol wipes, Before i was still using iso alcohol to clean spoon/needle and washing hands and stuff but the wipes just seemed like a good idea. Definitely good points on the hygiene issues to prevent getting something like I had....

candy
07-07-2012, 10:28 PM
catmouth, you are certainly lucky that they were able to contain the infection and that it did not cost you your arm. Many years ago when I was working in the ER, this woman of about 30 or so came in and her entire arm had to be removed up to the shoulder. I will never forget that smell of rotting flesh. As soon as the doc saw her, they took her right to the OR and took her arm.

It started as an abscess that she drained at home herself and the infection just continued to spread and became gangrenous. I think she knew she was in trouble and that there was no saving her arm. It was one of the most disgusting things I had seen as a nurse. The arm had become a black color and it was weeping this disgusting smelling pus that made me gag. It was really an awful site.

The craziest part of this little story is that years later when I first went on Methadone, I saw her in the clinic I was going to. I never said anything to her,but I would here her tell others about what happened to her arm from injecting while waiting to dose. It was a real eye opener on how easily something like this can happen when you fuck with an abscess yourself or don't seek treatment for one.

Glad to hear you are using alcohol wipes. Anything you can do to minimize your risks are really important and remember to spread the word to others about what you learn here or anywhere else.

catmouth
07-07-2012, 10:45 PM
Sorry to hear you had to see that Candy....i too remember the blackness of my wrist ( though certainly not to the extent of that lady) and the really nasty smell it produced. As soon as I saw first signs of black tissue I went to ER and when I seen the ER doc's all amazed telling each other to come check me out I knew I was in trouble. Don't think its ever a good thing to amaze ER / or any doc with an injury that they rarely see and find fascinating....ugh anyways, yeah i try to tell my friends who IV to use safe practices but of course most dont listen/care/it wont happen to me/etc... type attitudes or they just dont have the funds for micro wipes and clean needle everytime this is why i said earlier in the thread...

FLORIDA NEEEDS to unban needle exchanges ( 1 think the only 1 allowed is in miami for some reason). It would save them so much money funding clean needles and supplies than it would allowing someone like me a month worth of county paid hospital stay, and i'm sure theres plenty of other cases we could add to this total and compare the 2. Im guessing a few needle exchanges are cheaper. (althouh i admit i dont know what it costs to run one, i do know hospital bills are extremely expensive.)

candy
07-07-2012, 11:13 PM
If I had it my way, every city in every state would have a Needle Exchange. Too bad I don't run the country, but I do what I can to make sure I can be of service.
All I can do at this time and yet it still doesn't feel like enough.

tui
07-08-2012, 03:35 AM
Aright, heres the pic's uploaded to image shack (sorry didnt know how to do it here) hope it works for everyone that wanted to see them and they are all black and white, hospital wouldnt give me color copies

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/689/1002341m.jpg/

(thats the gallery, 9 pictures to scroll through, enjoy)

^
That's one hell of a trackmark catmouth! So lucky you kept your hand & arm. Several people at my clinic have lost legs and arms. And I often see junkies with permanently swollen feet & hands from vein damage. My veins are toast, but it doesn't stop me trying to find just one more. On bad days my bathroom looks like a murder scene by the time I'm done.

catmouth
07-08-2012, 04:57 AM
^
That's one hell of a trackmark catmouth! So lucky you kept your hand & arm. Several people at my clinic have lost legs and arms. And I often see junkies with permanently swollen feet & hands from vein damage. My veins are toast, but it doesn't stop me trying to find just one more. On bad days my bathroom looks like a murder scene by the time I'm done.

Yeah I hear your, first couple days/week in hospital im thinking "I'll never shoot up again, not worth losing a limb over" .....then by week 3 i was shooting saved up roxies from a day at the hospital into my piccline they had going from just under my shoulder towards my heart (stupid i know) i just couldnt resist

And Candy...

Trust me, we're all grateful here for what you are doing even if it just seems like a little, it counts and I'm sure you help a great many deal of people so keep it up and it will probably take someone with some power to have their son/daughter go through something like this and a person being there to tell them, "well if we had needle exchanges in Florida, even though your son/daughters an addict at least they would have access to sterile clean equipment and health tips and what not...." but ughh who knows, i'm not counting on it happening any time soon

catmouth
07-08-2012, 01:09 PM
Ok I figured out how to post pictures directly to forum incase the link didnt work for anyone...theres 9 of them so hopefully it doesnt take forever to load for some of you. And these were at different stages of the healing process the color one for example is after woundvac removal and they were doing wet/dry bandage change at the hospital and got them to take me a pic...

8975

8976

8977

8978

8979

8980

8981

8982

catmouth
07-08-2012, 01:11 PM
and last but not least (since theres a limit of 8 photos:

8983

ausativa
07-08-2012, 01:21 PM
shit dude, that is pretty disgusting.

they got you doped up good?

catmouth
07-08-2012, 03:55 PM
shit dude, that is pretty disgusting.

they got you doped up good?


As for the 3 week stay I got (most) of my normal meds, just a little lesser amount (I answered this several posts ago) and for the surgery I have no idea what they used for anesthesia but afterwards in the recovery room i remember yelling and being pissed "This shit isnt working" they were giving me like 2mg shots of dilaudid when 16mg shots barely touch me at home....so i just kept complaining and finally they gave me more and more (little by little) until i was nodding lol. But that shit HURT like a motherfucker when i woke up after the surgery in the recovery room...ughhh. That was really the only bad part of my hospital visit. County paid for it all, lots of hot nurses, no one treated me like a junky (EXCEPT THE SURGEON), and I didnt have to pay my $180 monthly doc visit fee or the outrageous pharmacy prices at the present time in florida. Got nicotine patch and night nurse took me for smoke breaks...AND BEST OF ALL they saved my arm :) They also caught a friend sneak me in some dilaudid and they took em from me (i said i was still in pain so my dad brought me some from home) and they gave them back on discharge at least

spicybrainsgirl
07-08-2012, 04:19 PM
I love the name catmouth, amazing.

i'm so sorry about your arm, that's the pits!

i'm studying human right in college and we are required to do an internship. there are a couple opportunities to work with needle exchanges. i thought i wanted to do that but hadn't fully decided. your post encouraged me, and needle exchange is what i am going to ask for when the time comes.

all the best, i hope it never happens to you again. "A STICTH IN TIME SAVES NINE" just being extra careful can save limbs!!!! everybody!!!

Seedy
07-08-2012, 04:32 PM
Wow, just read through the thread, you were lucky dude! I'm glad you were!!

it amazes me how ignorant the average junky is to cleanliness. this dude i've been hanging around with a bit recently must have one hell of a good immune system - he's like 40, been shooting up half his life, and just doesn't have a clue. but from what i can tell he's always been fine.

he shoots up rubifen brand ritalin (quite a waxy pill) without wheel filters or alcohol swabs, re-uses needled god knows how many times (when he runs out), thinks boiling a needle for 3 minutes in water is just fine (was trying to get me to use is old one), shoots in the same spot every time... there's just no excuse for it, especially with a needle exchange 2 blocks away from where he picks up his meds every week - free needles & swabs, wheel filters are 20c, all the info he needs is right there. and he belittles me for being so anal about it!

tui
07-08-2012, 04:45 PM
I love the name catmouth, amazing.


Me too :)

Happy Pillmore
07-08-2012, 05:12 PM
Really glad you got to keep your arm Catmouth.
I was in the exact same situation 4 yrs ago.
No words or wisdom,just gald your ok and maybe SLOW down a bit. Lol. Good luck to you.

catmouth
07-08-2012, 10:09 PM
I love the name catmouth, amazing.

i'm so sorry about your arm, that's the pits!

i'm studying human right in college and we are required to do an internship. there are a couple opportunities to work with needle exchanges. i thought i wanted to do that but hadn't fully decided. your post encouraged me, and needle exchange is what i am going to ask for when the time comes.

all the best, i hope it never happens to you again. "A STICTH IN TIME SAVES NINE" just being extra careful can save limbs!!!! everybody!!!


Thanks tui and spicybrainsgirl re my name :) i got it from a song called Catmouth by a band called Birdflesh from Sweden....anyways, its nice to hear that I inspired you to help out at needle exchanges, i reallllly realllllly wish they would unban them in florida. I know so many people who just use and reuse and reuse their needles until its either clogged too much, needle breaks off in their arm or the plunger wont pull/push anymore (they get really hard to move after a while)

And thanks everyone else too. I am also VERY glad I got my arm still...waking up from surgery looking over and seeing it attached was a beautiful site :)

Benz
07-09-2012, 10:27 AM
It's very important that members post pictures & threads like these to keep the harm reduction message going.

I hope you heal as quickly & painlessly as possible. Those pictures look VERY painful.



Benz

happy daze
07-09-2012, 10:35 AM
Damn, catmouth! take care of yourself, you crazy fuck.

HD

Chipper
07-09-2012, 10:46 AM
<snip>
Microbiology:
Heavy growth prevotella corporis
Heavy growth prevotella melaninogenica
presence of anaeerobes has been confirmed
Heavy growth staphylococcus aureus
heavy growth corynebacterium species
probable contaminant. no further workup unless requested. isolated organisms are retained for one week
The isolated organism can be a source of infection. It is sensitive to multiple antibiotics tested.
Heavy growth beta hemmolytic streptococci group F
Very rlight growth staphylococcus aureus pateint had a previous positive culture reported within the last 2 days that contained same organisms

Wow ! I see a good career in mushroom farming.

We only make this mistake once: I have a scar on my hand that started necrotising and I had to address it.

Missed shots are mostly OK - I pay special attention to this because my main tool is still a 5 ml. barrel (physically heavy to hold and can get tricky to keep in the vein) plus my veins are old and leaky (read: BIG pain for about 20 seconds when IVing).

I check the temperature every few hours and also watch the redness like a hawk.

Cellulitis is something I have had twice and it's no good at all.

Please, fuck what people think: if you inject then take action immediately should you suspect anything at all. Fuck them -- we made our choice, going back is often not an option so we have to make the best of it.

I thank you for the thorough report ... and I'm glad you escaped amputation. Intravenous drug use is no joke, the doctors and nurses all think that we're trouble that we've brought upon ourselves etc. etc. Fuck them, just be honest, get it fixed and make sure you never let it slide.

catmouth
07-09-2012, 11:47 AM
Thanks for the concern and words of encouragement and what not from everyone....

Its healed up fine as far as I can tell. again when my camera gets home ill show a picture of how it healed it...it happend in november of last year so its been 8 months. Sure it would have healed quicker and had less chance of it getting fucked up again but they didnt want to cover a skin graft for me.......

I still say UNBANNING and funding a few needle exchanges would save Florida LOTS of money in the end, especially if you consider just my hospital visit alone: 3 weeks of stay, 2-3 surgerys all kinds of meds, around the clock nurse attention, taking up a room in the hospital that someone better could have used, etc.... etc... etc...

VS

Clean needles/cookers/etc.. (I'm pretty sure my needle was just overused WAY too much like with the plunger sticking and being hard to push pull type of scenario....i stopped doing all that and take way better care during prep now but i know tons of people who still keep on using and reusing dirty spoons, dirty arms, needles having been used so much the needle point breaks off in their arm at times and that plunger thing i was talking about where its hard to pull/push it, umm just alll kinds of bad habits that could be avoided by needle exchanges....

catmouth
07-12-2012, 03:43 PM
Hey guys, I noticed on my phone today some more photos of my wrist, these were taken with my phone while I was in the hospital in between wound vac removal/cleaning procedures....can see my tendons, my skin granulating and what not.......enjoy? (click em for much better view, even though they were taken with a shitty phone they didn't come out TOO bad) :D

9012

9013

tui
07-13-2012, 12:56 AM
^
Ugh that is fucking disgusting. It's amazing how resilient our bodies can be. What does it look like now?

hella
07-13-2012, 01:03 AM
Damn dude glad you got it taken care of in time.
Can you post any pics of what it looks like now?

catmouth
07-13-2012, 05:57 PM
Now its just a big scar, camera isnt here once again but yeah, I'll bring it home tomorrow and post a pic for you guys to show you how it healed. After a little over 3 weeks of IV antibiotics in the hospital they finally released me with a take home wound vac and then made me take 2 trips to the hospital a week to get it cleaned and looked at.

The whole time they told me the wound is too big to close on its own and I need to find a way to get plastic surgery approved for a skin graft. They wanted to take skin from my thigh and put it over the part they cut out, but since no $$$ and no insurance i just let it keep healing and it eventually closed up.

I'll have pic's of it tomorrow healed.

catmouth
07-15-2012, 01:48 PM
heres pic's of it healed as of yesterday.

9034

9035

ausativa
07-15-2012, 02:21 PM
knarly bro

System
11-02-2012, 06:45 PM
Looks like it healed great.

The human body is really amazing. I was RUN OVER by a suburban SUV (cant get much bigger than that) when I was in jr high. Bitch turned in front of me out of a parking lot, ran over my bike with the front tire, and then ran over my hip with the rear. Was discharged from the hospital the same day with a huge ass bruse on the side of my hip, couldn't run for a month because it would lock up on me, but I recovered fully. Could have easily been my death if it didn't run over the strongest bone in the human body.

gnossos
12-18-2012, 01:20 PM
W0W. Yeah I can't stress enough to people not to be scared of the hospital as soon as you think you've got an abscess or infection. I had a similar experience with a staph infection. I was too scared to go to the ER so I just kept icing it and ignoring it, hoping it'd go down. Week or two passed and it looked like I had a fuckin golf ball implanted inside the crook of my arm. Tried lancing it myself: super painful and it just made it worse. Finally went to the ER and yeah, they gave me dirty looks, but I stuck to the story of "it must have been an infected bug bite.. I woke up and it was there". I refused to admit I was IVing even though I knew they all knew. I figure if I don't admit it, it doesn't go on record. I'm pretty sure it didn't, the report they sent me home with just said they treated me for an infection.

I agree that Needle Exchanges would totally solve this problem. Making it hard for people to buy needles only causes more health risks like this, it doesn't keep us from using. It can be hard coming up with clean rigs in the South. I tried every CVS, Walgreens, etc before realizing the old failsafe is a box of 100 at Wal-Mart.

--- auto merge ---

.... I just noticed too your location (Bradenton, FL): right near where I used to live in Sarasota. All these Southern states are fucking people up with needles. It's ridiculous. I remember it being more difficult buying em in FL and here in TN you can only get em at Wal-Mart without some sort of proof you have diabetes or something. In AL you can just walk into any drug store and get em, no questions asked. Guess they haven't caught on as much yet ...

catmouth
06-04-2013, 02:49 AM
Necro'ing my old ass thread......

Just wanted to add that a few months ago I had a first hand experience with what a difference it makes going to the ER **BEFORE ITS TOO LATE** to have an abscess treated. I had woke up one day and noticed on my left hand (opposite hand of where that necrotic abscess was) a bump starting to swell up. I massaged it and did cycles of heat and what not but it just kept getting bigger. On day 3 or 4 that shit had gotten pretty damn big and finally exploded. My entire arm was killing me at this point, could BARELY move it AT ALL.

I tried squeezing shit out myself where it popped and thought I got a decent amount out, but the next morning it was still not getting any better so I rushed to the ER. Told them I use IV drugs and thats what more than likely caused it. They were all pretty friendly to me and the lady that did the I&D really did an excellent job. The girl that came to do it was their go to person when it came to abscesses that needed I&D and packing. She judges an abscess by how much packing she has to put in and she told me that mine was one of the bigger ones she's seen in a while. The cavity was really deep, she had to stuff, 20 something feet of gauze into that thing. Everything went perfect with follow up unpack/repacks etc.. and its all healed now.

dizzle
06-04-2013, 09:18 AM
damn, son, wtf are you shooting that gives you so many abscesses? Fucking TRF Opana's? OP's?

are your veins fucked and you miss every shot?

what's going on here? I've had ONE abscess go full bore, and that was when I IM'ed OC's (OG's) back 10+ years ago

catmouth
06-04-2013, 11:24 AM
damn, son, wtf are you shooting that gives you so many abscesses? Fucking TRF Opana's? OP's?

are your veins fucked and you miss every shot?

what's going on here? I've had ONE abscess go full bore, and that was when I IM'ed OC's (OG's) back 10+ years ago

Don't really get A LOT of abscesses, these 2 are the only bad ones I've had. The 1 that went gangrenous on me I dont even remember missing anything in that area. Hadn't used my right arm/hand anywhere even in a week or so at least but the last thing I shot was dilly's. It just formed deep enough in my wrist that a day after anything abscess looking was visible it was already wayyy fucked up.

The recent one was from dillys/oxy combo. Somehow unregistered at the end and missed the last little bit.

But no, my veins are fine and my drugs make it in just fine almost everytime.