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Ok, I have missed veins before and usually the lump went away within a few minutes. But this lump on my inner elbow has been there for 2 days now and isn't getting any smaller (or bigger). It isnt red or anything, but it is hard as hell and somewhat tender. It's about the size of a quarter. I injected about 40 mgs of oxycontin, used a clean needle... I really hope it's not an abscess, because I'm afraid if I go to the hospital they will baker-act me and make me go into some kind of treatment, like they did to a friend of mine when he OD'ed.
I just want to know if 2 days is a long time, if it should be going down by now or what. when can I expect it to start going down? I'm very worried
Last edited by Helene; 27-02-2010 at 19:35.
Reason: self incrimination
Welcome to DF, please go back and read the rules, never incriminate, it can get a person banned.
When SWIYs blown the shot, it creates a fair amount of irritation to the muscle, connective tissue, and vessels surrounding the injection site. SWIY will absorb the drug, only slowly and erratically so don't be tempted to inject more drug. Perivascular injection (or missing the vein) can result in "phlebitis" or an inflammation of a blood vessel which results in a red, painful, hot and swollen lump undeneath the skin. The best thing to do when this happens is to apply ice to the swelling. If it persists longer than a day seek medical attention.
As I'm sure you already know, when you miss a hit the drug solution is injected into the tissue surrounding the vein, instead of the vein itself. As Space Numpty said in his above post, the soluble content of the hit (which should include the drug itself) will eventually get absorbed into your blood stream. However, this will take a while, and additionally there will be stuff in the hit that won't be as easily absorbed - in the context of injecting pills, this will be any fillers and binders that ended up in your syringe. This stuff, when not injected into a vein, is just going to sit there until your body's immune system manages to get rid of it. This is what causes the lump you mention.
There is no hard and fast rule about how long this should take to heal - what is more important is whether or not an infection develops. It is possible to have something called a sterile abscess - this is basically a foreign body in your flesh, but one which your immune system has managed to prevent from getting infected. A couple of months ago someone I know rather well missed some of a hit of heroin in her hand, when aiming for that vein that runs between your index finger and your thumb. Straight afterwards, the whole area swelled up a lot, but a day or two later the swelling concentrated, and a hard lump about the size of a small marble developed. Luckily it never got infected, but it is taking a rather long time to recover - over eight weeks later, it's a lot smaller now, but you can definitely still feel it if you press on that spot of her hand.
Although this is rather gross, it's not really a health risk. What you do need to watch out for, however, is any sign of infection. The following are cause for alarm - Local signs of infection (around the injection site): Anything other than a mild tenderness. Any increase in swelling, or the area becoming hot to the touch. More generalised signs of infection: A temperature, headache, aching limbs etc. Fever or shivering, hot flushes. If any of these occur, it's time to go see a doctor. They can't force you into treatment, not if it's against your wishes - don't worry about that. In all likelihood they'll prescribe you with some antibiotics, offer you access to a drug service, and leave it at that. Making an appointment with your doc is probably a better idea than going to the hospital if you're just a little concerned, or if any minor symptoms occur. But if there is any urgent cause for concern (more extreme symptoms) you must head to your local A&E straight away.
Just keep an eye on it. Make sure you look after yourself in the mean time - keeping healthy will give your immune system a better chance of fighting off any infection. Lots of fresh fruit and veg to keep your vitamin intake up. Vitamin c is excellent for your immune system. And for god's sake don't inject in the same spot (or even anywhere near to it) until it's completely healed!
Thanks so much for the replies. And so sorry about the self-incrimination thing
It's been a few more days now and SWIM's lump is definitely getting smaller. Still there, but obviously going away. SWIM feels much better about it and really appreciates that message boards like this exist where someone can ask for help without judgment.
Hi I have a friend thatwas shooting Meth and missed in one of her main Veins and a while later couple hours to a day she shoot up some more below where she previously missed. Now about the first missfye is a purplish bump that has grown in size the last 3-4 hours. She says it really hurts and her arm and hand are numb (like a body part falling asleep). What should we do? She doesn't want to go to the doctor cause she thinks she'll get in troubple or lose part time custody of her kid. Any help would be greatly appreciate.
My no longer friend (it was some guy I knew from school) had swelling like that after shooting up oxycontin one time, he ended up having a very very bad infection and needing to go to an emergency room for treatment where they drained it and gave him a prescription of antibiotics for post-release treatment, had he not gone, he would have died or possibly lost a limb (it was a REALLY bad infection), I wouldn't take any chances, go to a doctor.
I should note that none of us had any idea if it was or wasn't infected, just that it had swollen pretty large, about the size of a golf ball or more, I had another friend who shot up heroin in his hand, but he missed the vein, the experience ultimately lead him to going clean, because he almost lost his hand, and he was extremely lucky the doctors were able to save it. Even sterilized needles can cause an infection, even if you apply alcohol to the injection site to sterilize it, there's always still a risk of infection and that increases when you don't inject properly, again, I wouldn't take any chances I'd go to a walk in clinic or something and see what they say about it, like previously stated no one can really 'force' you into treatment so don't worry about that part, just to be safe, it never hurts to make sure.
Last edited by Zhekarius; 12-06-2012 at 22:00.
I had an incident similar to this over the past couple days. I kept hitting the same vein, was able to register but after injecting my hand twitched and I think I slipped badly. Everything was fine for a little while. Two days go by and a had a huge bump on my injection site (forearm). After reading posts and the dangers of abscess I immediately walked down to the ER, and got looked at. The ER put in an IV of Saline and an Antibiotic, had to wait for the DR to come in. He numbed my arm, and cut it open to see if there was any puss. Luckly there was only like a little extra fluid that he swabbed out for a culture check. It turned out to only be a hematoma. He packed the wound with gaze and sent me on my way. The knot on my arm was huge. It swelled really bad although didn't really hurt. I just told the Dr. that i was at a party got way to hammered and was not thinking. Just said there was clean rigs, and plenty of shizzle so I went for a hit. I told him (granted I was being a wise butt) i'm not a nurse or Dr. it's not like I do this all the time.
My lump was not really red and didn't hurt at touch, didn't feel hot, just was tender. But the size of the lump had me freaked out, and I didn't want it to get any worse. It feels odd sitting in the ER when you have people screaming in pain and all you got is a huge red bump from drug use, but glad I went. Hematoma or not it could have gotten worse. I usually never miss, yet even when I register I still get a small bump that lasts for a couple days. At first I was not surprised nor worried, but nothing would help shrink the bump. Now I get to sit two days, with gauze packed in my arm and it all wrapped up.
I know this post is long past late, but just thought I'd share my experience on this issue in case it helps anyone. Yes it was not as bad as it could be, (or perhaps I kept it from getting that bad) but as much as it sucked sitting in that ER, it felt a lot better walking out knowing I was going to be ok.