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  #1  
Old 02-06-2013, 21:33
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

I know for sure I didn't miss, it didn't burn going in.. I think I used the same spot in the crook of my arm too many times... My left arm is swelling up pretty obviously, has stayed the same though for the past 12 hours.... It hurts like hell and I can't extend my arm out the whole way.... A friend told me to put heat on it for 20 min, no heat for 20 min, then put heat for 20 min... on and on....

I can NOT go to the hospital for this...

I don't think there's an infection, there's no heat or puss or anything like that.. it's just swollen and bruised and it hurts like HELL.


Someone help me!
  #2  
Old 02-06-2013, 21:45
ZeroAIC ZeroAIC is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Go to the hospital, I cannot see any reason why ANYTHING is more important than your your health, let alone a possible amputation of your arm. If the situation is as serious as you make it out to be, then swallow your pride and go to the ER.
  #3  
Old 02-06-2013, 21:50
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Well this has happened to me before and it eventually went away over a week. I know the signs of an infection (I'm studying to be a nurse) and so far I don't believe I have an infection. Just damage due to shooting in the same spot over and over.

And yes, I realize that most nurses don't shoot up... I'm working on quitting... and I swear if this goes away I am NEVER doing this again!!!

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Not a very good example of harm reduction by advising it _might_ be ok
  #4  
Old 02-06-2013, 21:52
Moving Pictures Moving Pictures is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by udontneed2know View Post
I can NOT go to the hospital for this...
Then we can NOT help you here because we can NOT possible know what's wrong with you because this is the internet, not a doctor's office.

It's been 12 hrs, this isn't just a few minutes of pain after a bad shot. Who knows what this is? But it's never happened to me before and I've shot (and missed shots) heroin lots of times.

If you refuse to go to the hospital, then live with the consequences. Seriously, the only only thing we can do is tell you to go to a doctor. You've put heat on and it's been 12 hrs and it's still fucked up. Could be nerve damage, I don't know. Go to a doctor/hospital or at least give them a fucking call.

We are not an emergency room or a doctor's office.

Good luck,

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Excellent advice.
direct delivery of some essential advice
  #5  
Old 02-06-2013, 22:02
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

You don't have to be so harsh about it... If it gets out that I did this again, I will be kicked out of my house, probably lose my child... I haven't done this in a long time and when I do this happens.. I mean if worse comes to worse I WILL go to a doctor but seeing as something similar has happened before (and it went away) I'm not TOO worried.... Basically what I need from this community is tips on how to bring down the swelling... I know I should've said that originally. I'm *normally* a very bright person and right now I'm kicking myself for doing something so stupid..

Thank you all for your replies... any other tips/suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

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you come on and tell us about a BIG issue and then moan about the sensible response you receive. Have a word with yourself.

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:01. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #6  
Old 02-06-2013, 22:13
ZeroAIC ZeroAIC is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Please next time don't make it sound like such a dire situation. As for tips for swelling, talk to Moving Pictures, the poster above, he knows his shit very well.

Also, not to sound disrespectful or anything like that, but please consider dropping the drug use if a child is involved in your life. I'm not trying to judge or make you look bad, it's just my conscience that is making me feel obligated to say that. Be well.

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:03. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #7  
Old 02-06-2013, 22:30
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

I know it's horrible... she is more important than anything in my life... she's my reason for becoming a nurse.. just know, she has never seen me ingest any drug, I make sure of it. She's 3.

Sorry I made it sound so dire, I'm just freaking out... the last time this happened it wasn't near as big... same symptoms though, swelling, swollen area is hard, bruising, pain, and inability to extend my arm... last time though it was my right arm, this time it's the left. I think it's because I used that spot over and over again.

Now, what to do to speed up the healing process? Hmm..

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:04. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #8  
Old 02-06-2013, 22:39
ZeroAIC ZeroAIC is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

No need to apologize, anybody would freak out in that situation. As far healing, there are a lot of good threads on here regarding injection site damage, the search bar at the top is very handy. And if you are struggling with the drug itself there is a lot of good threads on here that have info and advice. I hope this helps.

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:05. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #9  
Old 03-06-2013, 20:52
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

I'm going to my obgyn this week to have my implanon removed (a stick the size of a toothpick for birth control that lasts 3 years) and have another one removed, and it's a couple inches above where all the swelling is... they've prescribed me suboxones before on the hush, so I'm thinking maybe they'll prescribe me some oral antibiotics... and i'll tell them i got a "spider bite" and then be like, I'm going to make sure "a spider never bites me" again.

udontneed2know added 1232 Minutes and 15 Seconds later...

ok so I went to my family doctor just now... says he doesn't think it's an abscess but does think there's an infection. He didn't want to open it so he prescribed me antibiotics. Told me to use moist heat and it should go away within a few days.

Post Quality Evaluations:
Update appreciated. Take care.
thnx for taking the right advice and seeing a doc. you did the right thing!

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:06. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #10  
Old 03-06-2013, 21:46
ZeroAIC ZeroAIC is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

That's good. I'm glad you got it taken care of. Keeping letting us know how it goes.

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:06. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #11  
Old 03-06-2013, 22:28
Moving Pictures Moving Pictures is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Hey udontneed, you did the right thang, girl. I promise.

I didn't mean to be harsh but that shit is serious, ya know? So glad you did the right thang. You should be proud of yourself. You're being a responsible mother and a responsible health care worker. Take that for whatever it's worth, but you did right....
  #12  
Old 03-06-2013, 23:36
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Thanks guys... I hope that the antibiotics take care of it and it doesn't need to be cut open or anything... I'm still worried

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:07. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #13  
Old 04-06-2013, 00:07
alexsm alexsm is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Good luck. As a recent ex iv heroin user I can totally relate to freak scares that can happen with the lifestyle. 100 shots will go well and then... BAM, you miss or you go through a vein; I hated having to wear long sleeve shirts during summer time.
So glad that it's been months since I touched a sharp, and I'll be here to talk to if you need it, and even if you don't need it ill still be here!
Hope everything goes well, and yes in this type of situation you did the right thing by seeking medical help. Loosing an arm is a scary thing and I really hope those antibiotics take care of it. A short term steroid could have helped you as well-just to flush your system out quicker.


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"The farther one travels the less one knows"

Post Quality Evaluations:
Many can identify with the chore of having worn long sleeves during summer. Good call to mention losing an arm; this is the reality.
Please explain how this could have been helped with steroids, as well as evidence for such intervention.n
  #14  
Old 04-06-2013, 00:16
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

I really hope it helps too.. Minocycline is what they gave me, 100mg 2x per day...
I'm still worried.. I don't know why I can't stop my stomach from turning...
I have been doing so good staying away from that shit and then this happens...
I AM NEVER, EVER, EVERRRR doing that drug again!!!! It's just not worth it!

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:09. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #15  
Old 04-06-2013, 01:03
baZING baZING is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

I hope for your sake that you don't do H again and it's good that it sounds like it was quite a while in between this time and your last use. However, in case you are unable to keep your resolve and end up using again it's important to remember that there are safer alternatives to injection. I'm not encouraging to keep using by any means, especially since you have a child, but as many of us know it can be hard to keep the promise of abstinence. I don't want to be setting you up for failure or get you thinking that if you did it in some safer way it would be OK to keep using, but I think it's clear from this occurrence that at the very least, it would be unwise to inject again. Not only is it risky for your health (which is the most important thing), but also runs the greatest risk of your planned career being ruined. Injection is both the least safe and arguably the most conspicuous ROA from developing track marks or, you know, your whole arm swelling up and being unable to bend it.

From what I've heard from others, I believe that (ALREADY) having a child can be an excellent motivator to get clean and stay clean but please remember if you slip, you have the option to smoke, snort, or plug with H. None of these are as safe as not using at all, but all are pretty much objectively safer than IV or IM injection. Again, that's not to say any of them are safe period, particularly with H... just safER.

So... keep your head up and good luck moving forward, with any luck you won't end up needing any of the advice in this post. If it happens again though, do yourself a favor and remind yourself you don't need the needle, especially if you've taken such a long break from using.
  #16  
Old 04-06-2013, 01:30
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

You're right, my daughter IS my motivation to stay clean... and now that this has happened to my arm it's like a wake up call that I need to quit entirely..

I really hope the antibiotics work... can't wait until my arm is normal again. Hating myself right now....

Post Quality Evaluations:
Please note that there's really no need to quote entire posts when replying to a poster who has just responded to you. Another option would be to just refer to the member by name, or partially quote wha's relevant to your response.

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:20. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #17  
Old 04-06-2013, 02:31
Amaia Amaia is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Hi, Just had a read of this thread and the various answers etc. I just thought that I would offer my experience of this sort of thing, having been an I.V. user for approx. 20 years (currently working on a quick detox after relapsing for 2months after 8 clean!)

Anyway, in my experience this has happened to me on a couple of occasions in the past. One time it went away on its own and another I had it in my forearm the swelling, the hardness of tissue and a SLIGHT reddening - I did go to A & E as I freak out over the thought of loosing limbs (you wouldn't think so as I have to work hard on a needle fixation) and they said that I had cellulitis in my arm and was prescribed antibiotics and over a period of about 5 days it went away...How correct the diagnosis was I don't know, but I do know that the antibiotics did seem to work and I think it is a good idea to have them whether you think that there is an infection or not, as a precaution. As I say, when it happened to me the reddening was slight and could infact have looked more like bruising, I didn't feel like I had a temperature at all.

I hope that you get the meds. work for you and that you manage to get some sort of stability in your life re drug use sooner rather than later...particularly as you have a small child...I struggled for years with having a problem and children and unfortunately in the end it probably WILL see you using, will see mood swings, etc. etc. so maybe it is best to try your damnedest to get clean. Believe the pain of "damage" to children is worse than any swollen limb.

Luck and light.
Regards
Amaia
  #18  
Old 04-06-2013, 02:37
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

What you described sounds like what I have... I also have had this happen before but smaller and like you, it went away on it's own in about a week... This time my arm is much larger, really really hard, and red and slightly warmer than normal....i don't have a fever. The doctor didn't think it was an abscess.

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:16. Reason: Unecessary quote.
  #19  
Old 06-06-2013, 01:52
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Little update for you guys.... every day is a small improvement, the hard spot is getting smaller, I am able to extend my arm a little more, and the pain is going down (although it still hurts like a mofo).

My friend insists there's pus in it so we took a clean rig, washed both our hands, he put on clean gloves, cleaned my whole upper arm with iodine and peroxide, and slowly stuck the rig straight down into the middle of the hard spot, and squeezed (and I cried like a little baby).. however, he couldn't get anything to come out, just a small amount of blood...
He tried a couple more times to make the hole a little bit bigger, squeezed more, up until I just couldn't take it anymore.

Is this good that nothing came out? It still has no head (because like I said, my doctor didn't think it was an abscess), and I'm taking my antibiotics and applying moist heat as often as I can. I guess the fact that it's getting better, not worse (although it seems to be taking forever to get better, I'm just glad it's not getting worse, ya know?) should be enough to help me relax a bit about this, but I'm still worried, in pain, and more than anything, ANGRY with myself for being so stupid as to stick a needle in my arm in the first place. NEVER. AGAIN.


So what do you guys think? Good? Bad?


Thanks a bunch!!
-J

Last edited by Smeg; 06-06-2013 at 13:18. Reason: Paragraphs and line spacing for ease of reading.
  #20  
Old 07-06-2013, 04:16
Smeg Smeg is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by udontneed2know View Post
So what do you guys think? Good? Bad?
It's extremely unsafe to allow someone who is not adequately medically trained to attempt to visually diagnose, let alone surgically drain, a suspected abscess.

You see (no matter how sterile the procedure may have seemed to you) giving permission for this person to do this to you could have seriously harmed you.

I sincerely hope it hasn't.

Your doctor has already informed you that they don't feel you actually have an abscess. What gave you reason to feel that their professional opinion may be incorrect?

If there was anything that lead you believe that they were wrong, then why didn't you query this at the time of the consultation?

Even after your meeting with them, you could have pursued any doubts you had by actively seeking further medical advice via other professional help.

ER? Second medical opinion or invoking the help of authentic emergency services.

When you see your doctor again, could you possibly consider informing them of the possibly hazardous procedure that you have described?

Personally I feel that it needs to be discussed with them. Also try to call to mind that you will not be judged by the original practitioner regarding a bad choice. I'm not judging you either by the way.

It could be the case that you might receive some direct and stern advice on the risks involved, but they should continue to help without prejudice regarding that.

My concern is about further harm being (unwittingly) perpetrated from the non-medical intervention depicted in your update.

I don't mean to alarm you, but it's really quite early days yet recovery-wise, and your doctor should (and needs) to know the full facts in order to be informed on how to further treat you.

I wish you all the very best from here.

Please let us know how it all goes. I feel fairly confident that myself and other members here will continue to offer supportive advice.

Post Quality Evaluations:
very informative, helpful
Absolutely spot on advice after a worrying update
Good advice, given with kindness and concern.

Last edited by Smeg; 07-06-2013 at 04:29. Reason: Additional.
  #21  
Old 07-06-2013, 19:17
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

I realize that was dangerous... thankfully the holes he made were small (only the size of the 29 gauge needle) and they healed up almost instantly, which is why nothing came out. I kept it clean and (seeing as that was 2 days ago now) it is completely fine... actually it is continuing to get a lot better. I CAN now extend my arm all the way (till my elbow locks), and the pain is gone. It's getting softer and smaller every day!!! I've been keeping up with my antibiotics, and I really feel like it's on it's way to being perfectly fine. I realize all of this has been a HUGE risk and totally NOT worth it. You are all correct. I have learned my lesson and am NEVER doing anything like that again. To think I could have lost one of the arms that I use to hold my daughter.....I just, there's just no words for how stupid that is!

Thank you all for your continued support and advice!
I will let you know when it gets better...

Also, how do I put pictures up? I'd like to post the pictures of it that I took on the first three days, and then what it looks like now.

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29 gauge needle is enough for bacteria to enter your body.

Last edited by Smeg; 08-06-2013 at 03:24.
  #22  
Old 07-06-2013, 22:08
Mindless Mindless is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

What would be added to the thread by posting before and after pictures of your arm? Bear in mind that we can't diagnose or give a meaningful clinical opinion. I'm glad you sought qualified treatment despite your fears, this really was the only appropriate option available. Drug use is not something we need to be ashamed of, whatever the drug or route of administration. Learning from experience is something to take pride in.

Last edited by Mindless; 07-06-2013 at 22:13. Reason: new comment
  #23  
Old 08-06-2013, 02:31
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

What would be taken away from the thread if I were to post pictures? I just figured some might want to see exactly WHAT my arm looks/looked like; whether anyone recognized what I had/have as what they've had in the past, etc. There are many reasons.


And yes, this is one lesson I wish I could have learned from a different experience, haha.

udontneed2know added 1 Minutes and 14 Seconds later...

and also... the point of posting pictures, like I stated just now, has nothing to do with asking for a diagnosis. Pretty sure I got that covered.

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You've already been asked not to use the quote facility every time you reply to someone. Please strive to not immediately press the "quote" option when responding.

Last edited by Smeg; 08-06-2013 at 03:29. Reason: Needless quoting.
  #24  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:57
80808 80808 is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Youre a nurse and youre hittin up smack??

Please don't ever practice whilst high......... If you attend to me and you were high on smack I would be VERY angry with you and your place of work for not drug testing you. Sorry if I sound a bit judgmental.

It sounds like you have a mild infection from missing the vein - a course of antibiotics will almost certainly clear up any infection and you will probably notice improvements within 7 days. Don't inject in that same area again until all signs of infection and pain are completely gone. Next time make sure blood is flowing into the barrel before pushing the plunger and if necessary (because you're not used to injecting or because you don't have very prominent veins) pull back several times during injecting to make sure you are still in the vein. I have less medical background that you do - this is just common sense and a bit of experience.

Post Quality Evaluations:
Good point re; practicing high - the OP could end up in criminal court for neglect, or making drug error.
  #25  
Old 13-06-2013, 16:56
udontneed2know udontneed2know is offline
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Re: Arm swelling, can't bend it.. HELP ME SOMEONE!!

Ok, number 1.. I am NOT a nurse yet, I am not licensed. I am in nursing SCHOOL. Straight A's actually... and do you really think I would go to work (if I were employed at a hospital) whilst high? Well, you don't know me, but I'll tell you; no. I would not. And if you've read anything, you would know that I haven't been on this for very long. I shouldn't have to justify myself to you because you know nothing of what I have gone through. Yeah, you sound judgemental... aren't we all on the same site because we use/have used drugs??? And if you've read, you would know that I have been sober since this incident and plan on continuing to be sober.

Get all your facts before you start making judgements.

Post Quality Evaluations:
please report the post rather than engage in emotional arguments in this thread

Last edited by Smeg; 16-06-2013 at 03:30. Reason: Removal of quote.

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