Old 04-24-2007, 02:37 PM
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We had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night because my husband has cellulitis in his hand. Because I'm keeping my ridiculous blog and I'm just kind of obsessive and nerdy, I have done a ton of research on heroin and its ravages on the body, and I know that cellulitis and other soft skin infections is one of these effects. My husband refuses to acknowledge that the infection is heroin related. I've pulled up a list of about 20 references, many of them to scholarly journals, and showed him all of's also not like he got bit by a dog or a spider...he has an infection that he regards as completely unexplainable.

It's frustrating to me because I think it's important that he sees that there are physical consequences for his using. I know I can't make him accept something he isn't ready to accept...but I don't want him to keep killing himself, and I wish that he would see that even one little time using could potentially kill him.

He's decided that since he's only used once in the last several weeks, that the infection can't be related to heroin. I told him that if the heroin is tainted (there's another disgusting post I found yesterday while researching stuff for the blog about how heroin is often tainted with dangerous bacteria because it is transported across the Mexican border in the stomachs of starving heroin mules, and then later pooped out), it doesn't matter if he uses it once or a million times. Also, one of the articles I found said that decreasing the frequency of use or initial onset of use is one of the times your more likely to get a soft tissue infection because you're body isn't accustomed to being bombarded by the bacteria in the tainted stuff.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here by telling you all just helps to get it out, I guess. Also, I'm curious as to your thoughts about how much I should keep trying to educate him about his using. It helps me in some ways to understand what he's doing to himself, but if he's not going to accept it, maybe I'm driving myself crazy for no reason.

Another thing that was ENDLESSLY FRUSTRATING was that the doctors gave him a big ole shot of morphine, right in his track-marked veins. I know it's not their job to look for these things, but it just seemed so WRONG. I hated watching it. They also gave him a prescription for vicodin for the pain, which scares the hell out of me. I had to leave him to go to work today...and I'm afraid he's at home snorting it or doing something otherwise ridiculous.

I hate heroin.

I included a picture of his yucky hand. Gross gross gross.
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:57 PM
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I wish I had some magic words to say but I dont. I think it might help him and something might sink in with talking about all the risks involved the problem is that he just isnt ready to admit that its a problem he still thinks he has it under control. I find it very hard to believe that if he is shooting it that he can control anything when it comes to heroin. Once u start shooting it It really starts sucking u in. Its hard just to shoot up occasionally I beleive he is shooting up alot more than what he is telling u. Just my opinion but I have never met or heard of an addict just being able to shoot heroin every now and then and not doing it again for awhile. U chase the high usually with heroin its sooo possible to get addicted after your first use and if hes shooting it the problem is way worse than what hes telling u. I hope your protecting yourself and your finances. I hope he realizes the problem he has b4 its too late. Well I am sure you already know not to believe a word that comes out of an addicts mouth. Heroin is truley the devils drug and will take you down very quickly. Didnt u just find a needle in a pair if his shorts last week? He is using alot more than what hes telling u I can almost guarantee that. Hopefully he will want help soon. (((hugs)))
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:59 PM
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Another thing that was ENDLESSLY FRUSTRATING was that the doctors gave him a big ole shot of morphine, right in his track-marked veins.

Those doctors have their reasons - heck some (or maybe a lot) are also codependent. They might also question why a wife would stay with an addict... (and yeah, I DO know... really... gentle hug).

Most of us, including me, can only endure the pain of addiction if we lie to ourselves. We intially deny there is a problem, then create a delusion that keeps us "trapped" in the situation.

I am sorry he is going through this - the denial and delusion of addiction is a tough nut to crack. I know for my kids, that WAS the main focus of the rehab... breaking through the lies they tell themselves to facilitate the continued use.

We are very much similar to the addicts, aren't we? We endure unreasonable pain for reasons that many people find unacceptable.... but they are reasons that are acceptable to us.

I think that is part of what I get out of my meetings... hearing my story through another person... both the part I agree with... and the part I don't like so much. Seeing it in YOU helps me see it in ME.

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Old 04-24-2007, 03:39 PM
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i hate drugs of ant has destroyed a lot of familys. i am sorry for all of this. take care of yourself.prayers,
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:50 PM
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My SD has had cellulitus 2 times now from spider bites. They didn't look infected like that though. It was always this time of the year cuz she would be playing lacross. She'd get wicked large hot spots on the back of her thigh. Wierd having this conversation right now, cuz last night I killed 3 spiders. The first I've seen in forever. SD comes home from college for stepsisters baby shower this weekend. She will flip out if she even sees a spider. Guess I'd better get some spray.
I agree with the others, if he is shooting herion, it is unlikley that he has only done it once in the last few weeks. my AD is now doing that & she is going down fast, very fast.
Remember, Take care of you.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:49 PM
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OMG--I am a nurse and I am always amazed when I hear this type of story-the ERs have really gone down the drain.
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:11 PM
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Ok, like maybe I am out of line here, but were you with him at the ER? And if so, why didnt;' you take the attending nurse aside before the doc got there and tell her what was up with your husband so they could give him some non-narcotic pain reliever? When my husband went into detox/rehab, I wrote a short but to-the-point letter to both his doctors (one his regular family physician and the other someone he had been trying to get 'scrips from citing his supposed IBS (NOT!!) . I told them what was up, and that I hoped it didn't reflect badly on me (one is also my physician, the other a friend). They both responded positively and sincerely.

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Old 04-24-2007, 08:42 PM
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Yeah, I had mixed feelings about what I was supposed to do last night. I didn't know if I should get in his business in that way--it's really his issue, and it felt like me intervening would have been taking on too much of his stuff. I don't know what the right thing to do would have been. In the same way that I can't keep him from using heroin, I can't keep him from getting a morphine injection.

I think if we were in a situation where he was doing this regularly, like the situation tropikgal described, I would intervene...but he is in a lot of pain. I had hoped that the nurses or the doctors would call him out on the track marks or the ailment that marks heroin abuse--and when they didn't and he didn't say anything, I felt like I needed to know, that whole thing about not preventing a crisis but also not creating one...

It's frustrating. The whole thing is frustrating.

I would like some advice about the question I asked, though, and less about what I should or shouldn't have done last night or about whether or not he's using. I know he might be using...

Do you guys think I should push the issue of how this infection is heroin related? Or is that taking on too much of his stuff, again? I guess I have to do what feels right to me...but I don't know if creating a situation where I push him to recognize that something he's done is a consequence of his using might be too codie or not--

I am also worried about my own head state. I keep focusing so much on him, his addiction, whether or not he's using...I am kind of tired of the whole subject, but I can' tlet it go, either...
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:16 PM
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dont even tell me the doctors couldnt see the track marks on his arms!!!Come on!...Next time you end up in the ER take the Doc or nurse aside and explain he is an addict--they will tox screen him and theywill know for sure then...
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:22 AM
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Hi Jw,
I am not an expert, just the mom of a heroin addict, who has been around the block. This is what I think. Your husband knows everything there is to know about heroin. He knows the medical consequences. He is not a babe in the woods who needs you to rescue him.
What might get his attention is if you seek your own recovery, and focus on yourself. My ad was a little tyrant, and I ran around trying to fix everything for her. This is your husbands responsibility. Does this make any sense?
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:52 AM
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I'm not an expert either. I don't know if pushing the heroin/cellulitis issue will do anything except cause turmoil. If the possiblilty of losing the best thing in his life doesn't make him stop, why would the fear of a condition that antibiotics and a morphine injection can clean right up? I am thinking about you and please...take care of yourself////////////Marian
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:46 AM
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There is NO excuse for the Doctors ignoring his tracks. It makes me sad also, to see the direction the medical system in this country is going. Just having a E.R. experience, they seem like they just don't care about anything, and sure as heck don't want to actually HELP. Grrrr

They knew, they just ignored it.

Prayers for you, and your hubby....
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:04 AM
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This is going to sound a little cold & empirical, but........

I don't see anything wrong with gathering data about the health effects of heroin use. It sounds like good data from scholarly journals, pretty solid and irrefutable stuff. Gathering it has three effects:

1) it feels good inside because it gives you something to show your husband, in the hopes that he will truly pay attention
2) if his reaction to your helpful act is denial and irritation, it tells you something about what you're in for with him in terms of defending his drug use
3) if his reaction is positive, you know that you're both working on the same side of things, against a common enemy, and that's good.

The danger lies in how much and how often you do this. Part of our recovery is always knowing when to help and when to back off in order to keep their problems on THEIR side of the street. You already know, on a logical level, that if he wants to use, he will use, and a stack of peer-reviewed journal articles stacked from here to Venus aren't going to stop him. Personally, I would stop at doing the research, finding the good evidence, talking to him about it once, and leaving it for him on the kitchen table.

Anything more than that might just be obsessing and wasted effort on your part. It's already obvious that he doesn't want to hear any more about it. It's also obvious (to me, anyway) that on some level he probably does believe it, but doesn't want to invite any more such helpfulness on your part by telling you he does.

This from a veteran of many years of living with a heroin addict, so take it for what it's worth. And mine was a nurse, and brilliant, and so of course she knew EVERYTHING and wasn't open to any new data. Cellulitis was a problem with her as well, but of course it had nothing to do with her using....of course not....

Good luck with this.

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Old 04-25-2007, 08:09 AM
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hugs to you!!
i hope tings will gtbetter !1 i hope he feels better soon!!
hugs to you and my prayers your way!!
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:10 AM
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junkyswife.......just would it feel to you if you just took one week off thinking, obsessing, researching, talking, arguing, and blogging about his addiction? (or as much of that as you are able)

Do you think you could try it? You expect him to be strong, to resist his urges, and not to use, because it's not healthy for anyone. Are you willing to take this step too, to see how it feels to constantly crave and not be able to answer the craving?

Would you feel somehow less, if you did that? Is it the most interesting thing in your world right now, the only thing that deserves this much of your talents?

Just wondering.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:12 AM
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Thanks for your feedback everyone!
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:20 AM
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Thumbs down

I had it in my mouth from a bad tooth. It almost killed me. I became septic and had to have Massive antibiotics but it took a few months for me to get over it.
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