Staphylococcus aureus

I have never had Hep. C. I have never had any of the “typical” infections that are associated with needles, at least what I understand the typical infections to be.  Thank God. One infection I did end up with, I had in July of 2010. Staphylococcus aureus. On the morning of July 3rd, a friend of mine and I went to the gas station to fuel up and get some bottom shelf cigarettes for the day’s runs. I was able to hop out of bed, get dressed, get in the car and ride to the convenient store just up the road. When I stepped out to exit the Accord, applying pressure to my right foot I felt the pain. Something was wrong. And I know it hurt, because prior to leaving for the gas station I injected about 25$ worth of some Westside “heavy d”- the name of the heroin I had been choosing to buy for about 2 months now. Its was good. I started off slightly hobbled and annoyed. I didn’t think much of it, at least not enough to let it get in the way of my daily rituals. Dope, and obtaining dope was my number one priority, and I didn’t care if I woke up missing a leg, I was getting well. Nothing was more important than not being sick. So I pushed on, doing my best to leave the growing pain in my foot as far out of my mind as possible. A big ol’ blast and a thick brown shot would cure it, no doubt. Throughout the crime spree of my day that was my life, I would feel hot white flashes of pain, and a terrible burning sensation in my foot. I forged on. The day progressed as it did any other day, without a hitch, and after about 5 hours of hard earnings, I was at the spot. I smoked, cooked, and fixed the physical pain in my foot, and the mental agony away. I felt nothing.

The next morning, I come to from my nod, with a cigarette burn on my chest, a very common thing for junkies, we will light up a smoke, and are unconscious before we have a chance to stub it out. And the burn hurt, until I felt the other pain. My foot was on fire. An unbearable hot acid feeling was throbbing in my foot, which was now bright red, and twice it’s normal size. But it would have to wait, I had more important things to do. I had to feed the beast, and time was precious, I hadn’t saved much from the night before and the clock was ticking. Luckily, a friend of my father had stayed over that night and was able to loan me a couple 8 mg. Dilaudid, this would help. I went to step off the bed, and my foot told me that I would have to get this looked at. It would not take any pressure, in fact, the slightest brush, or wind would send red liquid lightning up my leg and almost break me down. I had to put my arm over my friend’s shoulder, like an injured quarter back and one legged hop to even move. I would be of no use to the cause today, I could’t walk. I needed some help. I enlisted a couple we used with occasionally, in a deal that would now diminish my take on the day. Instead of splitting the dope in half at the end of the run, we would be splitting it in fourths. This would mean that we would have to be going extra hard today. Well, they would, because I would only be laying in the back of the GMC Jimmy moaning and writhing in pain. It would be a very long day. And it was. Minutes passed like weeks, as I laid with my back on the back seat and my foot elevated in the air, feeling this horrible hot poison run from my toes to my knee, and back again. What seemed like a month later, I was fixed. Floating. Numb. That night, I was woken up by the fury raging in my foot. No shot, no hit, no pill would numb it. I had to do something. NOW. My friend and I hobbled out to the Accord and off to the hospital we went. Moaning and in agony. Upon arrival to the hospital, I am wheeled in on a hospital wheelchair. Feeling every bump, crack, and piece of gravel as we passed in my foot. It had ballooned to almost 3 times the size and was now fire engine red. I meet the doctor, they take xrays, and I am discharged in a temporary cast with “a broken foot”.  This did not seem right to me, but, they’re doctors and I am not. Plus, they sent me out with a prescription of hydrocodone, which would come in handy. I was told to follow up with a bone specialist that friday and to return if the symptoms continued. They did. In fact, it was the very next night. I fell asleep after returning to the hotel room I called home thanks to more heroin, dilaudid, and hydrocodone. And I slept until the pain came calling once again. This time, I took the cast off to examine my foot, which was now black. This was not a broken foot. I had to go see someone else. So we drove to the next county over, for a second E.R visit in 24 hours. All it took was one look at my foot and the attending doctor slapped a bracelet on me. “That is no broken foot son, that is some kind of massive infection”. No shit. I was immediately given 13 mgs. of morphine and started on I.V antibiotics. I would not be leaving this place for 11 days. During this time at the hospital, I was given I.V Vancomycin and Zosyn, as well as oral Bactrim, I.V Dilaudid and lots of Percocet. I was also shooting smuggled heroin and smoking crack in my room’s bathroom. The pain was hell. At one point my fever had reached 104.3 degrees. I was sick. I had to be covered in ice and monitored round the clock. A massive hole opened up in my foot and specialists had to come and over see the entire ordeal. I remember at one point the specialist indicating that I might be losing my foot. My heart sank. We really did not know which way it was going to go until about the 8th day, When the giant ulcer in my foot finally stopped bleeding and the infection stopped oozing. I could see through my foot. Like someone had fired a low caliber pistol right into it, knocking all the meat and tissue clean out of the bottom. I remember having this sick feeling while I was in the hospital for those days. The feeling was relief. Despite all the pain in my foot, and all the worry about the outcome- I was relieved- that during my stay I would not have to be chasing dope all day. Running the streets. I knew where my next meal was coming from, I had a warm place to sleep and I was not sick. Thanks to the medication. I was finally discharged with a script of Oxycodone. A very large number of them. Which I went through in 2 days. I was told to follow up with a Podiatrist. I didn’t. I was right back into the swing of things. I did take the antibiotics as prescribed, because they didn’t get me high. And I wanted to keep my foot. But due to my negligence, my foot never healed properly. My fourth toe on my right foot is permanently disfigured, shriveled and shrunken. The fine ligaments and inner workings of my toe never came back. And I am often reminded of this when the numbness, pain, and pins and needles feeling returns as a result of my preoccupation with more. A physical piece of wreckage.

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