HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.

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DIARY OF A SLOWLY RECOVERING HEROIN ADDICT

I used to take heroin at every opportunity, for over 10 years, now I just take methadone which supposedly "stabilizes" me though I feel more destabilized than ever before despite having been relatively well behaved since late November/early December 2010... and VERY ANGRY about this when I let it get to me so I try not to.

I was told by a mental health nurse that my heroin addiction was "self medication" for a mood disorder that has recently become severe enough to cause psychotic episodes. As well as methadone I take antipsychotics daily. Despite my problems I consider myself a very sane person. My priority is to attain stability. I go to Narcotics Anonymous because I "want what they have" ~ Serenity.

My old blog used to say "candid confessions of a heroin and crack cocaine addict" how come that one comes up when I google "heroin blog" and not this one. THIS IS MY BLOG. I don't flatter myself that every reader knows everything about me and follows closely every single word every day which is why I repeat myself. Most of that is for your benefit not mine.

This is my own private diary, my journal. It is aimed at impressing no-one. It is kept for my own benefit to show where I have been and hopefully to put off somebody somewhere from ever getting into the awful mess I did and still cannot crawl out of. Despite no drugs. I still drink, I'm currently working on reducing my alcohol intake to zero.

If you have something to say you are welcome to comment. Frankness I can handle. Timewasters should try their own suggestions on themselves before wasting time thinking of ME.

PS After years of waxing and waning "mental" symptoms that made me think I had depression and possibly mild bipolar I now have found out I'm schizoaffective. My mood has been constantly "cycling" since December 2010. Mostly towards mania (an excited non-druggy "high"). For me, schizoaffective means bipolar with (sometimes severe)
mania and flashes of depression (occasionally severe) with bits of schizophrenia chucked on top. You could see it as bipolar manic-depression with sparkly knobs on ... I'm on antipsychotic pills but currently no mood stabilizer. I quite enjoy being a bit manic it gives the feelings of confidence and excitement people say they use cocaine for. But this is natural and it's free, so I don't see my "illness" as a downer. It does, however, make life exceedingly hard to engage with...

PPS The "elevated mood" is long gone. Now I'm depressed. Forget any ideas of "happiness" I have given up heroin and want OFF methadone as quick as humanly possible. I'm fed up of being a drug addict. Sick to death of it. I wanna be CLEAN!!!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I Don't Want an HIV Test

MY DRUGGIEWORKER is on at me to get tested for HIV and hepatitis. I really don't want to get it done. I was negative last time. She doesn't think I have HIV (and remarked she thinks this is distinctly unlikely, I don't "look" like it either). But she believes hepatitis C might be a possibility because I'm so exhausted so much of the time.

Hepatitis is a "retrovirus" just like HIV. Retroviruses, as far as I understand, alter their genetic coding like the twists of a rubic's cube between generations, which is why it's so very tricky to make vaccines against them. Like HIV hep C is transmitted most "effectively" via blood-to-blood contact (hence the connexion with IV drug abuse). Unlike HIV, the hep C viruses are extremely hardy and are thought to be able to survive for months outside the body.

In the minds of the general public it's "dirty" (used) needles that spread such infections. In actuality hepatitis is said to be more likely spread via shared spoons. The microscopic viruses pass from the end of a reused needle into the drug solution and from here find their way into the myriad micro-scratches that lace the bowl of any drugs spoon, no matter how "new". It's here, in these scratches that hep C is thought to congregate and pass on and on...

... it is also suspected that hepatitis C can spread via used tourniquets (that could have micro-scabs all over them, even if they look clean) and other shared drug paraphernalia, including the citric acid or vitamin C European heroin users add to the mix to break down brown Afghan heroin.

On top of this, the testing nurse, who I've spoken to, says she knows cases who have NEVER INJECTED AT ALL ~ but caught the hep C virus most probably by sharing crack pipes. Tiny cuts or burns on the lips allow the virus in... and wahey.

In most cases hep C remains asymptomatic most of the time. When symptoms do manifest, they tend to be along the lines of constant fatigue, "brain fog", run-down-ness and depression. A very similar picture to the chronic fatigue syndrome I got diagnosed with over 15 years ago. So I really don't want hep C on top...

In a smaller number of cases, about 10-20% hep C leads on to severe liver damage and cirrhosis. In a smaller percentage, about 5% liver cancer results.

I know someone who is walking around today with less than half of his original liver as cancer ate a chunk out of it and surgeons cut a chunk more. He's the only person I know who's had interferon combination therapy to kill of the virus ~ and it worked! None of this is anything you'd go through voluntarily. After weekly "therapy" he said he could barely get out of bed for the first four days...

I have had at least four "blood bourne virus" tests, covering HIV, hep A, hep B, hep C and syphilis. Each one so far has been negative for everything, thank God. I don't know, am I being childish? I just don't want to be tested again, at least not right now. I also have reservations about just how "confidential" the results might be. Considering that even in the supposedly anonymous GUM clinic where you're encouraged to give a name "you can remember" with your real date of birth (for ease of memory, though I always made one up). Security cameras film your face on entering and leaving... Just how anonymous is any of this anyhow? Excuses, excuses I know.

I basically don't want the test...


ILLUSTRATIONS: top and bottom = HIV virus; middle = heptatitis C virus

18 comments:

Anonymous Drifter said...

I think you should probably get the test done despite it being such a pain in the ass. Always a good idea to keep on top of things. I'm glad the other testing all turned out negative.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Gleddy,
It's your life. Do what YOU want to do.

Love,

SB

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

If I were you I would get the test.

My Mom's uglier half got Hep C and took Interferon with cast it into remission. When my Dad had brain cancer they gave it to him as well, didn't work.

The previous comment is right, it's your life, do what you want to do.

Z said...

Now the thought's been put in your head, will it worry you anyway? I tend to go down the blissful ignorance route myself, but if I found myself looking at every time I was tired or had a headache as if it might be a symptom, I'd probably take the test. Fair enough for her to raise the possibility, but I don't think she should now go on about it to you.

Akelamalu said...

I'm of the mind I'd rather know than not. If you have the test and it rules out Hep C and HIV you'll be relieved won't you?

Syd said...

I would want to know what was causing the crappy feeling. If it were me, I'd get the test.

Baino said...

Why would you worry? Do you share needles or spoons? It's just a test. Get it done. The worst thing about being positive is that you can pass it on to someone else and that's not fair.

molson said...

Well test or no test, I hope you are Hep C free.

Jeannie said...

I would get the test just to show you are cooperative. You seem to have a heap of resentment about everything they ask of you. It may seem pointless but they will try more to help you if you are doing your part. If you don't want the help then forget it.

Calvin said...

I think you already know that you should have the tests done. So i will cheer you on to get it done.

sjAimee said...

It would be stupid of me to tell you not to get the test done. I'll tell you that I understand not wanting to get it done. I understand it VERY much..

My aunt has hep c.. She got it from her ex husband. she's doing okay.. You honestly wouldn't know she has it unless she told you..

Gledwood said...

Thanks folks. I will think about it ...

Puss-in-Boots said...

Well, whatever you decide, Gleds, I hope you haven't got hep C. It's not very pleasant...

lettuce said...

i think I'd probably get the test - better to know and get treated. But i understand why you don't want to....

life, eh? a combination of not enough choice and too many choices

Gledwood said...

I'm not sure I want to do it NOW... whatever I decide.

For one thing it makes a total mockery of "confidentiality" if my worker's pushing me into the test!!

Liz said...

Urgh, they're ugly little monsters! How long ago did you have the last hep c test? Maybe if you're always tired you should have it done? But, as you say, you were diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome so maybe not. I'm not much use! I'm sure you'll make your own mind up.

Gledwood said...

The last test was about 5 years ago.

I'm thinking of changing my mind and getting it done anyway...

I just didn't think it was at all confidential getting it done against my own name though she assures me this is not the case I'm not at all sure...

Sharon said...

Hi,

1 in 4 sexually active teenagers become infected with an STD every year, in the United States alone. Now, more than ever, we need to join together to fight this growing issue. As I read through your website, it is clear that you share the same passion for STD/STI awareness. We here, at Disease.com, understand the importance of STD/STI prevention and treatments. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. We can not reach every teenager, but together we can try.
If you need more information please mail me with the subject line as your URL.

Thnak You,
Sharon Vegoe
Disease.com

I WANT OFF METHADONE AS QUICK AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!

METHADONE ~ A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH







Heroin Shortage: News

If you are looking for the British Heroin Drought post, click here; the latest word is in the comments.







Christiane F

"Wir, Kinder vom Bahnhoff Zoo" by "Christiane F", memoir of a teenage heroin addict and prostitute, was a massive bestseller in Europe and is now a set text in German schools. Bahnhoff Zoo was, until recently, Berlin's central railway station. A kind of equivalent (in more ways than one) to London's King's Cross... Of course my local library doesn't have it. So I'm going to have to order it through a bookshop and plough through the text in German. I asked my druggieworker Maple Syrup, who is Italiana how she learned English and she said reading books is the best way. CHRISTIANE F: TRAILER You can watch the entire 120-min movie in 12 parts at my Random blog. Every section EXCEPT part one is subtitled in English (sorry: but if you skip past you still get the gist) ~ to watch it all click HERE.

To See Gledwood's Entire Blog...

DID you find my blog via a Google or other search? Are you stuck on a post dated some time ago? Do you want to read Gledwood Volume 2 right from "the top" ~ ie from today?
If so click here and you'll get to the most recent post immediately!

Drugs Videos

Most of these come from my Random blog, which is an electronic scrapbook of stuff I thought I might like to view at some time or other. For those who want to view stuff on drugs I've collected the very best links here. Unless otherwise stated these are full-length features, usually an hour or more.

If you have a slow connexion and are unused to viewing multiscreen films on Youtube here's what to do: click the first one and play on mute, stopping and starting as it does. Then, when it's done, click on Repeat Play and you get the full entertainment without interruption. While you watch screen one, do the same to screens 2, 3 and so on. So as each bit finishes, the next part's ready and waiting.

Mexican Black Tar Heroin: "Dark End"

Khun Sa, whose name meant Prince Prosperous, had been, before his death in the mid 2000s, the world's biggest dealer in China White Heroin: "Lord of the Golden Triangle"

In-depth portrait of the Afghan heroin trade at its very height. Includes heroin-lab bust. "Afghanistan's Fateful Harvest"

Classic miniseries whose title became a catchphrase for the misery of life in East Asian prison. Nicole Kidman plays a privileged middle-class girl set up to mule heroin through Thai customs with the inevitable consequences. This is so long it had to be posted in two parts. "Bangkok Hilton 1" (first 2 hours or so); "Bangkok Hilton 2" (last couple of hours).

Short film: from tapwater-clear H4 in the USA to murky black Afghan brown in Norway: "Heroin Addicts Speak"

Before his untimely death this guy kept a video diary. Here's the hour-long highlights as broadcast on BBC TV: "Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict". Thanks to Noah for the original link.

Some of the most entertaining scenes from Britain's top soap (as much for the poor research as anything else). Not even Phil Mitchell would go from nought to multi-hundred pound binges this fast: "Phil Mitchell on Crack" (just over 5 minutes).

Scientist lady shows us how to cook up gear: "How Much Citric?" Lucky cow: her brown is 70% purity! Oddly we never see her actually do her hit... maybe she got camera shy...

And lastly:

German documentary following a life from teenage addiction to untimely death before the age of 30. The decline in this girl's appearance is truly shocking. "Süchtig: Protokoll einer Hilflosigkeit". Sorry no subtitles; this is here for anyone learning German who's after practice material a little more gripping than Lindenstraße!































Nosey Quiz! Have you ever heard voices when you weren't high on drugs?

Manic Magic

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Gledwood Volume 2: A Heroin Addict's Blog

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