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Bruising on arms after quitting??

I recently found out that my husband had been stealing pills and shooting up Morphine at the hospital he works at. His arms were covered in bruises, but he hid them with long sleeved shirts. (It's still fairly cold where we live, so I didn't think anything of it.) He claims he's been clean since he confessed to me, which was about a month ago. However, I'm still seeing other bruising occur in areas that he already injected. I'm not seeing any new needle marks, just new bruising on previous marks. For reference, the bruising is yellow. No fever, no soreness, and no sign of infection.

Is this normal? As I said, I'm not seeing any new injection sites, but he could possibly be using the old ones that haven't healed? I desperately want to believe him, but I'm very paranoid. He hid his addiction from me and there is little trust right now.  
21 Responses
Avatar universal
what  did he do to stop....did he go cold turkey.....if so he would have gotten really sick....detox?? suboxone? if he just said he quit with out getting sick or taking medications I doubt he ever quit.

my drug of choice was heroin so I know all about track marks....sometimes that yellowish bruise could appear a few days after injecting but not a month later...I haven't injected in a week and all my marks are not gone yet marks could be there for awhile but not new bruising there should be no reason he is getting new bruises out of no where
Avatar universal
its  a very hard thing for him to beat injecting opiates is the hardest thing to stop....be supportive but also don't just take his word look for signs and that's def a sign
Avatar universal
Just because you're not seeing them doesn't mean it isn't happening. I've watched people shoot dope in their femoral artery, feet, hands, and legs.

Morphine can also be administered IM, or Intramuscular, meaning they shoot it right into a muscle in their arm like a regular shot, or even their hip.

When I was addicted to Dilaudid I preferred shooting it IM because the high lasted longer and I was working in a medical environment with nurses, so tracks on my arms would have been seen quickly and I could hide it that way.
Avatar universal
He quit cold turkey, and went through about a week of hard core withdrawals. Vomiting, restless legs, huge anxiety, overall restlessness, no appetite. The withdrawal signs are gone, with the exception of occasional restless legs. But he's not showing any other signs of using. Just the yellow bruising. Also, the bruising is going up his arm, where there are no needle marks.

The only sign I have to believe he's no longer using is his schedule. Before I found out, he would occasionally get sick when he had a few days off from work in a row.(And had no access to the medication) (He works 12 hour shifts at night, and his days on and off are never set weekly.) Around his 2nd or 3rd day off, he would show signs of sickness. Of course, his family and I were terrified. This was before I knew about the drugs, so I have no clue what was wrong.

He just went back after 4 nights off, and during the 4 nights, he showed no signs of withdrawal, just the bruising. I'm a housewife, so I'm with him all the time. I would have known if he had been using at home. That's why I'm so confused about the random bruising.
Avatar universal
I've only seen marks on his arms and hands. I've definitely looked at the rest of his body when I could, scanning for any other marks. This is and isn't related, but my parents were both addicts for most of my life. It actually killed my dad about 5 years ago. I'm very paranoid about drugs, and even drinking.

When he confessed, I actually took pictures of his arms and hands, and I refer back to them if I think I see an additional needle mark. So far, I haven't. They're just the same marks. Some are having a hard time going away. He's picked at them and scratched them until they've bled and had to rescab over.
Avatar universal
I know I've already sent you reply, but I wanted to add that I'm also confused about how to handle it. I've told him multiple times that if he relapses, to tell me. I won't get mad, I'll just help him and we'll get through it together. I've also told him that if he doesn't tell me, and I find out some other way, that I'll have no choice but to leave. We've only been married a few months, and this was such a huge shock. There has to be communication and trust.

I've confronted him about the bruising a few times, and he swears he's not using. He offers to do a drug test, and he acknowledges that I've given him several opportunities to come clean and tell the truth, and he would have taken them had he relapsed.

It's not the fear of relapse that bothers me. I know this will be a long road ahead of us. It's the fear of being lied to, and never being able to believe him when he says he's clean.
7808984 tn?1406680965
brusing can last for week or 2 id say from personal use but im not sure what hes picking and scratching because needle marks dont really leave a scab u might see a injection site if its a old needle but other than that its pretty much seemless ......after prolonged use with a needle my skin wouldnt and didnt bruise at all so keep that in mind as well, nor did my arm hurt n e more after injection.....during my first cpl months using IV or when i pin cushened my arm with cocaine it would be hard to even extend my arm fully but after your arms gets used to the needle and or u dont miss the vein it wont hurt either, but if miss ouuucchhhh for days up to a week
Avatar universal
His are definitely scabbed. He has psoriasis, so he's always scratching his skin. He has scratch marks that scabbed over, as well as needle marks. The marks aren't huge, but there are noticeable since they are scabbed and red around the edges. I know he's not using dirty needles, just because he works in a hospital with a never ending supply of packaged, sterilized needles. I have noticed he's using different sizes. Some are insulin needles and some are larger.

He's only been using for about 4-5 months. But he did admit to me once he started, the dosage went up pretty fast. He's a bigger guy and knew he already had a higher tolerance for pills, just from previous experience with pain pills from surgery/old injuries. That's why he started shooting up.
7808984 tn?1406680965
we all progress at a alarming rates that why overdose is so prevelent nowadays and always really, our old dose only gets us off sick and we wana get HIGH so we go harder and harder in the paint to oblige the mind and when we do that we seldom get cocky and overdue it ......ive pullled plenty of ppl out of the light some had done barely any and others did enought to kill a horse!!!
Avatar universal
You can always but a drug test that gets instant results and have him take it. Ge may be mad but if he is clean he will take it. Then if he passes it can be a step towards trusting again. If he throw a fit refuses with excuses of not having to peove it etc, then he is probably using. If he takes and doesn't  pass then he needs to get help.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
That makes a lot of sense. As I said in an earlier comment, both of my parents were addicts. At one point, my dad was going to 4 doctors in different states, multiple pharmacies, and his dosage would most likely kill anyone else.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the suggestion. I've thought about it, and he's even suggested it in moments when I confront him. Honestly, I think he suggested it thinking I would never follow through with it. I think I may grab on in the next day or two and see what happens. Thank you!
Avatar universal
Yes...I'd definitely put a surprise drug test in his hand and demand he take it now...

Is he a nurse diverting morphine from patients?  He'll ruin his life doing that because, I promise you, he'll be watched if even one person suspects anything and they'll watch for weeks before they have him arrested.  It's risky behaviour all around.  And also, addicts lie and we lie A LOT!   Get on top of this right away BEFORE he gets caught...
7808984 tn?1406680965
another thing to remember is u can shoot up in hundreds of places in your body not just your arm and hand, its the "safest places" if its considered safe but we do have legs and feet and necks and what ever place one can find a vein so he might be switching locations......does he seem upbeat happy or does his overalll mode vary from day to day....is he sleeping well thats usually a tell tale sign early in recovery if hes gettin flip flop sleep cpl hrs a time hes more than likely still clean but if he went from puking curled up in a ball not sleeping well to all the sudden sleeping thru the night i would say he fell of the wagon, it fair to say he needs to build up trust again and you shouldnt feel bad for not trusting him but if he does pass the test you need to embrace his soberiety and try and relax a bit if possible
Avatar universal
He works in a critical care unit, where most patients are on pretty heavy narcotics. From my understanding, after dosing a patient, instead of disposing of the vial of morphine, he would take it and inject it when he could. No one was noticing because he works night shift and it's very slow and quiet. There are also not a lot of nurses on the floor at that time.

He has already updated his resume and on his next off day he's going to be looking for another job. Most likely home heath care, where he's out of the hospital environment, with little access to drugs. It took longer than we wanted because he was also recreationally smoking marijuana and we were waiting for his system to be clear for a drug test at the new job.
Avatar universal
Please let us know how it all turns out. I really hope he is clean. He seems to want to be honest.

When he takes the test, watch him do it. There are ways to cheat.

Again I am hoping for the best result. If he passes maybe some couples counseling would be a good things to understand each others feelings. And you can heal and trust him again. You both can rebuild your strong relationship. I think you have a good basis.
Avatar universal
From what I can see, he's hasn't injected anywhere other than his hand and arms. Just being married and having no modesty with each other, I see him when he gets out the shower or changing everyday, and there's nothing alarming on his body.

His mood varies, and his sleep is always different. It's hard to tell if that's from drugs or his schedule. He's been working 7pm-7am for years, and night shift has been hard on him for the last year. It takes him days to adjust and get on a daytime schedule, so on his nights off, his schedule is always sporadic. I will say though, when he does sleep, it's never consistent or restfull. He's always tossing and turning, or just not sleeping.

Also, thanks to everyone for chiming in. This is the first time I'm talking about it to anyone other than my husband, so forgive me if I'm a little antsy.
Avatar universal
He can still be caught doing that because Pharmacy personnel pour over the Narcotic Sheets. He would need to be "signing  out" an amount that the patient is only getting half of, let's say. That's how you get caught...when you give your patients more pain med than anyone else in a 12 hour period and documentation looks sketchy...He'll lose his license when he's caught so talk to him about that. He'll be taking more and more as his tolerance increases and then he'll mess up the documentation...

Good luck with this and I'd definitely spring a drug test on him...without warning.
Avatar universal
Thanks so much. We both have addicts and/or alcoholics in our families, so I know he's not proud of it. I do believe he's made an effort, but we still have a long way to go. We've discussed and are both very open to counseling, so that will definitely be in our future.
Avatar universal
I've discussed that with him, and from what I understand, the hospital he works at is very relaxed. I've visited him while he was working and seen multiple nurses sign off for each and approve things without really going far into it. They're also kind of old fashioned with their equipment. They do, however, give random drug tests.

Regardless, we're both on pins and needles about it. The urgency to get a new job is definitely there. I'm ready for him to move on to a better, more professional environment where he can avoid that situation.
7878119 tn?1395001494
Being a nurse who was doing the same thing-and got caught- get him out of that job ASAP.  Being without a nursing job for the short term and with no history of drug use is nothing compared to having your license suspended and not working as a nurse for YEARS!!!  I know from experience- and I NEVER would have stopped if I hadn't have been caught.  
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