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I would make a terrible junkie.

Last night I did my first gonadotropin injection. And I used a dirty needle.

The last time I plundered the bathroom cabinet for supplies was in January. At the time I didn't have a sharps container, so I left my used needles in a jumble by the sink. For some reason I resheathed the syringes in their wrappers — something you are never, ever supposed to do because if you're a dumbass like me you could get hurt — and simply left them there. When we next expected guests, the time came to clean the bathroom and whisk away all evidence of cycling, so I simply shoved the whole drugstore back under the vanity, dirty needles and all. I thought I was being responsible by collecting all the used needles and putting them in the same paper bag for easy detection and disposal when I acquired a sharps container.

You know where this is going.

Last night, operating on the knowledge that my clinic provides fresh injection supplies in an anonymous paper lunchbag, I reached into the sack where I had neatly gathered all the used needles, pulled out a syringe with a flourish, and filled it with the speed and precision that are my hallmarks. (This only means that I didn't spray much of the medication, the precious, precious nectar, onto the mirror.) Something was wrong, but I couldn't figure out what until I'd emptied the last of the prescribed four amps. The mixing needle looked too short and too fine.

And of course it was.

Now, this wasn't a total disaster; you always change needles between mixing and injecting, anyway, so I wasn't in any real danger of plunging a filthy needle directly into the skin just west of my navel. And as used needles go, this one would have been relatively unsullied, having only been used once in the disease-free belly of a thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent girl who just says no.

But it would have been blunt. It would have hurt like a motherfucker. And with my luck, I would have ended up with every available flavor of hepatitis and gangrene. Bad enough that I let my purest gonadotropins be contaminated by the leftovers of four months ago.

You know, I might just start using those alcohol swabs again. Or paying attention to what I'm doing.