When I walked into the exam room, the olfactory evidence of marijuana hit me as if I had walked into a wall. If the lights had been flashing, and there had been earsplittingly loud rock music, I would have thought I had been transported back in time to the Grande Ballroom.
It’s often entertaining to interview stoners. Typically they have difficulty maintaining a linear train of thought. I encounter associations that I, sober, have difficulty following. So, I asked this soul how I could help them.
They told me that they used eyedrops (No, they did not know what eyedrops. Nor did they have said drops at hand. Of course not. Why would I care what medications they took?) They told me that they had a bacterial infection, due to these eyedrops. How, might you wonder, could they have a bacterial infection due to their eyedrops? Congratulations, you, too, can have a career in clinical medicine.
Now, for the loose associations. My new friend related that they had several transplants, of a sort that they could not identify. (Most of us might think that knowing WHAT SORT OF FREAKING TRANSPLANT we had received, might be nice to know. Just in case, ya know, we had to see some sort of clinical professional. Ever. ) Their exact words? “You know, a transplant of that stuff!”
Kinda unhelpful. Plan “B”: elicit indications of said “bacterial infection”. I expected something along the lines of discharge, or fever, or productive cough. Again, with the loose associations.
“I just know I’m sick!”
And, my friend, what sort of experiences led you to conclude that you are sick?
“I’m just sick!”
They told me in PA school, that, if you listen to the patient, their story will tell you what is wrong. I suppose that my instructors had never met my stoned new friend.
So, I examined ears, looked in this soul’s throat, felt for swollen glands, listened to lungs and heart, palpated abdomen, and found a completely normal exam, if you discount the marijuana fumes emanating from their every pore, and bloodshot eyes. Oh,yes: and, if you exchanged not a word with them.
So, trusting that the med list my MA had elicited from my mentally wandering friend was accurate (if you ignored the absence of any mention of, uh, EYE DROPS thereon….), I described my stock spiel of symptomatic relief medications available over the counter, and handed them a typed list thereof.
They nodded, agreeably, and shuffled to the door, off to wander the local environs.
Yep, I am DEE-LIGHTED! that marijuana legalization passed in our last election! How can that go other than well?
On the up side, it will provide a blatant and olfactory Jackwagon Flag. Once you encounter some happy-go-lucky soul out in public, wafting reefer fumes hither and yon, well, you may avoid wondering if they are a fool or not. Just sniff.