Joanie gets stoned.
The day I brought Joanie back from the hospital, one of the drugs Dr. Thomas had prescribed for her was Marinol. He was worried about her appetite, as I was, and thought this might help.
Marinol, for those of you who don’t know, is a man-made form of cannabis. Marijuana is the herbal form of cannabis. I think everybody knows what that is. The popular literature is full of tales of the “munchies” that accompany the recreational use of the herbal form. Some us may even be able to attest to the truth of those tales.
Anyhow, Joanie couldn’t. She once told me that when she was a lot younger she had tried to take a hit of the herbal form, but since she had never smoked, and never inhaled, all it did for her was make her cough. She never tried again. I had to admit to her I couldn’t say that.
Dr. Thomas felt she needed something to stimulate her appetite. As I noted in the logs I started the day we got home, it needed stimulation. I picked up the Marinol at the drug store in the afternoon the day we got back, and gave her the first of the pills that evening.
Joanie couldn’t get comfortable on the bed that night, so she went out to the couch in the living room, where she seemed to do better. I heard her once in the night, and asked her if she was all right. She had got up about 3:30 for half of a cherry popsicle, and told me she was just having a problem staying asleep. Then, later, around 5:30, I heard her talking in her sleep, but didn’t think anything of it.
I got up about 6:30, and she wasn’t sleeping. She was sitting up on the couch, talking and gesturing, and I had no idea what she was talking about. I asked her if she was okay, and she seemed to be. She knew she was doing it. After that she drifted off and I thought that might be the end of it.
About 7:30, I was coming up the stairs from the basement after my shower, and I could hear her talking again. She was sitting there talking to someone, gesturing with her hands, and making no sense to me whatsoever. She seemed to think she was making sense, even though she couldn’t remember a word she had said while she was doing it. Muffin, who had been on her lap all night, was now sitting at the end of the couch, just looking at her. I imagined she was trying to figure out who Joanie was talking to as well. Now I began to get worried. The only thing that was different relative to the drugs she was taking, was the Marinol, and then I realized there had likely been a reaction with some of the other medication she was taking. She was, in fact, stoned, but not the kind of stoned you get from taking a hit off a joint.
We talked about what she was doing, she knew what she was doing, and even she realized it had something to do with the Marinol. She told me she didn’t want to take any more of it. I figured that was okay, since nausea wasn’t a problem, and Marinol had nothing to do with dealing with nausea anyway, it was to be used as an appetite stimulant.
I called Kathy Remboldt at Dr. Thomas’ office right after 8:00, and brought her up to date on the behavior I was witnessing, and opined that it was probably a reaction to adding Marinol to the mix of all of the drugs that had been given to her over the last three days. She seemed to agree with me, and told me it was okay to stop giving it to her. I would have anyway.
There was one other incident, but it didn’t last long, and by about 10:45 she asked me for a cherry popsicle. I was also going to try to get her to drink a Boost. That didn’t work. For after she finished the popsicle, she drifted off to sleep on the couch with Muffin on her lap.
She slept soundly until about 12:30 when she came to and got up to cath the Miami pouch and empty the colostomy. She asked me for an ice cold Boost, and I fixed her right up.
She settled down, and there were no repeats of the talking and gesturing from earlier in the morning. She seemed more relaxed, and asked me if I had heard anything about the lab work on the fluid they had taken from off her lung. I called Kathy again, and was told there was nothing to report.
The rest of the day was uneventful. I still couldn’t get her to eat much besides a cup of chicken noodle soup. Her appetite was just not there yet, and, of course, now that the man-made form of cannabis was off the table, there was no hope for the herbal form of cannabis either.
I would just have to keep working to get her eating as much as she should by cajoling, wheedling and trying to find the food she might eat. That was my job.