I'm curious and skeptical at the same time. I still don't understand how marijuana -- even in a synthetic pill-like form -- is going to help with the nausea.
"It's standard protocol," Cindy says. "It's not like you'll get high or anything, if that's what you mean, but it helps take the edge off. I can get you more information if you'd like."
I don't think I ever went against a recommendation from Cindy, Anne, Dr. Collins. Anyone, really. I'll ask plenty of questions. I will try to gather as much data about a new procedure, or a new medicine, trying to understand symptoms and side effects and everything, but I never said "no." I trusted their judgement. Anything to help cut back on the puking at this point has to be a good thing.
And so we try it. Tiny pills that I drink with a lukewarm glass of apple juice.
I'm not sure if it works at first. It seems to work. It almost immediately seems to work. At least I think it does. I can't really tell.
My stomach begins to relax. I don't feel quite so on edge, quite so ready to run to the bathroom if a milk commercial comes on the TV, or somebody walks past my room with a bag from Jack in the Box (how can something that smells so good smell so terrible at the same time?). So I'm thinking it must be working, right, because the badness is less bad?
The weird thing is that after a few hours or so I'm actually starting to get hungry. I mean, I am so completely not hungry that this is pretty surprising. I haven't been hungry for days. All of my "meals" are coming from one of the bags dripping into my catheter. My mouth still tastes like metal, and I know I'm not hungry, but I can't help it. I don't even want to think about food (based on multiple past experiences). But I do?
What the hell?
I'm thinking that a burger would be really good right now. A Kidd Valley burger, with fries, a strawberry shake. I could call Dad or Jane, and I bet they'd bring me something when the come to visit. Mmm. Onion rings dipped in tartar sauce. Tasty. I can practically taste the food, it's been so long, my imagination suddenly working overdrive.
Reality jolts. Another sensation -- more familiar, more easily recognized -- interrupts my thoughts. Oh, man. This is what the pills were supposed to prevent. I'm scrambling to get out of bed so I can make it to the bathroom in time. Looks like it didn't work after all.
* * *
We try again. We try several times over the course of several days. I'm really trying to pay attention, to notice how everything feels, both before and after. The frustrating thing is that it always seems like it's working at first, but then it almost always goes bad after a few hours. I'm always getting hungry.
And then it dawns on me: although I never smoked pot in college, I was more than familiar with some of the after effects when buddies who did partake in a little weed now and then would come pounding on doors, just shy of two o'clock in the morning. Domino's would be closing soon. Did anybody want to get a pizza? Anyone? Like a large pepperoni or something?
Funny stuff. Hilarious. The unexpected consequences of a pill that I will no longer be taking, even though it turns out that they were working fine all along.
It was the munchies that were killing me.