I had a ‘new’ friend I met at work (I owned a party rental company and she is one of the foremost event planners in the land) who called and suggested we go to the movies. I love movies. Where else can you stock up on bad things to eat, sit in the dark eating them while watching someone other than you fall apart on the screen? I love movies.
We met at the theatre and she sat down as the lights dimmed and said, “I brought brownies. Do you like brownies? I put something special in them.” I like brownies almost as much as I like movies. And, something special in them? I’m thinking chocolate chips. Please don’t judge me.
We sit back and she hands me a brownie as the movie starts to unfold. Fifteen minutes later, I remember thinking, “That is the most delicious brownie I’ve ever had, and this movie is going to win every academy award in the world. And, I really think my new friend is going to be a girlfriend for life. She is fabulous. What a great night.” Half way through, I thought to myself, “I gotta have me another one of those brownies.” I will say that I knew they had pot in them by then, but I swear I did not know it when she gave it to me. She would tell you if she were here that I would have to be one stupid chick not to have gotten her point about the brownies when she offered them to me, but I still contend I’m smart as a whip.
A little background here. I had gone to my step sister and brother in law’s house for Thanksgiving and met someone who was singing the praises of Concerta. He believed he had ADD and after spending some time with me at the holiday, he thought I should take the medication too. Thinking back now, I should have realized that maybe it was just the holidays that made me appear to need ADD medication, but then again, I am always all over the place. Anyway, I was on the medication and feeling very focused. It’s great stuff.
So, we finish the fabulous movie, lights go up, and I realize I am one stoned sista. We head for dinner and a restaurant nearby, and I order something or other and my diet coke. A little later, I feel my heart start to race. I’m 56 years old, very single, and my heart hasn’t raced in a long while. Lilly’s talking to me, and I am starting to panic. The food comes, she’s talking away, stoned out of her mind, and I start to try and figure out just how fast my heart is racing. Then my chest starts to hurt. I don’t know this person that well, it’s only our second ‘new friend date,’ but I look at her and think to myself, “I have to say something or I’m going to die here and my daughter will think I was a stoner and she never really knew who I was at all. She will never trust anyone in her life again. She will grow up alone without her beloved (exaggeration for sure, but you know what being stoned does to perspective) mother gone and no one to light her way.”
I look earnestly across the table and say in my most calm voice, “Lilly, you have to dial 911 right now. I’m having a heart attack.”
She stops dead in mid sentence. “Are you kidding me?”
“No, dial 911.”
She grabs the waiter walking by without a moment’s hesitation, looks him right in the eye and says, “Go call 911 right now, my friend is having a heart attack.” He looks at me, and she says, “Now!”
She comes over to my side of the table and starts talking calmly to me and my heart is racing faster and faster, and I know I’m going to die. The policeman arrives just as the ambulance driver is putting me on the gurney. My friend is telling the EMT guy what happened and the officer walks over. Lilly looks at the officer and says in her most, “I’m a planner and know how to organize all events” voice and says, “Officer, could you step over there for a moment? My friend here needs a minute alone with her EMT.” I’m watching this thinking, “She is one good planner.” He’s looking at her thinking, “She is one stoned chick.”
He says, “No.”
The EMT, who gets it for sure, looks at me and says, “Are you taking anything other than brownies?”
“Yes, Concerta for my quick and brilliant unfocused mind.”
They start to move me out and Lilly is still in planning mode, “Clear this aisle please,” she says clearly. “Bride is coming through.” I really think she said that. She says she didn’t.
We get into the ambulance and I can hear them talking to the mothership on the radio, “Heart rate 199 and rising. We can’t get a vein for the IV.” The dispatcher says, “Just go now. Don’t keep trying. Head to Southampton Hospital.” I realize this is no joke.
I look at the EMT lady and say, “Am I having a heart attack?”
She puts her hand on my arm and says, “You are going to be fine.”
I grab her shirt collar and say, “Listen, don’t f*^&k with me. Am I having a heart attack?”
“I think so.”
“Well please tell my daughter that I loved her and that I don’t use pot.” She just looks at me.
By the time we get to the hospital my heart beat per minute is no longer on the rise, and it’s clear the danger has passed. We go right in to the check in place and a lady is there to take my information. By now, Lilly and I are laughing. A lot.
“Christine Pot Head.” He he he.
“When was your last period?”
We crack up, really loud. The information taker is laughing too and a doctor sticks his head in to see why we are all laughing. My business partner who is waiting in the waiting room said later he could hear us laughing all the way out there. Lilly called him from the ambulance. She didn’t know who else to call and planners call people when they are stoned in an ambulance with a new friend they don’t know very well.
An hour later, I’m in an examining room feeling foolishly fine, and the doctor comes in for his final review.
“We see this kind of reaction to pot and Concerta a lot, although never in someone as old as you.”
We burst into laughter again, and he is laughing too. I’m such an ass, and he has to point it out to me.
It’s a few years past this near death experience. I’m off Concerta and back to my old lovable ADD self. I haven’t had pot since then, and we have seen many a movie together and laugh a lot about our night at the hospital.
Usually I think my missives on this blog have a point. This one does not. Enjoy this fabulous Sunday.
This blog post was first published in 2009, and it’s the first one I’ve ever recycled, but a number of people asked me to republish it … with the new Pot laws emerging, it is relevant. If you read it already, my apologies.