Tunnel Vision, Man


The following conversation recently took place in a local health care provider’s office. All names have been deleted in order to protect confidentiality and the sacred bong bond between doctor and patient:

Patient (hereafter referred to as “P”): “Doc, I’ve been havin’ these spells of tunnel vision, man.”

Doctor (hereafter referred to as “D”): “In one eye or both eyes?”

P: “Both.”

D: “How long has this been going on?”

P: “Oh, at least 5 or 6 years.” (translation: So long that he can’t really remember)

D: “How often does this happen?”

P: “Um, hard to say, pretty often I guess.”

D: “How long does the tunnel vision last when it happens?”

P: “Oh, anywhere from 5 minutes to a half hour or so, just depends.”

D: “On what?”

P: “Huh?”

D: “Depends on what?”

P: (chuckle) “Oh, I don’t know.”

D: “Have you noticed whether or not these symptoms occur whenever you go from sitting or lying down to standing up?”

P: “Nah, it happens no matter which way I’m situated.”

D: “Okay. Are you on any new medications?”

P: “Nope.”

D: “Do you drink a lot or use drugs?”

P: “Hell no, Doc!”

D: “Are you sure?” (the doctor had already checked the patient’s chart and seen that “cannabis abuse” was noted under his problem list).”

P: “Does a little weed every now and then count?”

D: “Yes it does.”

P: “Well then, I do smoke a little Mary Jane (wink, wink) about 3-4 times a month.” (translation: 3-4 times a week–or more)

D: “Have you noticed whether or not your tunnel vision occurs whenever you smoke weed?”

P: “Huh, I never thought about it. Do you think that might have somethin’ ta do with my tunnel vision?”

D: “Quite possibly.”

P: “How could we find out for sure?”

D: “Well, you could stop smoking weed for a while and if your tunnel vision went away, then I think you could safely say it was the marijuana.”

P: (very long pause) “Well Doc, I don’t think I want to find out that bad.”

D: (without missing a beat) “Well, okay then. Moving right along…”

  1. Mike the Eyeguy

    Of course, it’s funny but it’s not funny. Fortunately, he was one of the more functional ones. Well, all except for the tunnel vision, that is.

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hallelujah! I just checked the “What’s My Blog Rated?” site and I’m now a “PG!” Funny though, apparently it was the word “hell” that did it, not the marijuana.

  3. Donna

    You are just way too worried about being ‘too” nice. This is the oppposite of a trait found in most women.

    If you did a whole series on Hell you might get moved to PG-13

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    Don’t tempt me.

  5. Hal

    Another option, of course, would be to increase the frequency of his “Mary Jane” use (if that’s actually possible given his likely underestimation of his usage), and then see if his symptoms increase.

    Still another option would be to find out if the symptoms are more likely to occur from varied sources of his sacrificial weed. Maybe he needs to quit buying the generic stuff and stick to the “good stuff.” Or, perhaps the symptoms are more likely to vary based upon his mode of injestion – bong, joint, bowl, brownie, etc.

    The problem with all of these options is getting your addicted patient to REMEMBER any of these things.

    Congratulations on your recently updated rating.

  6. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hal–good suggestions, all. One or more of those might really get to the “root” of the problem, so to speak.

    I think the doctor was just eager to cut his losses and move on. Say, you sure seem to know a lot about options. Voice of experience? 😉

  7. Carolinagirl

    …and to think that some people have tunnel vision even with out any assistance…

  8. Mike the Eyeguy

    Yeah, we all get a little case of it now and then. And I’ve noticed this: no matter what the situation, the person who is next up in rank from me seems to have a particularly bad case of it. Funny how that works!

  9. Hal

    Regretably, yes. I had a feeling that my extensive differential diagnosis would give me away.

  10. Mike the Eyeguy

    I thought so. Oh well, now that you’re on the wagon (presumably), your extensive experience can only serve to broaden the vision of the patients who seek your care. 🙂

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