Drugs can make people do some amazing, incomprehensible things, and sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
One night, a phone call was directed to the ER by the hospital operator, who said, “I don’t know who else can help these people.”
The call was from two men sitting in the hospital parking lot in a car, and they were clearly distraught. They spoke very quickly and and hysterically. They stated that they were infected by some kind of bugs, and didn’t want to infect anyone else by coming inside.
I certainly appreciated their desire to not make anyone else ill, but explained there was very little we could do over the phone. They both agreed to come in eventually, but made us agree to wear protective gowns and masks. We were only too happy to comply.
When they stepped in through the ambulance doors, I could not believe my eyes. They were both wrapped head to toe in aluminum foil. Apparently they had decided that the foil would protect themselves and us from the “bugs.”
As it turned out, these men had been smoking methamphetamines for days on end. They had become very paranoid, and began picking at their skin, as methamphetamine users tend to do. Each person made the other more paranoid until they both were convinced that they were seeing bugs underneath their skin crawling around, which only made them pick and scratch more. They both were covered with many sores all over their skin from all the scratching. I sincerely wish that anyone considering meth use could have seen the sorry state of these unfortunate men. If that didn’t stop them from using meth, I’m not sure what would.