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My Medical Evaluation at the Weed Clinic in LA

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Can I just thank you for seeing me without an appointment, doctor? Especially on Christmas Eve. I called five clinics and you're the only one that's still open today. I would've come earlier but I just got to L.A. three days ago, and today was the first day my head felt clear enough for me to run errands.

So, yes: Anxiety.

I do get depressed sometimes. I also get headaches and pronounced PMS, and sometimes my period is 5-10 days late for no reason, but anxiety is the thing.

No. No cancers, and I'm grateful for that. No nervous system disorders or chronic pain. I'm lucky, Dr. Lurvell. I'm a healthy, attractive woman, and I've given a lot of thought to what my anxiety feels like. I wanted to be very specific so you can recommend the appropriate strain of weed:

My anxiety is a swarm of crows flying relentlessly at me till they spin me into the center of a black fluttering funnel of blinding uncertainty.

Yes. I can be clearer. Because it's actually a mental taffy machine stretching gooey helplessness and futility all around my heart. Often there's a muscular tightness involved: I feel a dozen fists of taffy kneading into my chest muscles, when I take a moment to contemplate my desires.

Okay, have you read about the Constellation of Worries that appears at the inception of any event, glittering in the configurations of all possible miserable outcomes?

No, never heard that phrase. Interesting: "Dread of impending doom."

It's funny because I had second thoughts when your receptionist said the consultation would be $70, since the security guards at the dispensary on Melrose gave me coupons for clinics that do it for $30. So I thought, Nora, don't obsess! Now's a great time to work on being patient. Wait till after the holiday. Shop around. Don't let your phantoms of insecurity cause you to get hosed on Christmas Eve.

But when I told your receptionist I might leave, he said you'd do it for $50, as a favor, since I don't have California ID or proof of residence. So I'm glad it's working out. You're both so supportive. I find as I get older that support is a magic potion transfiguring doubt and loneliness into beauty and light.

Yes, I had a therapist, about 15 years ago.

Sure: I've tried Xanax, Klonapin, Ambien, Quetiapine, and Trazodone. The Xanax and Klonapin were prescriptions and the rest were gifted to me by ex-boyfriends or borrowed from medicine cabinets.

Also Nyquil Cough. But I'm done with those drugs because they're all the same. You feel relaxed for a few hours, drift off, and then wake up wanting to cry from feelings of intense fragility and the loss of something you seem to have forgotten you needed, which now you really need. Though you can't imagine what it is and assume it can never be found.

I appreciate your concern. I do have a sensitive system. Are you saying I should avoid weed?

How about this: I'll tell you what I'm looking for, and you tell me if there's a strain of weed for it. If not, the $50 cash is still yours, for your time and advice.

Incidentally I didn't come to L.A. for the medical marijuana. I came because I've been unable to fall in love in New York and I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

You're writing that down? I didn't mention my S.A.D. on the questionnaire because it's so sunny in L.A., and because I'd like to focus today on finding the weed that will recover my Soul's Original State.

For instance, my soul still had some of its original value when I moved to New York about nine thousand years ago and met a young, spirited Italian Jewish lawyer at a Kabbalah lecture at the New York Open Center.

He pursued me for two years, took me to trendy restaurants, answered the phone whenever I called, helped me practice my Italian, told me suspenseful trial stories, and told me, one afternoon in Bryant Park when he was trying to say goodbye because I wasn't into him: "I love you. From the bottom of my heart, I love you." Eventually he met someone else and she told him to stop contacting me.

But yet my soul retained a small golden glow, and I met other emotionally available men, whom I let slip away, not sure why, and then I took acting classes and dated actors, voice lessons and slept with opera singers, did the bar scene and fell for a depressive assistant D.A. who liked Vicodin and cocaine and drinking and gambling, but he wasn't open to love, so I dated school teachers and screenplay writers and personal trainers, and I emerged up out of the vortex as the Ideal New York Single Woman.

Write this down, Dr. Lurvell, it'll help with your weed research.

*I have a fertile sense of humor, mildly cynical.

* I arouse quickly, given a mutual chemistry, even if he only texted six hours earlier and was two hours late and I was asleep when he arrived.

* I can straighten out the sheets after he leaves, feeling nothing.

* I can resume relationships at random with guys who vanished two or more years ago, having returned now with no explanation, as long as they're not stalking me, to my knowledge.

* I've kept several ex-boyfriends as friends after they married someone they met on the internet.

*I no longer hold men accountable for anything they say, their feelings, or plans to contact me.

But beneath the cakey residue of many thousands of men and their vast and varying psycho-sexual agendas, there still pulses within me a romantic yearning for a stable, fulfilling bond.

Agreed: I won't fall in love till there comes an opening in my heart through which my true soul can flow forth.

I'd like to have some influence over the pace of that opening. Would you want to look into a combination of strains? Because my ultimate goal is to return to New York in the spring having moved through major emotional and psychological shifts that will allow my deepest yearnings to fulfill themselves as if by magic. Not by 11,000 years of bottomless self-reflection and rigorous self-bolstering and 22,000 life lessons.

Of course, doctor. You can't rush a flower. You can't force open a door that's on an automatic sensor, if you're not close enough to the door. Unless you use long, invasive tools or brute force.

But I'm convinced that cannabinoids contain love-inducing agents. I've extended several relationships from a few days or weeks to a few months -- sometimes longer! -- because of the intimacy and patience weed affords.

One can't be under the mental pressure I put myself under and still be able to relax and sense who I am and what I need in the presence of another with his own needs and ravenous gaping holes in his heart.

Except there was no weed with the good lawyer. Instead he told me how, when he left his in-house position at an insurance company in Brooklyn to start his own firm in Manhattan, he often had moments where he felt he'd never sustain his own business. Nagging doubts. Until one night in a taxi crossing a bridge into Manhattan, he looked out at the skyline and thought: "With all those people inside all those windows, and so many of them one day likely to need a lawyer, there's no way my business will flag."

So that's the hope and tenacity and self-nurturing we'll weave into our weed prescription! And then it should be easy to track the imminent return of my Soul's Original State, which resembles the shape of love.

Great! I just take this form to the dispensary and I'm all set? I'm so glad it worked out today, Dr. Lurvell. You radiate kindness. Maybe that's all I needed. A friendly chat with a mature man.