The Methamphetamine Cook House Children

These two are with me forever


Two laughing little girls.
How it could have been, and should have been. Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

It has been 20 years but I can still see their skeletal limbs, still feel their pounding pulses, still smell the stink of their unwashed little bodies.

They were both sequestered in the social worker’s office, running wild, tearing up the place, unable to control themselves or still their manic movements.

Jana and Jolene, age three and five, had been brought to my Emergency Department (ED) following their father’s arrest for drug manufacture and distribution.

Mom had vanished.

The police wanted the girls medically evaluated. And the two needed a safe place to stay.

With help from the social worker and some ED techs, I was able to perform rudimentary physical examinations on both girls. They were held in the tech’s laps and lavishly petted, like recently-captured feral creatures.

Once I determined it was safe to do so, I asked that both Jana and Jo receive weight-appropriate sedatives, benzodiazepines (Valium-like medications) to help slow their racing hearts and calm their hyperactivity. When slightly calmed they were brought food and encouraged to eat. Neither girl was much interested.



Michael Burg, MD (Satire Sommelier) 😬
The Narrative Arc

The “MD” & “um” in Medium, and the “er” in wisenheimer | Doctor Funny editor/czar | Sultan of satire | disgraced former parking lot attendant