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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of July 22, 2002

    Question:   I am a severe asthmatic. I am 33 years old and I've had asthma since I was 3. About seven months ago, I started having numbness on the right side of my face. It lasted for about six to seven hours. You can even see this through my expressions. This would occur about every other week. Now I am experiencing this at least once a week, sometimes two to three times a week. What is happening?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   I am 55 years old. Every so often I have pain that starts in my shoulder, runs down to the elbow then makes my middle finger numb, then index and thumb. It is a searing pain and I am unable to close my hand completely or it takes a lot of effort. It moves from arm to arm, my left will sometimes do the same but mainly in the hand and it's usually the baby and ring finger. Last night my whole right arm had the burning sensation and it would oscillate up and down in intensity...    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   I'm a healthy 24-year-old male. I quit smoking cigarettes about a year ago and also quit smoking marijuana a few months ago. I smoked both on and off for about 7 years and will never smoke anything again. I now regularly exercise, have been improving my diet and have at most a few beers per month. My question regards the safety of occasionally (1-4 times/month) eating marijuana (i.e., baked into brownies/cookies).    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer