Florida Marijuana is proud to be able to bring the knowledge of Jaime Cruz to our readers with a new segment that will feature her content designed for medical marijuana patients in Florida.
Jaime Renee Cruz
A brief history on myself.
I experienced back pain for the first time in grade 10. I was an active gymnast and it had taken its toll. I’m an Air Force veteran with 25 yrs in the medical field.
I have run the storybook gambit of short and long acting pain medication, injections, anti-inflammatories, etc… I also have MCTD, which, for myself, is comprised of Lupus with overlap symptoms from Sjogren’s and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I experienced a particularly severe flare in 2016. In a matter of months, my weight dropped from 140 lbs to 97 lbs with 13% body fat. I was cachectic and grossly underweight for my height of 5’4″.
On September 26, 2016, I nearly lost my life. I went into hypovolemic shock. I had, moments before, told my partner, Joe, that I felt I needed an ambulance. After several hours of fluid resuscitation, I was transferred to ICU with an IV to force my blood pressure to stay above 100 systolic. After transfer from ICU, I remained hospitalized for several more days with several specialty consults and various tests. Upon discharge, I followed up with GI, Hematology and Rheumatology.
Lupus had taken aim at my bone marrow and my digestive tract. I showed anemia of chronic disease and autoimmune pancytopenia. The GI specialist scheduled the standard two diagnostic tests, EGD and colonoscopy. Upon conclusion of the EGD, I was informed that I had gastroparesis with accompanying gastritis among a couple other three-plus syllable words. My stomach was not emptying as it should, causing my body to ignore nearly all caloric intake. I had stopped the weight loss, but was unable to put weight back on. I had no appetite and severe bouts of acute nausea.
November 2016 is when I met Joe’s mom, whom I’d been told was a bonafide granola-baking, macrame-making hippie with a great molasses cookie recipe. She only made molasses cookies for one reason, to allow the spice and molasses to assist in masking “the dank, as we so lovingly call it”. I did some rudimentary research to acquire the best cannabis for my particular needs. We settled on Bubba Kush 🙂
I have to back up a tad. I found out recently that I had an anxiety disorder and PTSD and had been having panic attacks for two decades. I had been coping with the trigger by avoidance. That stress can bring about a flare.
Moving forward again, Bubba Kush… If you recall from the beginning of my journey of adulthood, I joined the USAF. I never judged my friends for smoking cannabis, I simply did not partake. It was outside the boundaries in my mind. Enter the molasses cookies. At first, it was a few cookies here and there. I started gaining weight! I was on the rebound from this severe flare. I started bringing cannabis to Joe’s mom and we would bake molasses cookies. As I did more research, I learned about decarboxylation prior to baking the cannabis into a cookie. Then I learned how to make CannaButter. Before I knew it, I’d gained back 30 of the 43 that I had lost. My clothes fit again, I looked healthy and I felt good. I felt really good. Really really good. I believe that point is made. I wasn’t reaching for Percocet as often, and frequently forgot to take one at a scheduled time.
Fast forward one year. I was making molasses cookies with decarbed ground flower flour at a ratio of 14 grams to 12 dozen cookies. Joe and I deduced that we could expect a 10% THC content on the cannabis and therefore surmised I was packing 1400 mg into 144 cookies. Our estimate was about 10 mg per cookie. In July 2017, my spine physician was in agreement that I was a prime candidate for MMJ. I saw a local physician in Fort Myers, Dr. Sonn, in December, 2017, to get the process started. I received my approval email in January, 2018. I’ve since discontinued opiate pain medicine and with minimal withdrawal symptoms with medical cannabis.
It may have taken me another month to come out of the cannabis closet, but I have formed a hobby around this new passion. I’m a microdoser, if you will. I hope to help others openly enjoy what cannabis has to offer. That is my driving force behind 420RxCCC 👩🏻🍳🌱💚
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