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Gutted, Insulated + Rebuilt

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Throughout my life, writing has always been a form of self-expression. I used journaling to help process life’s events beginning at age 10, thanks to some incredible advice. As the years went on, my writing evolved just like I did. Poetry was one of my favorite things to write for a long time, and it always rhymed. No matter where life took me, as long as I could get out what I was feeling on paper, I could figure out what my next steps were. Until I got sick. 

I would try and write, but I was so lost, scared, and in so much pain every single day my attention span did not allow me to. Reading became difficult too. Before I knew it, books, magazines, even articles on my phone were no longer interesting. My mind was so distracted by being in pain and uncomfortable that I could barely verbally communicate what I was experiencing, let alone journal it. 

One day I sat down, and the only thing that poured out of me were three words: gutted, insulated, and rebuilt. Those three words described me and the journey I had been experiencing. I wrote them over and over. I didn’t even understand their meaning at the time. Honestly, I may not have understood completely until right now, as I am telling this story for GRAM. This is a journey of barely surviving to thoroughly thriving, all thanks to cannabis plant medicine. 

Gutted. In 2010, the pain I had in my right side had become constant. Doctors ordered so many tests. I had x-rays, CT scans, upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, pelvic ultrasounds, kidney ultrasounds, blood tests galore, and so much more. I felt poked and prodded and confused. It seemed like every test they did, they found something–it just wasn’t the cause of the pain. Finally, a test done on my gallbladder called an ejection fraction was completed, and it showed that my gallbladder was not functioning at all. Although I showed zero signs of gallbladder issues, the doctors insisted it was the cause for the pain and made the decision to remove it. 

That was just the beginning. During the procedure they found a tumor on the underside of my liver. The size of the tumor pushed my gallbladder out of its way and caused the malfunction of the organ itself. Several specialists told me the tumor was inoperable. I made the decision to leave my home state of Florida and head to Colorado as a medical marijuana refugee. I knew the state had a medical program. The 13 pharmaceuticals I was on didn’t help me, but everytime I consumed cannabis, I felt some sort of relief. 

Not long after arriving in Colorado, I obtained my medical marijuana card and began consuming the plant in all of its forms; topicals, smokeables, tinctures, capsules, edibles, all of it. The pain in my right side reached an all time high. This time the emergency room doctors in Colorado would find what was causing my pain all along, what all the other agonizing tests had missed–a massive stone in my right kidney. I was prepared for emergency surgery. That surgery led to another one due to the fact I have two ureters on my right kidney. Stents were placed and then removed and along with the stent went the stone. 

I was finally out of right sided rib pain and was expecting to make a full recovery, that was until my menstrual cycle returned with a vengeance. I had been diagnosed with dysmenorrhea and polycystic ovarian disease years prior, and both conditions began wreaking havoc on my body. The only option I had left was a total abdominal hysterectomy. I was only 29 years old and had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life: my health or the ability to, one day, have a child. 

An error was made during the hysterectomy, and my right ureter was sutured down and after four weeks I became septic. I ended up in emergency surgery again, but this time to have a nephrostomy tube placed in an effort to save my kidney. After almost seven agonizing months of wearing the tube down my thigh, they repaired my bladder and ureter in a non-refluxing ureteral reimplantation. 

This is a journey of barely surviving to thoroughly thriving, all thanks to cannabis plant medicine. 

I was mad at my body and tired of having surgeries. I felt hollow. So many organs had failed me. I felt gutted. I just wanted to be well. My chart had been submitted to the Porter Hospital in Denver, Colorado. They had a specialist transfer from Emory University by the name of Dr. Thomas Heffron. He felt he could remove the tumor from my liver. So, in a 7.5 hour operation, they removed the “inoperable tumor.” This started a whole new chapter of my life. 

Insulated. Once the physical pain passed, it became one big mental obstacle. I would need to do so much internal work to come back to who I was, or at least who I wanted to be. I studied herbalism and tried to understand the herbs and plants I had been using that replaced my pharmaceuticals. I took online courses in self healing. I tried to write and journal, but the words would not come out. I sought professional counseling to help me through the roughest patches, and I relied heavily on my friend, cannabis. I studied everything I could about the plant. 

I knew that my body could not perform massages or be a nurse for that matter. I went through too much in a short period of time. So, I stepped outside my comfort zone, and I volunteered for a cannabis themed concert being put on for the consumer holiday known as 4/20. That fateful night led to a job offer and before I knew it, I was managing a medical marijuana dispensary. Day by day, I worked to make myself feel whole again. 

Rebuilt. Days at the dispensary taught me so much, including why so many people were choosing to use medical cannabis. After a year, my body and mind were ready to return to being a nurse or massage therapist, but with everything I learned, there was no way I could go back to working in a hospital. In 2014, out of pure frustration and an effort to combine everything I had learned, cannabis-infused massage was born. Headlines were quickly made, and Primal Therapeutics took off faster than I could have ever expected. Fellow massage therapists from around the world began reaching out and asking me to teach them. 

As of December 2019, I have taught massage therapy in 23 states and in several provinces in Canada and New Zealand. The curriculum I created is called Cannabis Massage 101. Every student remains hungry for more, so I have been working on 102 and plan to release it in 2020. The joy of writing has finally returned, and now my writing has a purpose. A severe fall in 2018 took me away from bodywork and allowed me to focus on creating new products for Primal Healing, the product line I initially created for Primal Therapeutics patients. We now make high CBD products so they can be available to anyone who may need or want them. 

I made the transition from barely surviving, to living, to thoroughly thriving all thanks to the cannabis plant. I could have given up. Instead I chose to dedicate my life to the cannabis plant by furthering its education to the masses. Cannabis saved my life on so many levels. The multitude of surgeries did leave me with some side effects. But, now I use cannabis for the symptoms I experience including daily nausea, pain, and discomfort. 

Featured

This Week | Nov 19

Featuring Mara Gordon

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GRAM has gone LIVE! Featuring writers, scientists, government officials, plant medicine specialists, celebrities, front line workers, cannabis experts, hemp farmers, researchers, and so much more through fresh video content. COVID 19 has caused us to think outside the box until we can put our magazines into stores again, we bring you GRAM LIVE!


November 19th, 2020

Nancy Moss talk with Mara Gordon for Part 2 – Putting Cannabis In Your Doctor’s Toolbox. If only all physicians had knowledge surrounding the ECS and cannabis the world would work much easier. Mara Gordon is putting in the time and the research and her whole system will soon have a revamping.


GRAM This Week is sponsored by…

ReleafApp – https://releafapp.com/
Frere Cheramie – https://www.frerecheramie.com/
Nugtopia Art – https://nugtopia.net/
Chef Sebastian Carosi – https://www.instagram.com/chef_sebast…
Primal Therapeutics – https://cannabismassagecolorado.com/
Trichom Health Center – https://www.trichomhealthcenter.com/
The Grateful Veteran – https://www.facebook.com/thegratefulv…
Mr Boomers Magic Kitchen – https://www.instagram.com/cannabenoid…
Magical Butter – https://www.magicalbutter.com/
True Terpenes – https://trueterpenes.com/

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Featured

This Week | Nov 12

Featuring Mara Gordon

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GRAM has gone LIVE! Featuring writers, scientists, government officials, plant medicine specialists, celebrities, front line workers, cannabis experts, hemp farmers, researchers, and so much more through fresh video content. COVID 19 has caused us to think outside the box until we can put our magazines into stores again, we bring you GRAM LIVE!


November 12th, 2020

Nancy Moss sits down with the one and only, Mara Gordon. They discuss activism and advocacy of cannabis plant medicine. Part 1


GRAM This Week is sponsored by…

ReleafApp – https://releafapp.com/
Frere Cheramie – https://www.frerecheramie.com/
Nugtopia Art – https://nugtopia.net/
Chef Sebastian Carosi – https://www.instagram.com/chef_sebast…
Primal Therapeutics – https://cannabismassagecolorado.com/
Trichom Health Center – https://www.trichomhealthcenter.com/
The Grateful Veteran – https://www.facebook.com/thegratefulv…
Mr Boomers Magic Kitchen – https://www.instagram.com/cannabenoid…
Magical Butter – https://www.magicalbutter.com/
True Terpenes – https://trueterpenes.com/

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Featured

This Week | Nov 5

Featuring Dr Janice Knox + Jahan Marcu

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GRAM has gone LIVE! Featuring writers, scientists, government officials, plant medicine specialists, celebrities, front line workers, cannabis experts, hemp farmers, researchers, and so much more through fresh video content. COVID 19 has caused us to think outside the box until we can put our magazines into stores again, we bring you GRAM LIVE!


November 5th, 2020

Our very own, Nurse Jordan Person sits down with the incredible Dr. Janice Knox. Not only is she a Board Certified Anesthesiologist, and Endocannbinologist, or Cannabinoid Medicine Specialist. Listen to her advice to medical cannabis patients and fellow medical practitioners, and learn more about the incredible medical practice she has started with her family of physicians.


We welcome Jahan Marcu. He is the Editor in Chief for the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine and a founding partner of Marcu and Arora. Listen in as our own, Nurse Jordan Person talks with Jahan about what led him to a life of Endocannabinoid science and medicine, how he became the Editor in Chief for the AJEM, and what his future plans are for his new consulting company.


GRAM This Week is sponsored by…

ReleafApp – https://releafapp.com/
Frere Cheramie – https://www.frerecheramie.com/
Nugtopia Art – https://nugtopia.net/
Chef Sebastian Carosi – https://www.instagram.com/chef_sebast…
Primal Therapeutics – https://cannabismassagecolorado.com/
Trichom Health Center – https://www.trichomhealthcenter.com/
The Grateful Veteran – https://www.facebook.com/thegratefulv…
Mr Boomers Magic Kitchen – https://www.instagram.com/cannabenoid…
Magical Butter – https://www.magicalbutter.com/
True Terpenes – https://trueterpenes.com/

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