Medical Marijuana Patient and AIDS Awareness Advocate Deana Martinez Discusses Quality of Life Improvement Through Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Patient and AIDS Awareness Advocate Deana Martinez

Deana Martinez Discusses Quality of Life Improvement Through Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana patient and advocate Deana Martinez discusses how her quality of life has dramatically increased for her and her family now that medical cannabis has been introduced into her AIDS treatment.

Deana is also an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention and has been featured in local Denver media.

Medical marijuana patient and advocate Deana Martinez discusses how her quality of life has dramatically increased for her and her family now that medical cannabis has been introduced into her AIDS treatment.

Deana is also an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention and has been featured in local Denver media.

Transcript: Hello my name is Deana Martinez. And on December 2, 2008 I found out that I had advanced AIDS. That is when I began to educate myself as far as cannabis and its medical benefits. I had 21 surgeries, they began when I was 18 and I had never been tested for HIV. I had injections for 3 ½ years, every 6 weeks, into various parts of my body due to nerve condition, pain, we thought. And had no idea. So I just got really sick. Got sicker and sicker. They tested me and came back and told me that I was HIV positive but they thought I was much sicker than that. And needed to have me checked. So I went and did a test and on December 2nd I found out that I had 12 T-cells. And for those that are familiar with T-cells, and what that means, it meant that I was in full-blown AIDS. The advanced stages, and I was very sick at the time. So that’s when they told me that I was in the advanced stages I needed to get things taken care of, that I would never see 100 T-cells, come home and prepare my son, take the meds and we’ll see what happens. And so that’s what I did. I came home and told my son. Prepared him, at 16, for me to die. Prepared myself to die. Started to take the medicine. I had used marijuana prior. I started using it in probably about ’99 medically, with all the surgeries and everything, so nausea, vomiting, and those types of things. So I had been using it that way, that capacity, but that was about it, as far as medically, really it was just the nausea and vomiting. So it might work here. So I started educating myself about AIDS, and I started educating myself about marijuana. And that’s kind of brought me to where I’m. Granted I’ve been in corporate America since 1984, not something I go around advertizing that marijuana is part of my life. But not until extreme sickness came my way, did I learn the benefits of, and the medical use of it. Not just the nausea and it will help you eat. The true value of the medicine. I started working with a caregiver; I started learning about the medicine. I was going through so many symptoms at that point. I was so sick. That I was looking to anything. The doctors were, here’s meds, here’s meds, here’s meds. It’s like these are making me worse. I have other side effects to deal with. I have gone from massive narcotic doses of Oxicontin 60mg every 4 hours for 3 ½ years. To detoxing cold turkey off that, to Vicodin. And then Vicodin 6 to 8 a day, the big ones, and now with my cannabis use, I take 1. I learn something new about this industry everyday. And it’s a new benefit. Whether that’s to me personally, that’s sick, or whether that’s a child where that’s helping them with their Autism, or a senior person who’s finally able to hold food down the first time in months. To someone who has experienced menstrual cramps like you would not believe, and now they don’t have to live on Advil and rip up other parts of their body. So then I started learning more, what are these pharmaceutical drugs doing to my body? Just started scaring me. And having my physician then say, honey it’s a great idea and I’m willing to work with you guys to figure it out, meaning my caregiver and me. So that’ what we did. Ok, I’ve got nausea, vomiting, intestinal issues, some anxiety, various things going on with my body. Let’s see if we can’t medicate. So I learned that I could have a piece of candy first, and then I could take the meds that were going to save my life. But I could start eliminating some that were causing problems. So to go from 18 medications and 52 pills a day, I’m down to (counting) 12 pills a day, and 1 Vicodin. So but it is only through cannabis I’ve been able to do that. That’s only trough learning. Use the candy when I can’t swallow or when I am gagging. Or tincture oil when I am in a lot of pain. Then at other times I can vaporize which will keep it during the day and work and be productive and so forth. And be able to get out of the bathroom. Which is where I spent all my time at first. So I have been able to learn different ways of medicating myself, hand in hand with my physician, and whittled my meds down and go from 12 T-cells to 430 as of December 1, 2010.

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