Posts by Dayna:
I apologize for the huge gap between posts but I will try to update you on what has been going on. So, I am in currently in my second week of my second year of pharmacy school (YAY). I finished my first year of professional school this past May and my GPA has never been higher than it is right now! I have gotten into a great routine, love my friends, and basically am having an awesome college experience.
Now, onto my headaches… I am currently training for a half marathon that is coming up on October 17th and I have been running almost every day. I have not had one of my headaches since I started training in July! This is a new record for me. I cannot remember a time in the past 6 years when I went more than a week without a horrible headache. In a way, I think I’m waiting for the shoe to drop. I’m hoping that if I continue to exercise every day that my streak will continue. I’m also really watching what I’m eating. I have to cook all my food myself now that I live in an apartment, so I know exactly what is going into everything that I eat. I think my eating habits coupled with the endorphins from my running are what have been helping me. I do notice on the days that I can’t run I get anxious and might have a twinge here or there. For the most part, though, I’m doing great.
This summer marks 4 years since I had my first surgery.
Looking back, would I still do it? Absolutely. It gave me the chance to have a real life.
Although I still sometimes struggle with sadness and anxiousness that stems from the years I spent trying to figure out what on Earth was wrong with me, I am thankful for my headaches. You have heard me say this a million times, but I am thankful. Without my headaches I would not have the drive to become a pharmacist. I would not have the experiences that I use to empathize with patients. I believe a person is the sum of their experiences. Without my experiences with my health, my family, and my friends I would not be the person I am today.
Six years ago when this journey started for me I didn’t think I would get to go to 4-year college or even survive to get my high school degree. Today, I have less than three years until I graduate with my doctorate.
As always, if you ever need anything please do not hesitate to contact me through the website. If you have questions about the surgery, other options, or just need someone to talk to, please contact me. I’m glued to my phone and always check my email.
Edit: My surgeries were with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, DC. (DucicMD.com) If you need any info about them (they’re awesome!) or the surgery feel free to go to their website or you can always ask me!
P.S. Here are some photos of the past year! As I said before, I love my life!
So, it’s been a while since my last post but I have some good news! I was accepted into Pharmacy School at Purdue University! After two long years of working my butt off I am so happy to be starting this wonderful chapter of my life in the fall. I am doing so well and I absolutely love life. I’m doing things I never thought I would ever be able to do. In the last two years I’ve gone away to college, joined a sorority, and even went skydiving! There’s nothing that can hold me back from living my life now.
This summer will mark 3 years since my first surgery and 2.5 years since my second surgery. Since the surgeries I have gotten increasingly better and my headaches are pretty much under control now. I still have triggers that give me headaches every once in a while. Dairy foods like cheese and milk seem to affect me along with atmospheric pressure. In that respect, living in Indiana is not the best for my headaches but my family makes it worth it. While I’m at school I try to work out or run at least 4 times a week. I find this really helps with my stress level and in turn helps ward off my headaches. I also started doing yoga even though I’m extremely uncoordinated and usually fall down, but its fun and who doesn’t want to be like YogaGirl ;). Other than that I haven’t found any medication that will make a headache go away or get better. Usually I just go straight to bed if I get a bad one and it’s gone when I wake up. Thankfully my headaches are under control now and I haven’t had to file anything with Purdue saying I had any disability, which is something we thought about doing when I started school two years ago. I am so thankful for everything my surgeries have allowed me to accomplish. If it wasn’t for Dr. Ducic I definitely wouldn’t be going to college or pretending I was good at yoga. Although having chronic headaches has been one of the worst things I’ve ever gone through, I’m still incredibly thankful for the opportunities I have been given that have stemmed from headaches. My headaches are what prompted me to go into Pharmacy and this website has allowed me to help many people who are suffering from the same things I was.
My one piece of advice to anyone suffering from headaches is to NEVER give up. I spoke to a countless number of doctors when I was looking for treatment. My parents and I were always asking the doctors to treat the cause of my headaches, not their effects; we were interested in the root of the problem, not medicating me. The persevering attitude we adopted is what lead us to a course of action so quickly. Surgery was the answer for me, but it may not be the answer for everyone. Everyone’s body works differently and responds to treatments differently. I hope everyone currently suffering from chronic headaches is able to find something that allows them to have a normal life again. Don’t stop looking for answers! As always, if you have any question about my treatment or anything else please contact me! I would love to hear from you!
Here are some updated pictures of me from the past year. As I said, I am loving life!
Hello everyone! I am about to head back to West Lafayette for another awesome year at Purdue, so I thought I would just give you an overview of my first year of college. All in all I had an awesome year. I met some amazing people, got pretty good grades, and have been feeling pretty well. Throughout the year I did have a few headaches from time to time but I think they were mostly due to weather changes or things that I ate. Since my surgery, I have become more sensitive to changes in humidity and food with lactose. So as long as I didn’t eat a milkshake while it was raining I was in pretty good shape. There were some instances where I would get so stressed about school that I would get a headache, but I’m pretty sure that’s a common issue in the life of a college student.
When my headaches did get pretty bad there were a few times when I had to take pain medication, but that only happened about 3 or 4 times throughout the year. I’m not really sure why I have become so sensitive to weather changes, but from what my mom and I have found that seems to be a pretty common issue after people have the surgery. Maybe I was always sensitive to that, but I never really realized it because of how bad my headaches were. As for the lactose issue, I really have no idea how that could have happened. Although, avoiding cheese and ice cream in the dining courts probably did help me avoid the freshman 15 so I’m actually pretty thankful for that.
I’m really just relishing in the fact that I was actually able to attend college. If I hadn’t had the surgery I really don’t think I would have been able to go to college at all, especially not at a Big 10 university so far from home. Having this surgery really opened so many doors for me and helped me figure out that I want to be a Pharmacist. I know I was given a gift and I really want to help as many people as possible overcome headaches so they can have the same opportunities that I have had. Please don’t hesitate to email me or my mom with any questions you have about of the treatments I have had, we would love to talk to you!