Loving My Awesome, Healthy Life

Hi Everyone!

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!

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  1. Congratulations Dayna!!!! SO very happy for you. You give us all hope. Bella going back to Dr. Ducic for 2nd surgery 2 weeks from today. Hoping for more positive results like the 1st one. Great to hear about you and your life. All the best to you!
    Janet from Seattle

  2. Thank you for writing this and I’m very happy you’ve found relief. I’m not sure this is what my daughter is starting to suffer from, but I will keep it in mind if things continue. My chronic migraines have definitely affected my life in more ways than most people can even imagine. I don’t want my daughter to have to live like I have.

    • Tina,
      I hope this at least gives you another option to look into for your daughter. There are several Facebook pages dedicated to nerve decompression that may also be of help to you.

  3. Dayna,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to many. I suffer from similar headaches similar to yours and have been suffering for the better part of a year. I would love to e-mail you to get some more info regarding the surgery.

  4. Dayna – your story is truly inspirational! My almost 16-year-old daughter has been dealing with NDPH for 1.5 years. Like you, we have tried all the treatments and alternative therapies along with an endless list of drugs that did nothing for pain and just gave her horrible side effects. She just finished DHE infusions at UCSF 6+ weeks ago with no change in the headache. I was crushed. We live in California so I am not sure your doctor is an option but I am going to RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH! My daughter is a fighter, just was you are and I am determined to get her teenage life back. Thank you for sharing your story and giving all of us hope. I wish you the best.

    • Missy,
      That is so great to hear! Don’t take no for an answer and keep researching and asking questions! I am from Chicago but after exhausting all options we flew to DC for my surgeries. Best decision ever. If your daughter wants to talk please let her know she can email me.

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