TO ALL THE DADS:
A note from Dayna’s father. The website is called “My daughters headache”. It is devoted to the children who are afflicted with this problem, most of whom seem to be girls, but also to the parents. Dayna and my wife, Teena, seem to be inundated with contacts from Moms. We have yet to hear from a father or a husband. They seem to be in the background. So, I wanted to give you my perspective. I want the fathers to read this. When your child is sick it effects everyone in the house. This was certainly true for me. When Dayna got sick it hurt. I felt helpless. I felt unsure of what to do next. I didn’t know what to say or how to act or react. At first it was, oh well sorry you felt bad today. Then it was missing school and the slow and steady realization that we were dealing with a much bigger problem. It got worse still. It was not cancer or some other well known disorder. It was a headache. When Scotty Pippen got migraines and missed a Bulls game I laughed. But this wasn’t a migraine. It was debilitating, not only for Dayna but for me as well. When your child is sick and in pain. When nobody believes her or your wife that the symptoms are real, it becomes surreal. My daughter was vibrant and full of laughter and fun. She did well in school. She read so much I thought she ate books. T hen suddenly she was on the couch and unable to read or smile. It was real. To me it was unnerving. I found myself leaning on my wife for answers as much as the doctors. I also found myself getting upset and sometimes even distant. I wanted to take the pain away and give her her life back, even at the cost of my own. But there was no deal to be had. There was literally nobody. Few who would even believe it was real. Try the bio feedback they said or more drugs.A sixteen year old zombie is not the answer or a cure. I always laughed at the axiom that some doctors had to graduate last in their class in medical school. Until I met them. It seemed like most of them fell into that category and they seem to live at headache clinics. At its worst (I believe it was when I set up the camera and took hours and days worth of video of Dayna on the couch) I felt truly lost along with my family. I sat with Dayna. I remember putting my head on her lap and promising that I would never stop looking for an answer. I would never give up. I would never leave her to this monster that had taken her from me. Then came the internet. My wife never stopped searching and ultimately came across an article about a teenage girl in South Carolina who was helped by nerve decompression surgery. Teena found the child on facebook (a miracle?) and asked if she could talk with her mother. Mothers again? From there it was the connection to Georgetown University and Dr. Ducic. And from there two surgeries. I never prayed so hard in my life as I did during surgery that she would find relief. She did. It is not perfect and not complete, but the monster is gone and Dayna was allowed to move on with her life. As fathers we sometimes find it difficult to express our emotions. I privately cried with relief (a lot). When she felt better I told Dayna that she had to start this blog. That she was given a gift when so many others were still on the couch fighting the monster. It was hard to find the article about the girl in South Carolina. It would be easier for people to find this blog. I hear of fathers in the background doing other things while your wives and daughters are searching and fighting. I know it’s not because you don’t care or are not concerned, but because you don’t know what to do next. Read this and understand that you are not alone and there is hope. Put your head on her lap and tell her you won’t give up. Then consider all the options including the decompression surgery. Contact us through the blog and talk to us. Never give up. You are not alone.