Ask any teenager. High school is tough.
Classes, homework, sports, clubs, hanging out with friends. Full schedules can leave the typical teen exhausted, even on a good day. Imagine handling the pressures of high school – let alone having any fun – while battling relentless migraine headaches.
That's exactly where Paige O'Leary of Kansas City found herself 5 years ago. A bright student and talented athlete, Paige entered the A+ Schools Program and played for the volleyball and golf teams. But when the headaches hit, it became impossible to keep up.
Her quest for relief began.
"First, I went to my primary care doctor, and they prescribed medications for anxiety and high blood pressure," says Paige. She found no respite from the intense pain she experienced at least weekly, and often daily. She continued her search for answers.
"The dentist gave me a mouth guard in case I was grinding my teeth at night," she says. "I saw the optometrist for a full eye exam, but it showed nothing."
A chiropractor treated her for neck misalignment, including a nerve block treatment. The block helped for a little over a month, but the migraines returned. Soon Paige was taking a dozen medications every day and struggling with the draining side effects.
"She missed more than 30 days of school," says Kim O'Leary, Paige's mom. "The doctor had to write a note to the school explaining her absences. In the A+ program, you had to keep a 98% attendance, and she was nowhere close."
Paige tried everything. Exercises for her posture. Urine and blood tests for food allergies. Acupuncture beads in her hands and ears. Trigger point injections in her back and shoulders.
Desperate to find a long-term solution, Kim arranged a visit to the Mayo Clinic. Paige saw exercise therapists, the sleep disorder team, a psychologist and a neurologist who suggested a treatment involving steroid shots in the back of the head. After treatment, Paige found herself pain-free almost immediately and stayed that way for nearly 10 months. But sadly, the break didn't last.