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Starting way back in my junior year of high school, about five years ago, I began to struggle with headaches frequently. At first, it was not my primary concern because I just thought it was normal to have a headache four to five times a week.

However, making it several months into my junior year, my headaches were frequent to the point my mom had me start tracking when I had any headache- tension, hormonal, sinus, or migraine. This was to help see how many days I had to deal with one and what the type was as if I could tell. After I finished a month, I went to see my pediatrician to see if something would help. Unfortunately, I was left with nothing but advice to “take it easy” because I could be too stressed. Not to mock my former pediatrician, but that was a waste of my time.

It sucked.

Most of the time, I would wake up with one and deal with it the whole day because I had nothing else to do besides take medicine and hope for the best. I often felt unwell to do anything; I didn’t want to go to school, call into work, leave work early, or cancel plans with friends.

Headaches can come with many minor or major symptoms; some you may need to go to the doctor for. It was usually one after another for me. Meaning that some days I would have just a slight tension headache and nothing more, but there were also days when I was sensitive to light and felt dizzy and nauseous. I don’t miss those high school lights in the cafeteria.

After fighting a few years with headaches, I noticed a slight change when I started here at Bradley University. So I started working out more, getting the nutrition I needed, getting a little more sleep, and finally getting a chance to see a better view of how I should be feeling.

Today, I still struggle with headaches, at least two days a week. However, from my junior year of high school year to my senior year of college, there has been a decrease in the severity of my headaches (sometimes). Recently, I found that reaching out to a chiropractor can help reduce my headaches.

I found that my neck leans to the right, which can be one of the causes of my headaches. Cervicogenic headache is what my chiropractor named this condition to be. I have only had one appointment and am planning to continue in hopes that I can decrease my headaches with this type of therapy.

The purpose of this was to inform my process of learning about headaches and the struggle with having them. But it was also to point out that not many people understand the experience of having headaches a handful of times throughout a week and the effort needed to, basically, act fine.

There’s that upside-down view of how I have experienced growing up compared to how others have. It’s weird.

Anna Brandon

Bradley U '22

Hi! I am Anna and a senior at Bradley University. I am a journalism major and a professional writing minor. I am a contributor to the Bradley Scout as well. I have always been a writer and a storyteller; I can’t wait to have what I love as my career. Besides writing, I like to paint, work out, and watch crime shows. 
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