MIGRAINE PAIN FORCES VICTIMS TO SUFFER IN SILENCE

Originally posted on thecspn.com on September 23, 2016

Lack of treatment causes patients to seek unorthodox relief

Calista Busch | Staff Writer
Juliana Discher | Staff Writer

Lightning bolts zapping your head, hands wrenching your brain, nails being driven into your skull – for students with migraines, this excruciating pain is common.

Migraines are painful, recurring headaches, usually accompanied with adverse symptoms like flashing lights, nausea, and sensitivity to light, noise, or smell. They are different for each person that has them, varying in length, intensity and side effects.

Sophomore Delaney Durham said her migraines feel like someone is twisting her brain.

“It feels like someone stuck their hands in my brain and is cranking it around,” Durham said. “(It’s) like someone knocking on my brain.”

According to the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute (MHNI), approximately 10 percent of children experience migraines by late childhood. Despite this, there are still very few concrete methods for migraine prevention or relief as the cause of migraines is generally unknown. As a result, patients that experience them find their own techniques to help relieve the headaches. Sophomore Taylor Kling uses art therapy to reduce her migranes.

“Doing art reduces stress and contributes to less horrible headaches,” Kling said. “It just gets your mind off things.”

Senior Nihar Rama suffers from migraines along with his mother, Priya. Priya uses her art to express the pain of migraines because according to Nihar, the two feel the field has been neglected with research.

“Some people see things when they get migraines, and my mom is one of those people,” Rama said. “She sees distorted images. She takes what she sees and paints. There has to be more research done – there is some, but not nearly to the extent of some more commonly discussed diseases.”

Though the specific cause of migraines is unknown, it is thought to be the result of a constriction in the vessels of the head. It can be exacerbated by stress or a genetic predisposition. Kling said when she stresses, she experiences worse and more frequent migraines.

Research coordinator for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Janelle Allen has intensely studied chronic migraines in adolescents. Allen said her research has found social and academic experiences can be negatively impacted by migraines.

“What we see is people who have suffered from headaches and migraines, their performance at school sometimes goes down,” Allen said. “Their ability to focus and retain information sometimes goes down. Being present in social settings is diminished.”

According to MHNI, approximately 37 percent of children that experience migraines note poorer school performance and trouble focusing in class and on homework. Rama said his migraines were so severe in eighth grade that he had to be homeschooled for two months.

“I was getting migraines three to four times a week, so I was missing school consistently,” Rama said. “My parents decided to pull me out for a bit because they thought it was something in the middle school environment that was giving me migraines. Now in high school I don’t have them as often; I have them only around two or three times a month.”

Kling said her migraines have affected her productivity.

“It’s hard to concentrate when you feel like your brain’s going to explode,” Kling said. “It hasn’t affected my grades, but it has affected my ability to work for long periods of times on things and stay on track. It does affect how easy it is to complete assignments.”

Students have learned to adapt to their migraines. Rama said he now accepts his limits.

“I had to understand that you can’t do all the things you did before,” Rama said. “You can’t be so active.”

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ASPIRING PERFORMERS GET DIRECTION FROM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AT DRAMA CAMP

June 11, 2016

Calista Busch | Staff Writer

As the week draws to an end the curtains are closing on the Mason High School drama camp.

For kindergartners through eighth graders, that love acting, singing, or dancing, this is their week to shine. According to Rebekah Cychosz, Mason graduate and instructor of one of the acting and dancing classes, this camp is an opportunity for young kids to be introduced to theater and the drama club at the high school.

“It’s a place for kids,” Cychosz said. “It gives them an intro into different aspects of theater.”

Throughout the week, the younger grades worked on many skills with members of the high school Drama Club. According to senior Katie Kenniston there is a wide variety of classes that are led by members of the club, beginning at the basics and eventually delving into more in-depth aspects of theater with the older students attending.

“There’s dance classes and then there’s acting classes and singing classes,” Kenniston said. “If you’re an older kid you can take things like tech theater and makeup.”

This camp is an opportunity for the high school students helping as well. According to theater director, Allen Young, this is a way for high school members to improve their skills by teaching others.

“The (high school students) get an opportunity to reinforce what they learned by teaching it,” Young said. “Then, the kids get a chance to experience a little bit of theater over the course of the week.”

To the drama club veterans volunteering there, though, it is about more than just improving skills. According to Kenniston while the camp doesn’t directly correlate to their shows put on during the school year, it brings the high school members closer together.

“It grows us,” Kenniston said. “It helps us become more of a family because we do spend time in the summer together.”

Similarly, according to sophomore Sujaya Sunkara this camp is an experience for high school and younger drama enthusiasts alike.

“I love kids and I love drama club so it’s kind of a way to mix that together,” Sukara said. “It’s really just a good experience to get to include both in one thing.”

At the end of the week the skills the attendees have learned, culminate in a performance put on for the parents. According to Young, this performance is where the students apply the skills they’ve learned throughout the duration of the camp.

“During the week they put together a performance for their parents,” Young said. “(This is) to show off the skills that they’ve learned or developed over the course of the week.”

There are many opportunities available to the participants and helpers at this camp and according to Sunkara that is what the camp is.

“It’s really just a camp for opportunities,” Sunkara said.

 

 

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