VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Not feeling well can be a pain. But what happens when that illness is a headache, and one that seemingly never goes away? For Staci Tom, a Toms River, N.J. resident and mother of three, her chronic migraines had reached a point where her life was seemingly put on hold.
Since the age of 16, Tom had experienced nearly constant head pain due to unrelenting migraines. Since the stress of studying often triggered migraines, she ultimately decided to enter the workforce early, but the change didn't help. “I’d do everything I needed to do by noon, then go to bed.” she said. In some cases, she would be forced to miss work for weeks due to constant cerebral pain.
Tom visited countless doctors offices and emergency rooms, looking for any sort of relief. In some instances she was given a morphine drip and a head wrap, while in others doctors accused her of simply looking for drugs, and sent her home to cope with just a Tylenol.
It was during those dark days that Tom vowed she'd do anything to end the pain. With that in mind, the Jersey Shore resident traveled north to Westchester Medical Center and its newly formed Westchester Medical Center Headache Specialists department, the most comprehensive unit of its kind in the New York metro area. Working with surgeon Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, Tom underwent a surgery that would change her life.
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