“Apex Clinic gave me new hope!”
17-year-old schoolgirl, Beth Neely visited Apex Headache Clinic in desperate hope of finding a solution to her never ending headaches. With severe headaches lasting over four years, Beth talks to Ulster Tatler about what it was like, and how Apex Headache Clinic has given her a new lease of life.
Beth, tell us how your headaches began?
My headaches began four years ago and have been present ever since. I moved from London to Northern Ireland with my family and it was around this time that they began. There wasn’t any reason that we could think of as to why they started. My brother had an illness which resulted in headaches and so I was investigated to see if I had the same illness. I attended several doctors’ appointments, and carried out all recommendations, with no relief at all. I was also sent to paediatricians at the hospital, and again the outcome was the same. We literally tried all angles and the pain continued to get worse and worse, with no relief from painkillers at all.
How did the pain affect your life?
As a teenager, the pain had a major impact on my life. My parents had to tell all my teachers in school because there were days when I literally couldn’t concentrate at all because the pain was so bad. It was horrible going out with friends or family because I would be miserable the entire time. It greatly affected my school and social life. Those everyday tasks which people do effortlessly were practically impossible and although I struggled on, I often look back and wonder how I did it. My parents were always telling me to stop because they knew the tremendous pain I was in.
What led you to Apex Headache Clinic?
During an exam period one night, I was in floods of tears. The pain was so bad, that I couldn’t do any work at all. In seeing me so distressed, my dad took to the internet and found Apex Headache Clinic. He read an article that was previously published in the Ulster Tatler, about a teenager called Rachel who also suffered headaches. In reading it, he was able to draw massive comparisons between myself and Rachel’s symptoms, and we felt such relief that someone might actually be able to help. My dad called the clinic the next day and booked an appointment.
When I attended my first appointment, what I noticed straight away was that the team genuinely wanted to help. Nicole was confident that she could get to the source of the problem and it was the first bit of hope I’d felt in four years.
Nicole diagnosed my headaches as stemming from my neck. I noticed that my headaches were worse when I was studying and it was because I spent hours with my neck bent over a computer or book. I felt like a massive weight had been lifted.
How has Apex Headache Clinic changed your life?
To go from suffering headaches all day everyday, to the odd one is just unbelievable and Apex has truly changed my life. In the past, I was surprised if there was a day when I didn’t have a headache. Now, it’s the other way around! I am now mostly headache free. Although I still have the odd headache, it doesn’t affect the quality of my life at all.
What advice would you offer someone who is suffering from headaches?
I’ve been recommending Apex to all my friends! If anyone mentions having any sort of pain, I tell them to go there, whether it’s for physiotherapy, headaches or chiropody treatment. I would definitely advise people to try Apex, especially when you have explored all other avenues. I never thought that my neck was actually the cause of my headaches and could ruin my life. My life is now back on track and I have a bright future to look forward to!