Only in the past year was Cheryl Bartosiak able to do something as simple as roast a marshmallow without having to deal with horrible pain.
Bartosiak, 64, a former Alton Memorial Hospital nurse, underwent surgery by Dr. John Felder at AMH last September to relieve the effects of migraine headaches that had bothered her for 40 years. Cheryl had tried almost everything through the decades – and she has extensive notes to back that up – without success.
“I even changed my diet, which did help me lose 30 pounds,” she said. “But that also contributed to me getting osteoporosis. The headaches just got progressively worse through the years, and you get to the point where you’re almost resigned to the fact that you will always have them.”
However, when Bartosiak was referred to Dr. Felder in 2018 about some skin cancer, the conversation came around to her migraines. That’s when Dr. Felder told her about the procedure.
“It’s a whole new life for me,” she said. “It’s amazing the things I can do now that would have triggered the headaches before. Smoke was one of the triggers. So now I can roast a marshmallow for the first time in my life. And my daughters would always say ‘Don’t light any candles around Mom.’ Cologne was another one, or even the smell of chocolate.”
The dilation of the artery around her forehead was the problem, with the artery pushing on the nerves in that area, and Dr. Felder’s procedure loosened that area.
“The headaches just ran my life for a long time,” Bartosiak said. “I saw neurologists, allergists, cardiologists, migraine specialists, ENTs, took anti-depressants and daily Excedrin cocktails. I even hoped that menopause might help me, but it didn’t.”
Dr. Felder treated Cheryl first with Botox, which helped immediately, then the surgical procedure finished the job.
“It’s hard to live with someone who has headaches all the time,” she said. “So I hope that’s better now. I can’t thank Dr. Felder enough.”
Pictured above: Cheryl Bartosiak of Bethalto suffered with migraines for 40 years before the surgical treatment by Dr. John Felder.