After my Intracranial Hypertension (IH) was in remission, and I had the last shunt removed, I found that I was still having headaches. My neurosurgeon, Dr. Boulis, offered a trial of a different medical device: a neuromodulator to help with the headaches.   Admittedly, I was a bit apprehensive, but I trusted Dr. B; he was the only neurosurgeon I’ve ever had who asked me what treatment I thought was best.


After what would hopefully be my final brain surgery, my Medtronic neuromodulator was implanted, and my life quality of life improved significantly. One of the many ways my life changed was was that I was able to be active again. I did so with the hopes of becoming a Medtronic Global Hero, which I accomplished. Following the Medtronic Twin Cities in Motion run, I decided to improve my mental health like I had improved my physical health. I opted to hike the PCT.  

To date, I have hiked 406 miles. This is a major accomplishment, considering less than two years ago I suffered from debilitating headaches. The hike offers a fair share of ups and downs, and I love the up days. I am approaching both colder temperatures and higher altitudes. This is a difficult combination for a lot of people, but for me, it is a lesson in perseverance despite hardship. I have a basic knowledge of how my neuromodulator affects my body, but I don’t fully understand why changes in barometric pressure cause me a great deal of pain. I know that with the help of science, I am living a full life, I’m hiking the PCT, but the upcoming portion is one that I’m starting to mentally prepare for…  

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