8-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy Dies in US Custody on Christmas Day

featured image courtesy of (Reuters/Eric Gay/Pool)

Officials reported this morning, that an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy has passed away while in custody of United States Customs and Border Protection.

The young boy was showing several signs of early illness on Christmas Eve after being previously detained with his father. On Monday afternoon the boy was treated at a hospital in New Mexico where he was prescribed ibuprofen and amoxicillin for what seemed to be a common cold. After being released, the boy returned with “nausea and vomiting” only to die a few hours later.

This event marks the second death of a migrant child following 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin who passed away December 8th 2018 in El Paso, TX. Jakelin’s body was recently returned to Raxruha, northern Guatemala.

This is a developing story, information will be added as time progresses.

Get To Know Representative Anna Eskamani

As mentioned within my previous article,  Anna Eskmanai an Iranian-American woman, and representative of the Democratic party was recently elected in Florida HD 47.  She has contributed to the betterment of her community tremendously and continues to serve as an inspiration and mentor to young activists around the nation.  Last week, I had the honor of interviewing Representative Anna Eskamani over the phone. Below you can find the interview questions and answers.
1. Was there any specific event that sparked your desire to engage in civic discourse to make a change within your community and the nation?

AE: “My mother passed away to cancer when I was 13 years old, this was a traumatic experience for me and my family, however, at that moment I knew I would honor the life of my mother through empowering others and giving back.  Aside from this, my engagement with politics began at a young age. I partook in theatre within high school, however, Mr. Norris my AP Government teacher got me back into the fold of the operational side of civics. I attended, and currently attend, UCF which initially got me involved in a series of environmental movements, and Iranian organizations. I have always been  rooted in a foundation of having a professional career with constant non-profit advocacy.”
2. Throughout the duration of your campaign, it became evident the opposing side attempted to mark your actions and standpoints on progressive issues as “radical” what was your response or mindset throughout all of this.

AE: “I constantly reminded myself that my very existence was radical, the idea of a young woman of color, running for office, raising over half a million dollars, knocking on thousands and thousands of doors… they – the opposing side – would go to any extreme in the attempt to hurt or scare us, I grounded myself in knowing who I am and knowing the issues I was fighting for. I find in most cases the candidate in fire avoids talking about backlash and it’s so typical,  it is a fear of difference, and it is inappropriate, so I wanted to lead by example and clap back letting them know we weren’t afraid.”
3. Are there any current affairs that are at the top of your priority list, what do you ultimately wish to see change within the United States?

AE: “ There are many different affairs I’d like to address ranging from improving conditions for the hard-working Florida families, working to improve public schools, protecting the environment, fighting for increased health care access (mental health and reproductive health), while ensuring gun safety and regulations.  These affairs were also the root of our campaign, focusing on the many crises present today.”
4. Do you have any advice for young activists specifically in regards to getting involved within current affairs?

AE: “ Any young person should look for organizations that match their passions and if they can’t find them, then they should start their own and bring people together, I also advise the youth to look for internship opportunities and mentors. I am honored to be a mentor to so many and always show up for others. I truly believe that good leaders create new leaders and I want to make sure I can cultivate strong advocates and leaders through supporting them in any way I can.”

5. You’ve mentioned within various interviews etc. that you are very proud of your Iranian American roots do you have a message to other Iranian American individuals living in fear of their roots?

AE: “This is such an important question, throughout the campaign we were always authentic about our culture and our identity, the best advice is to just be yourself and be proud of how amazing our identity is.  Take pride in sharing your culture with others and know that you are never alone.”

I wanted to end this article with a sincere thank you to Representative Eskamani for allowing me to interview her and taking the time to have a genuine conversation with me and so many others throughout this exciting time.  I look forward to supporting Ms. Eskamani throughout all her future endeavors and witnessing the change she works for in action.

You can learn more about Representative Anna Eskamani here.

Tragedy Averted… America, We Have an Issue.

Featured Image courtesy of CBS News

BREAKING NEWS:

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Santa Fe High School 5.18.18 – Photo Courtesy of Yahoo

May 18th 2018.  7:45 a.m: A shooter opened fire on students at Santa Fe High School today killing over 8 individuals and injuring many others.  

May 18th 2017.  7:45 a.m: A shooter opened fire on students at Santa Fe High School today KILLING OVER 8 individuals  and injuring many others.  

May 18th 2017

7:45 a.m

Shooter.

Santa Fe High School.

KILLING.

OVER 8.

Santa Fe Independent School District has confirmed via Facebook that there were injuries sustained in an active shooter situation which has recently been contained with two suspects identified. One in custody the other detained.  The district has not confirmed the fatalities however it was mentioned that there could be anywhere from 8-10 deceased.

 

BREAKING NEWS:

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Dixon High School 5.16.18  – Photo Courtesy of ABC News

May 16th 2018.  Wednesday morning.  19-year-old former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle to open fire near the auditorium of Dixon High School in Illinois.  Mark Dallas shot and wounded the gunman. Tragedy averted.

May 16th 2018.  Wednesday morning.  19-year-old former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle to open fire near the auditorium of Dixon High School in Illinois.  Mark Dallas shot and wounded the gunman. Tragedy averted.

May 16th 2018.

Wednesday morning.

Former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle

Suspect Matthew Milby opened fire near a graduation ceremony rehearsal.  The suspect was quickly identified and chased by Mark Dallas, Dixon Police Officer.  Milby and Dallas exchanged fire at one another until Officer Dallas shot and wounded Matthew Milby, the 19-year-old former student in possession of a 9mm semiautomatic rifle.  

Tragedy averted…. or was it.  

 

Fatalities do not mark a tragedy.  

 

The gun culture in America is a tragedy in itself encompassing, “behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs about firearms and their usage”.  To obtain a firearm federal law requires an individual to be at least 21 to purchase a handgun, and only 18 to purchase a long gun. Specific states however have decided to bypass these federal laws and allow children as old as 15 to purchase a firearm with no parental consent.  Many individuals may argue these laws are harmless and the matter of the transactions are carefully monitored and professional. This is the root of the problem. Americans are addicted to their guns and they don’t want to face this fact.

 

Unfortunately many elected officials are not helping the cause. Understanding the extent of their political abilities, their continued inaction on the legislation that could potentially prevent these inhumane acts have only opened doors for more to occur.

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Gun Control Debate – Photo Courtesy of The American View

Individuals are missing the mark, we need gun control.  Eradicating guns is unlikely, and unnecessary, we need to monitor and control the transaction, trade, and behavior of gun owners, sellers, buyers etc.  As a community we need to ensure that the background checks and mental examinations of individuals with possession of firearms are strengthened and religiously utilized.   

 

Understanding the mental stability of the individual plays a significant factor in the recently observed violence and damage,  the loosely followed laws and lack of frequent background/ update checks allow for these potentially mentally unstable individuals to obtain these firearms.  

 

While taking into mind that many mass shooters obtain their weapons through a family member or through legal purchase it is important that any individuals with firearms in their household or in an accessible place undergo examination or background checks, and that any suspicious behavior is documented and reported by friends and families.  The phrase, “If you see something, say something” cannot be stressed enough.  

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Background Check – Photo Courtesy of Dr. Deb

In comparison to other nations, the protocol to obtain firearms in the United States is seemingly inadequate.  Understanding no background check can truly identify the intended use of the firearms or the early warning signs of a potential mass shooter, psychological exams as proposed by Utah cops and lawmakers may prove extremely beneficial.  

 

Konrad Chen stated he thinks its a, “good idea to make sure that [gun owners] are sane and that they are capable mentally to handle firearms”  further Chen mentioned that if, “there were any signs of issues that they could go ahead and take care of that before issuing a firearm”. The conversation continued with Chen further stating that these psychological exams could also ensure that the prospective gun owner knows how to safely use the firearm.  

 

The issue lies in the fact that many gun owners are hesitant when approached with the idea that their ownership of a firearm may be jeopardized due to increased legal action ensuring the safety of all.  It is important for individuals to understand that increasing the security and monitoring of the transaction of firearms is imperative to ensure that firearms are being obtained by stable, and mentally capable individuals.  

 

It is our hope that individuals continue to take action and speak out against the lack of action taken in order to alleviate the pain and suffering the lack of gun control has caused.  We cannot afford to remain silent in the midst of the chaos present.

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March For Our Lives – Photo Courtesy of CNN

 

“ If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”

– Desmond Tutu

Santa Fe High School Shooting-What We Know

Early this Friday morning, around 7:30-7:45 a.m., at Santa Fe High School in Texas, a shooting occurred. At least ten are dead, and more were injured. At least one police officer is injured as well. Most of the dead are students, but an exact number is not yet known. This is the third school shooting in eight days, and there have been a reported 22 since the beginning of the year in America.

A senior at the school told KHOU-TV that his friend saw another kid with a gun, then the fire alarm was pulled, and shots were fired once teachers and students had evacuated the building. Another student said, “We thought it was a fire drill at first, but really, the teacher said, ‘Start running,'”

Earlier this year, in February, there was a law enforcement response to the school when students and teachers thought they heard gun fire. The school was placed on lock down and searched, but at the time no threat was found.

One male, who is believed to be a student, has been arrested, and a second person, also believed to be a student, has been detained.

An unnamed witness said an armed person walked into an art class and began shooting what looked like a shotgun. The witness also said they saw a girl who was believed to be shot in the leg.

Those who are hurt from the shooting are being brought to a hospital in Galveston.

Different students have reported hearing at least 3-4 shots.

One student, Dakota Shrader, told CNN that she heard gunshots after hearing an alarm in the school. “I was in the history hallway, and as soon as we heard the alarms, everybody just started leaving following the same procedure as (a) practice fire drill, and the next things you know we just here… three gunshots, loud explosions, and all the teachers are telling us to run.”

The high school, which has 1,400 student is on lockdown, along with the whole school district.

Florida Shooting: What We Know

Nikolas Cruz, a 19 year old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School opened fire on students and faculty Wednesday afternoon killing 17, and wounding others.  Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High had a planned fire drill Wednesday morning, so when the second alarm blared through the speakers students were confused but didn’t think much of the situation.  It was not until they heard gunshot that students  began to frantically flee and barricade themselves desperate to stay alive.

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Nikolas Cruz, 19, Time

Cruz had been previously expelled and recognized as a danger on school grounds by the schools administrators, his expulsion was a product of his violence presented towards his ex-girlfriends current boyfriend.   Recent statements from students attending Marjory Stoneman mention Cruz had a tendency to “obsessively stalk”  or “threaten” many females within the school.  Classmates had also mentioned Nikolas would make, “dark, gun-related jokes” joking about, “shooting people or shooting up establishments” (USA Today).  Many students were able to immediately identify their former classmate equipped with smoke grenades, an AR-15 style weapon, and a gas mask.

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Wikipedia

After arriving at the campus, Cruz entered buildings where he immediately opened chaotic fire shooting through windows, computer screens, ceilings etc.  Many students hid inside closets, bathroom stalls, and classrooms however others found themselves attempting to flee the campus in order to reach a safe ground.  Students remaining on campus witnessed bullets spraying through classrooms in no particular direction hitting their classmates, and shattering windows.  Students used their mobile phones, specifically Snapchat, to record these traumatizing moments, while others texted their friends and families what they thought was their final goodbye.

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Students evacuating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, France 24

Cruz had killed the majority of the victims on campus however did shoot and kill an individual down the street.  It was mentioned that Cruz did not remain on campus throughout the duration of the shootings, and was constantly, “on and off campus”.  Cruz was eventually identified and taken into custody by local law enforcement officers, and has since been charged with 17 counts of murder.

The moment Nikolas Cruz was taken into custody by local law enforcement after killing 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Fla. Wednesday. 
Nikolas Cruz being taken into custody by the law enforcement after brutally murdering 17, WPTV West Palm Beach

12 bodies were found on campus, one off campus, and others succumbed to their fatal injuries on the way to the hospital or at the hospital.  The known victims are as listed:

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Aaron Feis, MassLive.com

Aaron Feis – Assistant football coach killed after throwing himself in front of  the spray of bullets to shield the students.

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Nicholas Dworet, NY Daily News

Nicholas Dworet – Nicholas was a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, and a  swimmer recruited by the University of Indianapolis.

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Jaime Guttenberg, Sky News

Jaime Guttenberg – Jaime was among the 17 individuals who lost their lives in this inhumane tragedy.

Meadow Pollack was killed on February 14, 2018 when Nikolas Cruz, 19, shot and killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.
Meadow Pollack, Facebook

Meadow Pollack – Meadow was among many who were thought to be missing until her father confirmed her passing this morning.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10211229977607668&set=gm.1801617480134672&type=3&theater
Gina Montalto, Facebook

Gina Montalto – Gina was a member of her school’s color guard team, and unfortunately succumbed to her injuries Wednesday night.

Luke Hoyer was killed by a gunman who shot and killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Luke Hoyer, Family Handout

Luke Hoyer – Luke was one among the 17 individuals shot and killed by Nikolas Cruz.

Martin Duque was killed when Nikolas Cruz Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.
Martin Duque, GOFUNDME

Martin Duque – Martin, a freshman, was also a victim to the school shooting Wednesday.

Related image
Peter Wang, Facebook

Peter Wang – Peter, a freshman, was also a victim to the school shooting Wednesday.

 Joaquin Oliver's family are searching for the young man, saying he was at the school when the shooting started
Joaquin Oliver, Facebook

Joaquin Oliver – Joaquin’s passing was confirmed by his cousin Thursday morning.

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Cara Loughran, Facebook

Cara Loughran – Cara’s passing was confirmed by a peer counselor at the church in which she attended.

Scott Beigel, Facebook

Scott Beigel – Mr.Beigel was a geography teacher at the school, aiding students in reaching safety however unfortunately being shot and killed during the process.

Alaina Petty, Facebook

Alaina Petty – Alaina was confirmed deceased by the Bishop of the Coral Springs Ward, alongside her great aunt Thursday morning.

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Alyssa Alhadeff, Facebook

Alyssa Alhadeff – Alyssa’s death was confirmed by her soccer club Thursday morning via Facebook.

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Chris Hixon, Facebook

Chris Hixon – Chris was an athletic director at the High School who fell upon the 17 victims of the shooting.

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Madeleine Wilford, Facebook

Madeleine Wilford – Madeleine was among the victims of the school shooting Wednesday.

Our hearts and condolences go to the families of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Shooting.

*this is a developing story as updates become available they will be posted*

Can we please agree to stop sexualizing kids?

Since season two of Stranger Things was released on Netflix, a problem has arose; people have started to sexualize the young actors who play the main roles on the show.

Now, I’m in no way saying that we, as a society, have never struggled with this problem. It’s always been a problem and will likely continue to be a problem in future years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speak out about this frankly disgusting problem at the moment.

Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, and Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike, have probably been the two on the Netflix show to change the most, physically at least. Both have grown in the past year since the first season was released and many people have taken a notice to that.

Brown, 13 years old, was included as a reason to ‘why TV is sexier than ever’ on W Magazine, as well as being included in multiple lists of “Hottest Actresses.” People are outraged, as they should be! One twitter user wrote, “Poner a Millie Bobby Brown en una lista de las mujeres más sexys es legitimar la pederastia. ES UNA NIÑA. NO ES SEXY. TIENE 13 AÑOS. BASTA.” Which translates to ‘Putting Millie Bobby Brown on a list of the sexiest women is legitimizing pedophilia. SHE’S A GIRL. IT IS NOT SEXY. SHE IS 13. ENOUGH.’  Another twitter user thinks of it in a different way and writes in a series of tweets, “1. My son is exactly two weeks older than Millie Bobby Brown. The thought of any creepy adults sexualizing him the way they apparently do to 2. her, and Finn Wolfhard, and the other Stranger Things kids is frankly quite horrifying. These kids are 13 and 14 years old, ffs. 3. They may be actors, but they are still KIDS. Let them be kids, goddamit. It is not at all appropriate to count down the time until a 4. child actor turns 18 and can be “officially” perved on. Stop it. Ok, parent rant over.” And that’s not even all of it, she is constantly being sexualized in other places and ways as well, but to talk about them all would be to write a short novel.

Brown’s costar, Wolfhard, is also a victim of sexualization from the older population. Ali Michael, a 27 year old model, took to her Instagram story to post a picture of the 14 year old actor, captioning it, “Not to be weird but hit me up in 4 years @finnwolfhardofficial” Though we do not know if she took it off before it automatically deleted, we do know people saw this and were irate. She did eventually apologize, making claims that it was a joke, though that does not excuse or justify her actions.Image result for ali michael finn wolfhardImage result for ali michael finn wolfhard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wolfhard briefly touched on this encounter in an interview with TMZ, saying that he thought her actions were gross, but then ultimately trailing off saying he guessed it was fine. Wolfhard has been receiving comments like this for some time, mostly from people 20 years of age or older. One user took to twitter to write, “pedophilia is old men who are attracted to children but it’s also the 20+ year old women sexualising Finn Wolfhard on their snapchat stories” They truly did hit on the fact that yes, it is pedophilia. Nonetheless, older people, no matter their gender, making sexual advances towards children is creepy and pedophilia in one sense or another.

Some people have even felt a need to point out that though they are celebrities and world-wide known actors, they are still children!

I would like to again point out that this has always been a problem and will continue to be one for quite some time. This does not just happen to child actors, it happens to most people and it is gross and does need to be stopped. I am writing about these two specifically because they have such a large following, which means in the end more people are seeing that problems like these occur much more often than they should. In the end, this problem will not begin to get better until we truly acknowledge who it hurts and how it hurts them, as well as getting media coverage like everyone is doing at this moment in time. To try and help this ongoing problem, you can also write articles, make videos, speeches, go to social media, and many more things. Even the smallest of actions bring awareness to at least one new person. The only way you can make it worse is by contributing to these kind of actions, or seeing them and still staying silent. If you have a voice, you must use it any way you can to help bring this problem to an end.

What happened when I got trigger point injections for my migraines

Since I was little I had what felt like a million and three different health problems. I suffer from migraines, and have for quite some time. I have gone through multiple different medications trying to find something to help. They all have different side effects, going from dry eyes, increased weight, or depression. But they have all been pills.

In early October, I went to my neurologist and we discussed something new; trigger point injections. It would be nine injections total and they would have lidocaine and prednisone in them. The injections weren’t for my headaches specifically, but they would help the tightness in my neck and shoulders, which in turn should help my headaches and migraines.

Disclaimer: I am not claiming to be professionally informed on anything I talk about in this article. If you want better information on Trigger Point Injections(TPI) then click here. if you want more information on Lidocaine then click here, and finally, if you want more information on Prednisone then click here. Also, feel free to do any separate research on your own!

Risks: Note: these might not be all the risks, or these may not apply to you. These are simply the risks I was informed about before receiving the TPI. There were obviously gonna be little side effects as there would be to anything. Minor pain, tightness in muscles, etc. There were only a few that I feel I should note at this time. I was told that some people feel like they’re paralyzed afterwards, not immediately, but eventually. Like they couldn’t move their neck or shoulders. Some other things were fatigue, soreness where the injections were, slight headaches, things like that. The only main risk I think is really important is that fact that if your doctor puts the needle too far in your shoulders/neck, they could accidentally poke through to your lungs. The risk of this is very slight, but it is still a possibility. I was told if at anytime I felt like it was hard to breath, I should tell them right away and they would send me to a different part of the hospital to get a chest x-ray. Obviously, that didn’t happen and I was fine, and from what I’ve heard, it’s only happened a handful of times.

The process: I’m gonna be honest, I used to be a wimp when it came to needles. Over the years I got over my fear and now I just feel a slight discomfort towards them. Getting my blood drawn would be a three or four on a scale of 1-10, one being the least and ten the worst pain. Shots would be a five, maybe a six, but these injections to me were honestly a one or two maybe.

For me what they did was nine injections. Three on each shoulder, I believe a little above where my should blade starts, directly in my muscles. Then they did three on the back of my neck, about where my back and neck meet. The needle barely went in over an inch, if even that. I’d say the ones that hurt the most were the ones on the edge of each of my shoulder, they just had a sharper pain in my opinion. The TPI itself only took about five minutes. My neurologist then put heating packs where the needles went in, keeping them there by hooking them under my bra straps. She told me this was to help spread out the steroids(the Prednisone) so they wouldn’t stay in the single part of my muscles. She also informed me that if I wanted to keep heating the TPI area, I should only do it once every two or three hours for twenty minutes at a time.

Later that day: Right afterwards I didn’t feel much pain really. I kept the heating pads on my back for about 20 minutes to half an hour. I went to school and the only real problem I had at first was it hurt in my shoulders to carry my backpack on them, so I just held it like one would a baby, or also by the straps in my hands. It was all good until a little over two hours since the I got the TPI, I began to feel a numbness spread through my shoulders(because of the Lidocaine) and then I got really cold. I don’t know if the cold had anything to do with the TPI or if it just got very cold in the school. Within about an hour the numbness went away and I felt fine, before I became extremely hyper. I normally have a tendency to tap my foot to help me concentrate, but during my last class I was tapping both feet while bouncing my legs while also tapping each finger against my desk. One classmate told me that me moving so much made her anxious! Even now, later this night, I still feel very hyper. Like I need to move, but I also am so exhausted. I also have a constant pain in my shoulders and neck and have taken a lot of medicine to help it, so it’s now a dull pain. At this time, it’s the end of the night and that’s where I stand currently.

The next day: When I woke up I felt a tightness in my shoulders and neck. When I brought my backpack downstairs i couldn’t carry it on my shoulders at all, and had to just hold it. Little things like raising my hand or reaching for a pencil hurt really badly. Throughout the day the pain seemed to get worse. On top of that, I also was exhausted, though that could’ve been from all the medicine I was taking. This day wasn’t much different from the day before, besides a more persistent pain. I constantly groaned in pain at the littlest things. Though, today I wasn’t extremely antsy like I had been the day before, like I thought I would be. When I got a hug from a family member, I literally cried out in pain when they touched my shoulder. I’m not that sensitive to pain, but I just could not handle it that day. Overall, I think the second day was much worse on a pain level, but my figeting had gone down, and being tired was better than being antsy in my opinion.

The third day: Once I woke up I barely felt any pain. I was still pretty tight where my neck and shoulders connect, but it wasn’t even very noticeable. I only really felt the pain when I poked at my neck, or when I put my backpack right where the injections had been. I was feeling back to normal on an energy/mental level and was pretty good overall. In general everything was pretty standard. Any of the immediate side effects that I had anticipated were gone by now, and I was feeling pretty good.

Overall: Since I got the TPI I’ve noticed some frontal headaches which were never a problem before, and my mother also experienced them when she first got TPI. I am still a little sore, but I’ve also already seemed to noticed that though I am still getting headaches and migraines, they aren’t quite as intense as they had been before. I don’t think it is working all that well, but it has scarcely been a fortnight. My doctor told me a lot of people don’t notice much improvement until the second set of injections, which I will be getting in about two months. I can’t quite say if it was worth it to me yet, but I do think anything is worth a shot if you are comfortable with any possible side effects that could come with any given procedure. If you think you might be interested in getting trigger point injections(not just for migraines)then talk to your doctor/specialist about them as soon as possible, because it could help you with something you are dealing with!