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For her leadership and dedication to education, the exclusive Preferred Professionals Network proudly named Kathleen O'Shea a "Preferred Educator & Author" representing the state of New York for 2023.
Kathleen O’Shea is an esteemed English Professor at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY, where she has been teaching literature, composition, and humanities courses for 36 years. Her inspiration for becoming an author resulted from her suffering from migraines for the last 46 years. Managing her migraine headaches and lifestyle, she shares her motivation to do something positive with her suffering from debilitating migraines in her book, So Much More than a Headache: Understanding Migraine through Literature.
In her book, O'Shea describes the migraine symptoms she and others commonly experience, along with the medications and treatments necessary to cope with this disease. Her first-hand experiences tell of the painful agony migraineurs often cope with.
In her search for a positive outlook, as a Professor of English, she turned to literature and found a vast collection of insightful and emotional writings by brilliant authors. Her collection of essays, poetry and fiction is profoundly helpful for migraine sufferers, those who love and care for them, and even medical doctors specializing in neurology and headaches.
Remembering her first migraine attack at age 14, O'Shea says, "I thought my head was going to explode; the pain was unrelenting and overwhelming." Specialist after specialist, she saw with little or no help for relieving her pain.
That was until she was referred to Dr. Joseph Mann, an encouraging headache specialist with whom she found real medical support and effective treatment. O'Shea says she felt blessed to be under his care for 16 years before his retirement in 2016 and has dedicated her book to Dr. Mann.
"I want migraine sufferers, their families and friends, and medical professionals to locate even that one piece of literature that moves them, makes them feel less alone, educates them, and creates empathy; I had never really set out to write a book."
Having done all the research, O'Shea says she discovered thematic patterns in the texts and found the perfect "place" for sharing it: Kent State University's Literature and Medicine Series. "Fortunately, they agreed with my proposal, and three years later, I was able to hold my first copy," she said.
"As with literature, this state of ambiguity is where many migraineurs find themselves. There are no simple solutions for migraine and its complexity of pain and suffering; there is no "cure." The "answers" come in fits and spurts through the right combinations of treatments, lifestyle, and support," O'Shea explains. "Literature speaks to all; it does so in a way that reaches us viscerally."
"Preferred Educator & Author" Kathleen O'Shea has been published in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Popular Culture and Opera Magazine. She is a regular migraine blogger on psychologytoday.com and won the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. O'Shea was also a first-place winner in Health for Firebird.
"Understanding Migraine Through Literature" was created for those with migraine and their family and friends, headache specialists, neurologists, those working in migraine clinics, and medical students taking literature and medicine courses. Please visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble , independent bookstores, or Kent State University Press to purchase her book.
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