Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence

Destigmatizing Medical Conditions

See it through my eyes 

As a child, I had headaches but I didn’t think much of it. When I was in grade five, it was a known thing that I’d get a headache by 3:30 every day. 

When I was a little older, I went to the eye doctor. He was checking my eyes and asked me if I was getting headaches to which I responded the affirmative. He told me that those are migraines based on my sensitivity to the light. He suggested that I stay away from certain foods like nuts, seeds, cheese and wines. 

Although I became more cautious and tried to avoid those food items, I was too young to understand the magnitude of what the doctor had told me.

Navigating in the dark

When I was in tenth or eleventh grade, my migraines increased dramatically. I couldn’t go a week without missing days of school. They started to come more frequently and increasing in length and intensity. 

My pediatrician referred me to see a neurologist who conducted various exams to make sure that there was nothing else serious going on. 

My mother wanted me to hold off on starting a prescription medicine. My uncle is a doctor and my aunt gets migraines too. We sent them the prescriptions to look at. They suggested trying to find another solution as this one can make you become more forgetful. 

Laying low 

By my first year of CEGEP, I was experiencing waves of extended periods of time where I’d be fine and then missing more than three weeks at a time because of migraines. They became so debilitating that I was bed-bound. My migraines lasted more between 8-12 hours. 

Migraines also include experiencing nausea, vertigo and distortion of sight. Usually I’ll experience tell-tale signs that a migraine is setting in. 

It was at this point where I started taking medications. They help decrease the frequency and intensity of my migraines. It also causes side effects like brain fog which can be from the medication or the migraines.

Migraines ≠ headaches 

People don’t understand the magnitude and implications of having chronic migraines. I will often be told to take Tylenol and move on with my life. This is a pretty universal response that those who experience migraines will receive. 

If there was one thing I wish people would know, it would be that migraines and headaches are not the same thing. Migraines can be debilitating. When I get migraines, my eyes and head start hurting. Lights and noise become unbearable. I need to just lay down until it passes. 

An Interview with the President of the TAV College Students’ Association

An Interview with the President of the TAV College Students’ Association

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Karin Etemadi and I’m a science student. I am now the president of the TCSA. I like to work with my peers. My objective is to help them try to achieve what they want in life. Every one of us may have different goals and we should use our talents together to build something greater. It’s not like one person can do something perfectly. There may be some exceptions but mostly not. In my opinion, it’s just finding those people, involving them in what they can do best and encouraging them to go beyond what they think they are capable of.

Why did you run for TCSA?

The reason I ran for TCSA was because I felt TAV, as a community, was lacking a lot. I see that my friends think there should be changes made, but none of them stepped up to implement their opinions. I know what people are complaining about so I decided to just go for it and do it myself.

What would you say is your main role in your position as president?

As the president of TAV, my whole ideology is to promote a sense of community. I want to make things possible for the students. I want to help create opportunities for their future. For example, we’re planning another event like the stress management one, to help students acquire the skills they need to nail an online interview. 

What are some of your goals?

I want to raise awareness about our community to high school students. I would like to be an advocate for change to ensure that some of the students’ basic needs are met and change will be implemented into the new building. For example, I’d like to make sure that there will be a library that students will have access to in person and online. Students care a lot about their studies.

What is your vision for TAV?

As a freshman, I was lost. I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t know how to move forward or the available opportunities. I feel like, as a community, we have to welcome them and show them how to move forward. It may be because I was coming to a new place but it’s also the responsibility of the college to create the right atmosphere. 

My personal dream for TAV is to make themselves more known. I want to initiate collaborations across other colleges. I’d Like to create more opportunities for students. I want everyone to have an enjoyable year. I want people to experience positive change. 

New Programs Coming to TAV

Personal Training 

TAV is bringing back its personal training program. The college is working on implementing changes to the structure such as adding courses in nutrition. Additionally, the staff is advising the college on how to set up the new gym.

Computer Network, Architecture and Management

This program trains individuals to practice the profession of a network administrator (CNA) or a network technology technician.

Project Management

This program is geared to train students to act as technical support for a project manager or work as a project manager for an accounting firm or a company’s human, financial and material resources.

Special Education

TAV has reinstituted its inclusive intervention in the childhood education program. It’s geared towards graduates of early childhood care who wish to specialize. TAV has a partnership with the Commission Scolaire de Montréal which takes a large number of students on as employees. The college is additionally in the process and final stages of negotiating a partnership with the Centre Intégré Universitaire en Santé et Services Sociaux that will also be hiring students from the college. 

Physical Education

The college may start offering gym classes throughout the year in addition to the intensives.