All humans face pain at some point during their lives. Thornton Academy student Mikayla Bergquist ‘17 approaches hers head-on and takes control of both her pain and her life. Diagnosed with chronic pain several years ago, doctors wanted to prescribe her the typical drug routine that included opiates. Bergquist had heard about the opiate crisis and how dangerous these drugs can be for humans, especially teenagers, and wanted to avoid a possible addiction. Instead of taking the easy way out, she pursued other treatments for her pain including meditation, improved sleep routines, and self-care. Now, Bergquist has little to no chronic pain and is able to live a happy, healthy life.
She has worked with scientists and researchers at the University of New England as they attempt to determine the efficacy of prescription opiate drugs to treat pain management. Bergquist attended a national conference on Neuroscience in San Diego where she presented to politicians and scientists about the importance of chronic pain advocacy. She has also attended local and regional summits and forums to share her story and research with others as she attempts to show others that solutions other than opiate prescription exist for diseases management. Many medical professionals do not have much education in this field, and Bergquist is hoping to change this for the better.
Bergquist hopes that others will follow her lead in self-care by working to manage stress levels, sleep the recommended number of hours, and pursue good health through natural remedies. Her goal is to educate the public about the problem of overprescription of opioids. In addition to this important work, Bergquist is an accomplished musician and plans to study Audio Engineering at Bay State University in Boston starting next fall.