Addendum about chronic headaches?

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Thedude2796

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Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:36 pm

3.3 165 URM (MA). I can’t tell if writing an addendum about chronic headaches would seem whiny or if it would explain my grades. I’ve gotten pretty bad headaches pretty regularly my entire life. I would stay home from one or two days a month as a kid because I would wake up with my head throbbing. Between the full on semi-migraines I usually had a sort of nagging headache. As a kid I could catch them and when I felt them getting bad I would take some ibuprofen of acetaminophen. Eventually I stopped catching them and just sort of muscled through them. In college with so many things going on I would get them pretty regularly. I started getting migraines somewhat more frequently. Triggers are apparently bright lights, reading, watching anything in the dark, screens, and loud noises. I would try to sit down and study and sure enough I would feel like there was a vice grip around my temples and I would feel twinges around my face and neck. Needless to say studying sucked so my grades suffered. Eventually it got to the point where I would get 2-3 migraines a month that would have me writhing around in my bed for an hour, sleep for 2 hours, wake up and puke and squirm some more, sleep and repeat. In some cases I would have a bad headache that lingered for a week or so afterwards. Halfway through my junior year I realized that I wanted to go to law school and decided to put some serious effort into staving off my headaches. I got a pair of glasses and was diagnosed with pretty bad astigmatism which explained some of the headaches. Glasses helped but the pain was still there. I pretty much scheduled my academics around my headaches after that and was able to finish every semester with nothing lower than a 3.85. I did this by organizing class work and studying in short intervals while taking a regular dose of Motrin or excedrin when I could tell a migraine was coming on. When I started studying for the LsAT I realized that around section 3 of proper test prep I would get the feeling of the vice on my temples and the twinge in my neck. It makes it very difficult to concentrate. For some reason tapping my foot or biting my pencil helped but not a ton. I’ve recently decided to see a neurologist which I’ve put off for years because i hate having my parents spend money on stuff like that but after having to take an excedrin at work every couple of days just to be able to keep my eyes open I’ve realized it’s probably a bad idea not to get a proper diagnosis. Any thoughts? Sorry for the long post. I just figured I should explain the situation in detail since it’s sort of odd. Thank you

TXgal

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby TXgal » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:28 am

I don't quite know the answer to the specific question you're asking, but definitely get yourself to a doctor ASAP. I'm a life-long migraine sufferer as well and there are prescription meds that you can take for migraines. They aren't necessarily expensive either, and mine was prescribed by a GP (not a neurologist). Finally getting treatment totally changed my life, so would highly recommend.

(Just want to add I'm not a doctor, this is not medical advice but rather my own anecdotal experience, ya da, ya da, ya da).

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cannonballer

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby cannonballer » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:48 am

I agree with the above and just want to underscore the importance of getting your condition fully treated and under control before starting law school - or even before applying. In law school you basically read as a full-time job; and at most schools, you can’t choose most or any of your 1L schedule. Law school is stressful enough; don’t enter with an untreated medical condition that’s triggered by reading.

Good luck to you, I really hope you find some relief soon.

Thedude2796

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:48 am

TXgal wrote:I don't quite know the answer to the specific question you're asking, but definitely get yourself to a doctor ASAP. I'm a life-long migraine sufferer as well and there are prescription meds that you can take for migraines. They aren't necessarily expensive either, and mine was prescribed by a GP (not a neurologist). Finally getting treatment totally changed my life, so would highly recommend.

(Just want to add I'm not a doctor, this is not medical advice but rather my own anecdotal experience, ya da, ya da, ya da).


I have actually have a neurologist appointment set up for next week. First time in my life.

My question is essentially if it would hurt me or not to write an addendum explaining that my headaches had a huge impact on my academics until I made a real effort to get them under control. I don’t want it to come off as me complaining about something. I’m planning on applying to UT Austin ED by late sept/ early October. I know my stats are low but I graduated from ut with a bachelors, am a URM (half Mexican) and have a year of work experience. I’m thinking that if I can give a legitimate excuse regarding how my grades were affected by an illness then maybe I will have a chance at getting in.

Thedude2796

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:06 am

cannonballer wrote:I agree with the above and just want to underscore the importance of getting your condition fully treated and under control before starting law school - or even before applying. In law school you basically read as a full-time job; and at most schools, you can’t choose most or any of your 1L schedule. Law school is stressful enough; don’t enter with an untreated medical condition that’s triggered by reading.

Good luck to you, I really hope you find some relief soon.



Thanks! I have a neuro appointment set next week for the first time in my life and am looking forward to it. Hopefully the Dr. will be able to find a solution to the issue once and for all. After actually having a full time job after it had become pretty evident that this is not sustainable. I could manage the headaches in school because I would pretty much schedule my entire day around them due to the fact that I had so much free time. Now that I have real world schedule it’s not working out as well as it used to.

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:40 am

Thedude2796 wrote:My question is essentially if it would hurt me or not to write an addendum explaining that my headaches had a huge impact on my academics until I made a real effort to get them under control. I don’t want it to come off as me complaining about something.


I don't have an insightful or informed answer for you, but if I were in your position I wouldn't write an addendum. Your addendum will be read alongside addenda for people who were going through cancer treatments during UG, people whose parents died in a car crash during junior year, and people whose epilepsy was wasn't fully treated until their doctor prescribed an innovative drug cocktail a year after they graduated. My fear would be that your addendum would come off as "I had a condition that wasn't bad enough to bother to treat, but was so horrible that my GPA is in the gutter because of it" when read in comparison to the other addenda received.

EDIT: I hope this didn't come off as me downplaying your condition. That was not the intent.

I’m planning on applying to UT Austin ED by late sept/ early October.


Don't! Unless you are independently wealthy and will be paying cash for law school, don't ED anywhere except Northwestern. You will get $0 and will pay sticker for law school, which goes against totes' #1 rule for law admissions: NEVER pay sticker for law school. You may be able to get some money from SMU/UH/Baylor with a 3.3/165/URM.

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby albanach » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:49 am

totesTheGoat wrote:Don't! Unless you are independently wealthy and will be paying cash for law school, don't ED anywhere except Northwestern. You will get $0 and will pay sticker for law school, which goes against totes' #1 rule for law admissions: NEVER pay sticker for law school. You may be able to get some money from SMU/UH/Baylor with a 3.3/165/URM.


I'm in agreement with Totes.

You're five LSAT points away from good money in the T-14. Have you considered retaking, knowing it could get you in to one of the best schools in the nation and simultaneously save you > $150,000 in debt repayments?

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:55 am

totesTheGoat wrote:
Thedude2796 wrote:My question is essentially if it would hurt me or not to write an addendum explaining that my headaches had a huge impact on my academics until I made a real effort to get them under control. I don’t want it to come off as me complaining about something.


I don't have an insightful or informed answer for you, but if I were in your position I wouldn't write an addendum. Your addendum will be read alongside addenda for people who were going through cancer treatments during UG, people whose parents died in a car crash during junior year, and people whose epilepsy was wasn't fully treated until their doctor prescribed an innovative drug cocktail a year after they graduated. My fear would be that your addendum would come off as "I had a condition that wasn't bad enough to bother to treat, but was so horrible that my GPA is in the gutter because of it" when read in comparison to the other addenda received.

EDIT: I hope this didn't come off as me downplaying your condition. That was not the intent.

I’m planning on applying to UT Austin ED by late sept/ early October.


Don't! Unless you are independently wealthy and will be paying cash for law school, don't ED anywhere except Northwestern. You will get $0 and will pay sticker for law school, which goes against totes' #1 rule for law admissions: NEVER pay sticker for law school. You may be able to get some money from SMU/UH/Baylor with a 3.3/165/URM.


I thought UT gives money to Texas residents who apply early admission. Do you think I would have a chance at money from any higher ranked schools? I’ve alreayd gotten fee waivers from DUke and Michigan if that’s any indication of something.

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:58 am

albanach wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:Don't! Unless you are independently wealthy and will be paying cash for law school, don't ED anywhere except Northwestern. You will get $0 and will pay sticker for law school, which goes against totes' #1 rule for law admissions: NEVER pay sticker for law school. You may be able to get some money from SMU/UH/Baylor with a 3.3/165/URM.


I'm in agreement with Totes.

You're five LSAT points away from good money in the T-14. Have you considered retaking, knowing it could get you in to one of the best schools in the nation and simultaneously save you > $150,000 in debt repayments?


I’m not going to take again. Same issue with headaches. While practicing I would usually get a tension headache around section 3. When that happened I’d score between 163-166. If I didn’t get a headache I would score 170-175. By the time I get the headaches taken care of it’ll be too late to go apply this cycle after retaking and I’m not waiting another cycle to apply:/

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:00 pm

Thedude2796 wrote:I thought UT gives money to Texas residents who apply early admission. Do you think I would have a chance at money from any higher ranked schools? I’ve alreayd gotten fee waivers from DUke and Michigan if that’s any indication of something.


It's possible that they would give you some money, but you'd be stuck at their mercies. If they give you $10 and a voucher for a free sandwich, you're still stuck going there. Besides the Northwestern program, I've never heard of any ED program giving scholarships that were competitive if they had applied RD and played their offers against one another.

I’m not going to take again. Same issue with headaches. While practicing I would usually get a tension headache around section 3. When that happened I’d score between 163-166. If I didn’t get a headache I would score 170-175. By the time I get the headaches taken care of it’ll be too late to go apply this cycle after retaking and I’m not waiting another cycle to apply:/


I mean this in the friendliest way possible, but you're setting yourself up for a world of hurt in a few different ways. First, you're giving off desperation vibes like I get from many 0Ls. Things like "I'm not waiting another cycle" and "I'm only interested in going to school X" are common from people desperate to go to law school. Rule #5 of totes' rules for law school admissions is "Don't make your admissions decision from a point of desperation."

Second, law school is a competitive thing, and by starting off your law school path at a competitive disadvantage (with your untreated condition), you're whittling away your chances at a good outcome when you graduate. What if you were to get your headaches treated, retake the LSAT with a clear head, score a 175, and get a 2/3 scholarship to UT? That completely changes your financial outcome! Add in the fact that you know you'll be going into law school firing on all cylinders, and you're set up for success! We're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars of difference over the next 5 or 6 years depending on the order you do things today. I think sitting out a cycle is worth a quarter million dollars, don't you?

Thedude2796

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:04 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:
Thedude2796 wrote:I thought UT gives money to Texas residents who apply early admission. Do you think I would have a chance at money from any higher ranked schools? I’ve alreayd gotten fee waivers from DUke and Michigan if that’s any indication of something.


It's possible that they would give you some money, but you'd be stuck at their mercies. If they give you $10 and a voucher for a free sandwich, you're still stuck going there. Besides the Northwestern program, I've never heard of any ED program giving scholarships that were competitive if they had applied RD and played their offers against one another.


So would there be a chance at some money for me at any T-20 schools if I apply RD?

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:14 pm

Thedude2796 wrote:So would there be a chance at some money for me at any T-20 schools if I apply RD?


Yup: https://mylsn.info/ofbw5i/
If you retook and got a 170-175, it looks even better. https://mylsn.info/x8wzky/

BTW, compare those results to a $30k scholarship (which is what resident UT ED admits get)

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:33 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:
Thedude2796 wrote:So would there be a chance at some money for me at any T-20 schools if I apply RD?


Yup: https://mylsn.info/ofbw5i/
If you retook and got a 170-175, it looks even better. https://mylsn.info/x8wzky/

BTW, compare those results to a $30k scholarship (which is what resident UT ED admits get)


This was eye opening. I’m bound to get accepted to one of those I guess. Already have fee waivers from 4 of those schools so hopefully I’ll get some money. As far as the addendum goes I gusss I’ll have to just bite the bullet and essentially say that not getting checked out was due to stupidity and it was a problem until I got my shit together.

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby albanach » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:26 pm

Thedude2796 wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:
Thedude2796 wrote:So would there be a chance at some money for me at any T-20 schools if I apply RD?


Yup: https://mylsn.info/ofbw5i/
If you retook and got a 170-175, it looks even better. https://mylsn.info/x8wzky/

BTW, compare those results to a $30k scholarship (which is what resident UT ED admits get)


This was eye opening. I’m bound to get accepted to one of those I guess. Already have fee waivers from 4 of those schools so hopefully I’ll get some money. As far as the addendum goes I gusss I’ll have to just bite the bullet and essentially say that not getting checked out was due to stupidity and it was a problem until I got my shit together.


Bear in mind that you haven't even seen a physician yet. You could take one of these offers and find in six months time that you have a treatment plan that would have allowed you to study and retake.

I can't recommend starting 1L if you don't think you could manage to study and retake the LSAT. 1L is much harder, the exams are just as long, there's more of them, and they mean much more with regards to your future.

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby nixy » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:00 pm

WRT the whole seeing a doctor thing - I think an addendum could help (a little), but especially if you can say something like “I have been diagnosed with _____ and am being treated with ____,” it makes it look less complain-y (which I don’t think it really does) and more “here’s something outside my control you should know about.” (I don’t get headaches as bad as yours but I agree it’s hugely debilitating and I think you can point concretely to the impact they had.)

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:50 pm

nixy wrote:WRT the whole seeing a doctor thing - I think an addendum could help (a little), but especially if you can say something like “I have been diagnosed with _____ and am being treated with ____,” it makes it look less complain-y (which I don’t think it really does) and more “here’s something outside my control you should know about.” (I don’t get headaches as bad as yours but I agree it’s hugely debilitating and I think you can point concretely to the impact they had.)


Wait so you do think it’s complain-y? I’m condused by the when you said ”it makes it look less complain-y (which I don’t think it really does)”

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby nixy » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:59 pm

Sorry, I realized after the fact that was confusing. I meant that I don’t think the addendum on the current info would look complain-y, but it would be even less so if you can point to some kind of diagnosis and treatment. (Evidence that it’s not, for lack of a better term, all in your head.)

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Re: Addendum about chronic headaches?

Postby Thedude2796 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:19 pm

nixy wrote:Sorry, I realized after the fact that was confusing. I meant that I don’t think the addendum on the current info would look complain-y, but it would be even less so if you can point to some kind of diagnosis and treatment. (Evidence that it’s not, for lack of a better term, all in your head.)


That’s a very good point and has been the general concensus on the other forums that I have posted the question on. I think that in order for the addendum to be effective it would have to have some sort of concrete diagnosis attached to it. I will also make it a point to emphasize my responsibility in not going to a neuro earlier though. That was a bad move.



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