THE WOODLANDS, TX (KTRK) --If anyone knows the difference between a headache and a migraine, it's Brenda Ginste.
Migraines crippled her for 13 years.
"When you are literally locked in your bedroom, it's black, you've got a huge double zip lock bag of ice on your head," Ginste describes dealing with her head pain.
Like many sufferers aromas, light and sound all set her off.
And the stress of going back to work full-time made the migraines even worse.
"I tried all kinds of medication: botox, nerve blocks, acupuncture, you name it, I tried it," she said.
"I threw the whole kitchen sink at it," Ginste confesses.
After a bleeding ulcer from too much pain medication put her in the ER, Ginste found the Migraine Treatment Centers of America in The Woodlands, one of only five places in the country offering the "omega procedure."
It's a specialty surgery for migraine sufferers.
"The ledes are placed just underneath the skin's surface, just next to the nerves that carry the headache signal," said Dr. Jack Chapman with the Migraine Treatment Centers of America.
A tiny little electrical signal communicates with the nerve, transmits through the nerve and turns off the headache signal, replacing the headache pain with a very pleasant electrical sensation.
The signals are controlled wirelessly with the help of a remote that looks like an Ipod, making it convenient for busy patients.
"Most of them are young women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, and so this is an opportunity to kind of restore their function to allow them to live medication free," Chapman said.
And now, 13 months later, Ginste is going on dates and eating things she hasn't been able to in over a decade.
"Real Italian pizza with the crust, I mean my husband walked into the room, he was like, look at you, you're so happy, I can't believe it," Ginste said.
Doctors say patients may need a rescue medication once or twice a month, but Ginste says the omega procedure has freed her to live her life again.
"I really do consider it a rebirth, it's like a new birthday," she said.