Catherine “Cat” Charrett Dykes spends most of her days in her laundry room at home, or as she refers to it, “the cave.”
The 44-year-old Holtsville wife and mother has suffered for the past nine years from chronic migraines, and the limited light in the laundry room provides at least some relief. Charrett Dykes has endured numbness in her hands, extreme pain in her joints and blurry vision.
Her life is a far cry from her past, which included teaching karate at Kempo Martial Arts Dojo of Holbrook.
“There have been days when I have no energy,” Charrett Dykes said.
Botox injections every two-and-a-half months, which Charrett Dykes started last September, have made the condition more manageable and allowed her to pursue a special opportunity. One of her worst experiences of her migraines was missing her family reunion four years ago in New Hampshire.
Charrett Dykes submitted a story to the Rewrite Your Day contest, detailing the sadness she felt missing her reunion and how important family is to her.
The contest is sponsored by the nonprofit National Headache Foundation; HealthyWomen.org, a nonprofit health source for women; and Allergan, a multi-specialty health care company. Charrett Dykes was one of 15 individuals from around the country living with chronic migraines who were given the opportunity to have a special moment they lost “rewritten.”
Her family reunion was re-created last Wednesday at Il Mulino Restaurant in Roslyn. Charrett Dykes and her 15-year-old daughter Maegan, along with Chef Gerardo Uruchima, prepared a Caesar salad and veal Marsala as part of the festivities.
Maegan, who suffers from the same hormonal migraines her mom experienced in her youth, was excited to participate at the event.
“I am happy to be here and spend time with my mom since we usually don’t get to do a lot of things together,” said Maegan, one of Charrett Dykes’ two children. She has a son, 17-year-old Ian, with her husband of 19 years, Christopher.
“It’s always nice to spend time with my family,” said Cat Charrett Dykes. “It hurts me when I am not able to participate in family events because I am in so much pain.”
Her husband couldn’t have agreed more.
"Cat's re-creation was a great experience for her and our family and friends,” Christopher Charrett Dykes said. “It was exciting to see Cat outside our home dining in a beautiful restaurant, surrounded by the people she loves most and with her migraine adequately managed, so she was able to participate in the event. It was a day to remember."
Above: Catherine Charrett Dykes was happy to rewrite her day with husband Christopher, son Ian and daughter Maegan at II Mulino Restaurant in Roslyn. (Feb. 29, 2012)