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   Author  Topic: Newbie from The Netherlands (Europe)  (Read 1321 times)
Harimau
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Newbie from The Netherlands (Europe)
« on: Dec 30th, 2007, 8:11am »
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Hi there,
 
My name is Michel and i'm having chronic CH since december 2006. I am married, don't have kids but i do have two Golden Retrievers. I work as a securityguard and live 500 metres from the beach and 200 metres from a forrest. I do love walking with my dogs there. it gives me peace of mind and a bit rest in my head. My CH attacks are luckly not as bad as in the Chuck movie. In the beginning i had them in the nights but after a taking the medicine Verapamil it shifted to the day time. The CH attack became more a migrane pain (Shadowpain) because of the low dosis Verapamil (480 mg a day). The neurologist told me that the Verapamil worked, but not good enough, so i currently use 600 mg Verapamil a day. Perhaps this will go up to 720 a day. This medicine prevents CH attacks and i use Imigran injections to stop a CH attack. Beacause i work day and nights, seven days a week i trigger CH attacks by sleeping during daytime. Maybe i'll have to give up mij job because of that. My nickname is Harimau what is Indonesian for Tiger. I choose this name beacause my wife is half Dutch-Indonesian. Futher i'm born in the year of the tiger and the hour of the Tiger and am i a martial artist in a Tiger style.  
 
Wel. this is for now but i'll be back soon. Please send me a E-mail when you feel doing so. I hope my writing is not to bad but please correct me if i'm wrong.  
 
Greetings Michel
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Re: Newbie from The Netherlands (Europe)
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30th, 2007, 8:52am »
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Hi Michael, glad you found us. There are a lot of tips to help manage CH and you don't have to quit your job because of this. You should ask your doctor about oxygen (read the o2 section) because it can stop those hits in their tracks if used correctly. Also alot of people here drink energy drinks like Red Bull  or strong coffee at the onset of a hit.  
 
Verapamil worked the same for me, reducing the severity of the attack but not quite getting rid of it. At least the verap made the hits bearable.  
 
Stick around, definitely read all you can because there is a lot of info and support here. Welcome to the nuthouse Smiley
 
Jen
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Re: Newbie from The Netherlands (Europe)
« Reply #2 on: Dec 30th, 2007, 12:51pm »
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Hi Harimau,
 
Welcome to the most helpful place on the Internet for clusterheads and your new home.  
 
I see you use Imigran injections.  How about Oxygen?  This is a great abortive for many without the side effects of Imigran.  You need to use 100% O2 at a 15lpm flow rate with a non-rebreather mask.  You'll find loads of info on this on the OUCH-US web site here:
 
http://www.ouch-us.org/medications/oxygen/o2links.htm
 
O2 + Energy Drinks are my first choice for aborting a HA.  I use Imitrex (the US form of Imigran) for anything that this combination can't handle.
 
Is your Dr following your Verapamil usage with EKGs?  Verapamil can be rough on the heart and its use at high dosages needs to be followed closely.
 
I bring my CH tools with me to work.  I can abort an attack and be back in my office in 25 minutes max.  The HR department lets me keep an e-tank in a spare office and I always have a stock of energy drinks handy.  So working and CH haven't been an issue for me.  Sure they hurt my productivity but they never stop me.
 
On another note, my Son is a Martial Artist and Boxer.  He has a Black Sash in Southern Style Kung-Fu.  Tiger was the first form he learned though Snake and Crane better fit his personal style.
 
Again, welcome!  I hope you have many PFDAN!
 
-Dennis-
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Re: Newbie from The Netherlands (Europe)
« Reply #3 on: Dec 30th, 2007, 7:25pm »
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Hello Tiger  
 
Welcome !
 
If you have turned chronic maybe your doc can try adding lithium to the verapamil. There are many other meds that can work very well as preventives , not just verapamil. Verap-lithium is considered the gold standard for many chronic CHers.
 
If the preventives work well, then armed with imitrex and oxygen you should be able to continue your work.
 
Have you tried to arrange with work so that you can do more regular hours instead of varying shifts?  
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Re: Newbie from The Netherlands (Europe)
« Reply #4 on: Dec 30th, 2007, 10:08pm »
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Welcome aboard Michael.  
 
There are a lot good ideas and support around here. This is one of mine:
 
         Dr. Wright’s Circulatory Technique:
 
I am not sure what mechanism is triggered by this but whatever it is, at least indirectly helps kill the pain. I do know that this technique has nothing to do with meditation, relaxation, or psychic ability. It is entirely physical and takes some work. It involves concentrating on trying to redirect a little circulation to the arms, hands, or legs. Think of feeling your pulse in your hand. Increased circulation will result in a reddening and warming of the hands. The important and difficult part is that it has to be done without interruption through the pain. Do not give up in frustration. It may not work on the first try. Try experimenting between attacks. You will find that it gets easier with practice. Every now and then it will work almost immediately. I lived for those moments.  
 
I was given less than five minutes instruction in the use of method. The doctor, while placing his arm on his desk, showed me that he could slightly increase his arm and hand circulation. After several attempts, I was able to repeat this procedure and use it successfully. I have had about a 75% success rate shortening these attacks. My 20 minute attacks were often reduced to 10 minutes or less. Once proven that I had a chance to effectively deal with this horror, I always gave it a try as I had nothing to lose but pain.
 
I used to try to imagine I was pushing blood away from my neck into my arm. Use your imagination. There is one man who wrote that his standing barefoot on a concrete floor shortened his attacks. This may be similar as it draws some circulation away from the head. Cold water, exercise, or anything affecting circulation, seems to be worth a try. My suggestion is to not let up immediately when the pain goes. Waiting a minute is probably a good idea. So long as you do not slack off, this has a chance of working.
 
This technique is very useful while waiting for medication to take effect or when none is available. It costs nothing, is non-invasive, and can be used just about anywhere. It is not a miracle but it helped me deal with this horror. It can be a bit exhausting but the success rate was good enough for me and a cluster headache sufferer will do just about anything to end the pain. It gives us a fighting chance.  
 
Good luck and it's good to meet you.
 
Charlie  
 
 
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