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Posted by GRAHAM ( on September 11, 1999 at 09:27:50:

In Reply to: Maybe? posted by Bob P on September 11, 1999 at 00:04:02:

I must admit, I only occasionally get what I would call a Ďlevel tení cluster. They are around two hours long, and have all the usual delights that come with a clusters such as neck pain, throat pain, pains across my scalp, runny eyes, sweating . . . etc. . etc The pain I feel is incredible. I cannot speak properly when I get one due to the intense pain influencing my breathing pattern. The pain that shoots across my head is like being repeatedly cut with a knife from the base of my neck through my temple to my eye and back again, but only deeper. I often begin to cry in agony and roll around the floor like an upturned beetle (you know-legs and arms everywhere!!!) and dig my fingers into my eyes, temple, scalp and neck. The first one I got convinced me I was going to die. I was terrified. I did not know at the time that I was cluster sufferer. I had to get a friend to ring a taxi for the hospital due to my problem with speaking at the time. I thought my time was up, even though I had suffered from recurring headaches for over a year.

My point is this. I am lucky in a way. I donít get what I call Ďlevel tensí very often, and in addition to this, my sleep is only severely disturbed when my sleeping pattern is messed up during holidays from work (maybe my opinion of level tens are way off the mark?). However, my headaches do have an excellent return rate. I can often get up to six or eight a day (this is a lot isnít it?). Nevertheless, I WOULD NOT SWAP MY SUFFERING FOR A LEVEL TEN ONCE A WEEK, NEVERMIND A DAY. I admit that I do not suffer with as much excruciating pain as other people. But I do feel that because of the frequency of my headache attacks and the fact that they do not go into reemission, I have become somewhat hardened to them. I am a teacher, I often stand in front of 28-30 students with tears running from my eye and pain throbbing across my head that makes me twitch and blink and generally look distressed! Ive never had a day off since starting teaching. Now I cry and beg for mercy with the best of them and I am not trying to imply that I am some sort of hero, but I do feel that Ive become slightly used to the pain of a moderate to strong cluster headache. Perhaps, I was one number to high on the KIP scale when I said that I may put up with a level 8 or 9 for an hour to drink alcohol on the odd occasion. Perhaps I meant 7 or 8. Sorry. But I guess I would drink alcohol on the odd occasion IF (and I emphasise IF!!!) it did not bring on a bout of clusters (if I became episodic that is) or influence my long term recovery.

Nobody has answered my specific questions, and I honestly now donít care. Ive enjoyed this debate and have taken peoples comments on board. Thank you all for being there.

Ive now missed my usual Saturday morning run and workout in the gym because of you Bob and Hub (I had to reply before our messages sank into the depths of the board). Ive now got to go to watch one of the English Premiership worst football sides (of which I am a mad supporter unfortunately) with a guilty conscience about not exercising this morning. Itís bad enough watching them play when in a good mood lately. Not to worry, we will lose anyway and I will still feel the same as usual after the match.

Yours, and other peoples points have provoked much thought.

Cheers, and a pain free day to you all.


(P.S. I'm not an English teacher so please don't criticise my grammar or spelling. I know it's bad!!!!!!!)

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