Trying not to blow my brains out...

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Posted by Bob Judd ( on September 15, 1999 at 09:53:58:


I just discovered this board and I'm in the middle of a
cluster cycle that's been going on now for just under 2 months.
I hope that some of this may be of help to someone, or maybe
someone can offer help to me.
This recent bout with clusters has been particularly brutal.
They started 2 weeks after my best friend died, and I moved recently
so my stress level has gone up, which is the only think I'm
doing differently. My father and his father both had the EXACT
same kind of headaches, so I really think they are hereditary.
Typically what happens is I wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning,
fully into a cluster attack. I've found that a Dr. Pepper or Coke
can sometimes help, but the only thing that works 100% of the
time is an Imitrex injection. The pills and nasal spray work maybe
50% of the time, but I'm not sure, because they take a while to absorb
and I think sometimes the headache may have just gone away by itself.
My headaches center just above my left eye, which swells up and tears and
turns red depending on the intensity. I also experience a sweaty face
and I usually sit in front of the air conditioner.
I've tried virtually everything--cafergot, acupuncture, ergotamine, excedrin migraine,
oxygen, amerge, vicodin and other narcotics, etc. One thing I've noticed
lately is that in the back of my head on the left side just above the
little "bump" that's there, it's VERY tender almost ALL the time.
I massage this area and sometimes it can help my headache. It always feels
kind of like it's bruised, but when I apply pressure, I can feel it go up
to the headache area. My last cycle of headaches was about 1 1/2 years ago,
and I visited an acupuncturist almost every day for about 3 weeks and the
headaches were gone. I've tried acupuncture this bout, and haven't had much
success. I'm seeing a nuerologist who prescribed my a six day supply of
steroidal anti-inflammitory called methylprednisolone. The first 6 day
tablet kit stopped the headaches completly...but they came back promptly
after this period. I took one more 6 day supply, but the headaches were
already "used" to it. Now I'm not sure what we're going to try. I have an
appointment today and my doctor is thinking of localized injections on the
spasm areas. Thanks for listening everyone, and I hope that this can be of
help to someone. Feel free to e-mail me if anyone has questions or suggestions.

Bob Judd

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