Posted by Graham (184.108.40.206) on October 24, 1999 at 20:48:50:
I have think I may have a success story to tell you. A few months ago after suffering from chronic recurring headaches for nearly four years I found this site and posted my symptoms for readerís opinions. I had tried all means of curing the headaches with many different drugs from doctors and alternative treatments from chiropractors, acupuncturists, physiotherapists, aromatherepists to name but a few. The responses to my post were unanimous, I was a cluster headache sufferer. I went back to the last doctor that I had seen (who had incidentally referred me to a neurologist, with whom I am still waiting to see!) to tell him what I had found out from this site, and to ask him to prescribe me Verapamil. He considered what I had found out from this web-site and agreed with my (and the readers!!!!!) diagnosis. He promptly put me on Verapamil.
Now, I am a chronic sufferer who usually gets between two to six headaches a day, ranging from kip 4 to kip 8 on a daily basis, and the very-very occasional kip 9 or 10. Also, like many sufferers, un-regular sleep patterns made them worse and alcohol was a guaranteed trigger. I was, like all sufferers, extremely pissed off with them to say the least. These things had greatly influenced my life since I started with them nearly four years ago, and I was getting very tired of dealing with the pain.
I started taking the Verapamil on a Thursday (sorry to be precise!) and then waited. A headache came that day but was still hoping. Next day-no headache, Saturday came and went-no headache. One week later-no headache. Was I dreaming, NO, I got one on Friday, eight days after starting the Verapamil. However, Its now been about six weeks and I have had four headaches in total, all of which were very agreeable kip 4/5ís. I feel like Ive been re-born. Ive gone from two to six clusters a day to less than one a week, and Iím convinced that if I had a more regular sleep pattern I would get even less.
If itís of any use to anyone, I take 240mg of slow release Verapamil first thing in a morning before any food. I try to drink lots of water during the day and try to stick to a regular sleep pattern. I used to drink alcohol around two nights a week. I gave it up completely for the first three weeks of taking Verapamil and now only drink every other Friday night (no headaches have been triggered yet). I have not taken a single painkiller since starting the course of Verapamil and also got back to exercising four times a week (just coincidence!).
Anyway, the main pint of this post is to give my most sincere thanks and best wishes to all people involved with this web-site and especially those people who replied to my posts. My life is back to normal again and it is mainly due to this web-site and itís readers. I know that the Verapamil could stop working in the future, and my relief could be temporary, but who cares. I would have walked barefoot over a thousand miles of broken glass to get six weeks relief from the daily onslaught of cluster headaches. Words can not express how lucky I feel at the moment, and it is my great hope that all cluster headache sufferers find out about this web-site and benefit from the advice and knowledge it gives.
As usual with my posts I have a few questions. If anyone can help, then please reply. If not, take care and pain free days to you all.
1) Iím seeing a neurologist in five days and I guess he may alter my treatment. What are your thoughts on how my treatment should proceed? They say that patients like us sometimes know whatís best!
2) Has anyone managed to break a chronic cluster cycle with medís. If so, which oneís?
3) Should I suggest coming off medication to see what will happen. Or, in other words has Verapamil ever been known to break a chronic condition (yes I know, similar to question 2!)
4) Why do people have a go at drummer all the time, this guy knows a lot about clusters, and his advice has certainly helped me. Keep up the good work drummer.
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