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Posted by Tim ( on November 30, 1999 at 11:54:46:

Hi everyone. I've watched this message board for a while now. Since I really value the support
provided here (and since I have a question I'll be posting in a minute), I've decided to go ahead
and introduce myself. I'm an episodic CH sufferer, and have been for 20 years.

I suffered through these things for quite a few years before a friend talked me into getting them
checked out by a doctor. Prior to that, I didn't know what they were and didn't really care. I
just wanted them to go away. I used to eat asprin and Tylenol like candy.

Finally, a friend convinced me that I probably had a brain tumor and talked me into seeing a
neurologist. The neurologist diagnosed me as having "seizure activated cluster headaches" and
prescribed propanolol. Why they're seizure activated, I'm not sure, except that they were able
to get me to go into silent seizures when they made me hyperventilate. Knowing what I know now,
I really don't think there is a connection.

When the propanolol didn't help, I gave up on the doctor and went back to eating asprin and
Tylenol (although that never seemed to help either. Oh well. I was young and goofy). Over
the years, I had several general practitioners try different things, but found nothing that
was very effective.

Then, one night I had a real monster. I usually get a few of these each cycle - the kind that
keep you up all night and never ease up. This one was the worst yet. My wife and kids were
sleeping. I didn't want to wake them, but decided I had to get to the hospital or go crazy.
I managed to drive myself to the hospital, and was given a shot of Imitrex. I was amazed!
The relief was almost immediate.

I'm rambling here. To make a long story short (or to just cut off the long story), I now
have a good doctor and have had some reasonable success controling the headaches with verapimil.
Also, knowing that the Imitrex awaits me in the medicine cabinet when the monsters break through
has taken away much of the fear that I used to have.

Finally, reading all of your experiences and insights has given me a LOT of support. I really
wish that none of us had to suffer with these. Having to come to and find
others that have had experiences similar to mine has really helped me to deal with my own pain.


Tim LaSalvia

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