Cluster Headaches - At the End of My Rope

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Posted by Brandon Simpson ( on December 02, 1999 at 22:18:57:


This is my first post to I am a 25-year-old 7th and 8th grade reading and writing teacher who suffers from cluster headaches.

The earliest I can remember suffering with these headaches is about nine years ago when I was in 10th grade. I remember simply laying my head down on my desk in chemistry class until the headache passed, which usually happened within the hour.

If it were only so easy now...

I discovered exactly what my headaches were about three years ago when a doctor diagnosed them. I tried oxygen, to no avail. I then tried verapamil and prednisone at the same time. The cluster was stopped, and I continued with the verapamil (180 mg), which worked well for awhile, but soon stopped. We increased the dosage to 240 mg, and my headaches were under control for a good two years.

Now, they're back with a vengeance. My new doctor and I have tried several things. He put me back on prednisone, which worked on two earlier occassions, but it did not work this time around. I tried taking two 240 mg verapamil per day, and that didn't work. The worst of it is the fact that my attacks have increased from an average of one hour in length to four to six hours in length, and the pain is increasing in duration and intensity. Also, I have used Imitrex nasal spray and a variety of strong pain pills (including norco, darvocet, and hydrocortone), none of which have helped.

My doctor prescribed inderal for me today, but he is rather skeptical about its working, since it works in a similar manner to verapamil. He says he really doesn't know what else to do, and neither do I. I'm a teacher and a coach. I work 12 1/2 hours per day at school. I love my job. I love my kids. I have a family to support. I have bills to pay. But I'm at the end of my rope. I don't know what to do. If the inderal doesn't stop the headaches, I fear that my life, as I know it, will be over. And what's worse... I've read some people's accounts of their cluster headaches, and as bad as mine are, it looks like some people have worse attacks, probably something I will soon be experiencing.

To the creator of this website... thanks for making a place where cluster headache sufferers can vent. And to everyone else... if you have done something that has helped you with your headaches and you think it might help me, please post it here. Like I said... I'm at the end of my rope, quite literally.

Brandon Simpson

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