Posted by Jamy (188.8.131.52) on December 11, 1999 at 15:36:13:
Hi again, I have not posted in quite sometime. Thank whatever, I have my life back and have been extremely busy. This is a Ritalin update.
It was a long hard road getting my doctors to agree to a trial of Ritalin, but now it has been two months. It was this time last year that I endured my first cluster headache. I live in Portland Oregon where the daylight is not only reduced seasonally but also because of the rains. I did not have a remission until I went to Baltimore, MD for a visit in July where the sun was shining. During that time I was able to greatly reduce my medication of Lithium. When I returned to Portland, BAM, there they were in all their power and glory. At that time I read about Ritalin on the board and copied every article and posting available. Finally I convinced my doctors to let me have a go with Ritalin.
I was started on 5mg twice a day. I am currently on 10mg twice a day. It is not an all time cure as Ritalin is not time released, so the nights are still a problem. For this my doctor has given me a prescription for 45 Hydrocodone a month. What Ritalin has done is about the same as Lithium but without the tremors. I can now sign my name. Ritalin also does not have the side affects of depression that I found to be unbearable with the many other medications I had tried.
One of the hardest things for me to come to grips with, having been 48 when they began, was the affect they had on my life as a whole. I became a shut in. Before these, I was very active. I have 2 monster dogs, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 115 pounds and an American Bulldog, 140 pounds. There is an extinct volcano almost in our backyard that the dogs and I walked everyday for hours and both dogs were involved in volunteer work. And then the world came to an abrupt stop.
I am currently trying to reclaim my life and am swimming everyday at a hospital pool and making my insurance pay for it. The level of atrophy was astonishing. I can again go to the movies without the flickering driving me to torment.
As I said,Ritalin is not the all time cure but for me it has been as good as any other of the meds Iíve tried. I have tried to stress to my doctors that pain free is not the only option, but that pain manageable is the goal. This I have reached so far. I have offered in the past and will offer again the packet I put together for my doctors including a letter I wrote them. I am happy to send to any that want it.
Good Luck to us all and to all the end of pain,
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