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Posted by gary g ( on December 16, 1999 at 13:46:48:

In Reply to: Back to episodic?? posted by Chet on December 16, 1999 at 12:49:21:

Hi Chet (and anyone else interested)

there isn't too much "absolute" about CH
but the following is ABSOLUTE fact
exactly as stated
the reader can draw their own inferences

I was a pretty steady drinker by the time I first had CH, age 20
I continued with the "work hard, play hard, drink hard, damn the torpedoes life full speed ahead" until I was 33

My CH got worse the whole time
both in length of cluster periods and average frequency and intensity of attacks within the clusters

I went "chronic" for nearly two years at the end of this first "stage"
VERY VERY bad form of existence, I can assure you

for reasons (as I look back now) completely apart from CH, I had my last drink on a Sept. afternoon in 1983 - in fact, didn't finish that one

it was during a remission period
another cluster was "due" at any time - it being fall (my core pattern)
it never happened - I stayed in remission
and not drinking
for well over a year

just when I was about to proclaim
THE" answer, I got nailed with a "standard-issue" 2 month cluster

that was 15 years ago.
since then I have documented a steadily improving situation with my CH -
more time - on average - in remission
and milder & fewer attacks - on average - in the clusters
you make what you want of it
I am not saying there is a direct cause & effect.
What I have come to personally believe is this:

1. there is absolutely an involuntary, somehow predetermined, physical/biochemical "design defect" in both clusterheads and drunks

2. WHATEVER is "behind" CH is also to some extent involved with alcohol dependence - I'm NOT talking direct cause & effect - I believe it's probably more like being coexisting parallel conditions that trace back, to some extent, to a common root - as may well be other "traits" that I've never even though about

3. those things that I did, and continue to do, to convert my life from one involved (and often centered around) drinking ALSO seem to help reduce the negative effects of CH

answer to the obvious question:
NO I'm not crediting lifestyle change with effects that are the result of different CH therapy
The improvement curve in the CH was well established before I discovered and started using oxygen and before I started using the technique of changing my sleep pattern intentionally to preclude the cumulative effects of nocturnal CH attacks

the new therapy efforts have just improved things even more

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