Intro (very long -- this is an outpouring ;)

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Posted by DeAnna B ( on January 05, 2000 at 02:29:12:

I've spent the night alternating between rocking in pain and laughing from sheer joy: It's so wonderful to know that IANA.

I got my first headache when I was 16. It scared the crap out of me ... I thought I was having a stroke and was going to die. I could tell you exactly where I was, who I was with, the color of the walls, the time of night, everything. God that was scary! The pain went away in just 5 minutes, with only a residual headache for a few hours, and I never told anyone who wasn't there to witness it, because I was terrified that I had a tumor or something and was going to die.

I got the second sometime in college -- I don't remember when exactly, I just remember the pain, and that it lasted the better part of a couple of hours -- a solid 9 (I read the Kip scale earlier <g>). That time I thought it was an aneurysym. I never told anyone about that one either. Who would have believed me, anyway? A headache that severe that just went away completely? Yeah, right.

They've been building in frequency since my early 20s. Sometimes I'd get bouts, and then go months or even years without the pain. I'd go so long PF that I'd completely forget about the pain or that I ever had it, and then WHAMMO! Those little gnomes would crawl out of my ear and start driving that ice pick into my cerebellum again. I felt like my brain was being crushed, like someone was stabbing me right through my skull, like someone was doing embroidery on my brain using my ear as a thimble. Always the same pain, in exactly the same place. And always it would go away so suddenly that I'd wonder if it was ever really there or if I was just losing my mind ... like the people around me must have thought I was ... (My "dance" is to hold my forehead and the top of my pain and grip as hard as I can while rocking back and forth and waiting for it to go away. I have this fantasy that if I can claw hard enough I might be able to pull out the part of my brain that hurts and live a normal life. <g> Must look kinda weird, huh?)

This year's been hell -- they've been almost constant since June. 1-2 weeks PF, then the contriction band around my head. That signals the start -- becomes a 4-5, spiking at 8-9 for a good 5 minutes, then back down to a 4. Always on the right side. Always in exactly the same spot. Always in the early afternoon. 3-4 days at a time, sometimes 6-7 days. Then it goes away, for a few days, then back. And if my husband asked me one more time why I didn't just take some Advil or something I think I was going to choke him on the bottle ... LOL He finally convinced me to see a doctor a couple of weeks ago (I didn't want to -- was afraid of what I'd hear.) Can you believe she's HEARD of CH and recognized it right away? Started me on Propranolol (see post below, don't go there). But some of the best words I've ever heard were "It's not a tumor -- if it was you'd be dead. We might want to do a CAT scan to be sure, but it sounds just like a CH. It's the ice pick, you see ..." Such a relief to know I'm not terminal! :) LOL

And then tonight, when the attack came on through the Propranolol (a 3-4 this time, spiking at a 7 ... kinda relaxing, really! hehe) and now I know I'm not alone. I know that freaky lump I get on the back of my neck IS related and ISN'T my imagination and WON'T kill me. I know that it doesn't matter that I'm not "classic" (a woman, no congestion or flushing, afternoon instead of evening) -- it's there, it's real, I'm NOT insane, and best of all, I'm NOT alone. Someone else out there really does understand this @#$%ing pain. (Actually, I feel kinda bad even complaining -- I ain't got nothing on what some of you go through, and childbirth was DEFINITELY worse -- it lasted longer, you see. <g>)

Thank you for sharing. Thank you for letting me know that I don't suffer in a vaccuum. Thank you for easing another attack. Thank you for suffering through this incredibly long outpouring of emotion ... and thank you for being there. :)

Love to you all, and a pain-free life,

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