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Posted by Matthew ( on January 25, 2000 at 20:32:53:

In Reply to: Welcome posted by Todd on January 25, 2000 at 17:38:42:

I kind of feel a little embarrassed just listing symptoms . . . I've tried to not complain about it too much to people (especially people I don't know). But if it'll help, I guess it's not a big deal.

Well, there's this constant burning behind my right eye. All the time. I called it my demon even before I read about it here (I was shocked to read it; "hey, that's >my< anthropomorphism!"). It just kind of sits back there and hurts, all the time. But lots of times it gets a lot worse, too.

The reason why I said that I wasn't sure if I had clusters is because some of my symptoms seem like migraines. Sometimes I get nauseous, I am always photophobic. I have a "trigger," which seems to be a migraine thing: strong smells, vanilla, perfume, do it to me every time, but they happen spontaneously, too. I also have cluster symptoms: my right eye always tears and the pain is always on the right side. The back of my head gets really sore (on the outside; weird, no?) and it sometimes helps to massage it. I can't stay still, I usually end up pushing my head against something hard or squeezing it between my hands. I've cut my hair down to about a quarter-inch because I usually ended up pulling on it until my scalp bled (sorry, I know that's kind of graphic). I usually try to find something to bite down on, too. Twice I've been to a hospital where they've pumped me full of Demerol (which, I swear, I will never take again; I hate that stuff). I've tried Imitrex once, but the night I took it I had one of the worst headaches I've ever had (there's a story about that night, but maybe another time) and I've since been afraid to try it again. I can always tell when I'm about to get a bad one, but there isn't much warning; 20 minutes at most. I am almost invariably hit between 7 and 9 p.m. They usually last between an hour to two hours, but I've had one or two that have lasted much longer (those were the ones that made me sick to my stomach as well). Afterwards, the little constant pain that I usually feel is almost always gone for a little while and I just fall asleep. I've been having bad attacks at the rate of about two per week for the past two years. I find that drinking a lot of water sometimes helps (another thing I was shocked to read on this site).

So, with that mixture of symptoms, my first thought was that I might have cluster headaches with occasional migraines, but that's a little too exotic for any one person, isn't it? Who knows? I just wish it would stop.

Enough of that. Hereís a bit about me.

My name is Matthew, and Iím attending Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada to study Journalism. Someone once said that half of all journalists would rather be writing a novel, and I place myself in that category. I am engaged to the most beautiful person on Earth, and she helps me when I need it. Iím from a small town in Ontario to which I will be returning in the summer.

And thatís about it. Please let me know what you all think.


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