Posted by Hal (18.104.22.168) on March 26, 2000 at 18:47:19:
In Reply to: to all the doubters, a reminder posted by karen on March 26, 2000 at 10:32:41:
I'm a person who suffers from episodic monster, twelve-hour cluster attacks that aren't supposed to happen. I'm also a person who suffers from chronic migrainous headaches. I have an easy way of telling the two types apart. You can make the pain of a migraine worse by making a sudden head movement, like a sneeze, for example. Or you can make the pain less by lying quietly in a dark room. On the other hand, I've never found a God-damned thing, in more than 43 years, that affects cluster pain one way or the other. Nothing that you do will make the pain worse. (I read somewhere that the reason for this is that a cluster attack feeds to your nervous system all the pain that it's possible for you to feel. Obviously, you can't fill a glass that's already full.) And there is nothing that you can do to make the pain less.
I remember a time when I had both a clustter and a migraine. I was kneeling on the floor with with my head buried under the cushions on the couch to muffle my groans and moans so that my wife could get some rest. The next thing that I knew, I was waking up. Now, the only way that I could have fallen asleep was for the cluster attack to be over. I virtually jumped for joy. *Big* mistake! The migraine was *not* over and the sudden movement brought *that* pain rushing back.
Anyway, back to the analysis. When I have a long cluster attack, the pain is always what I think of as "traveling" pain. The agony starts in my teeth. Then, it's suddenly in my cheek. Then, just like that, The Beast has me screaming in agony as he tries to tear my eye right out of my head. Then the pain is back in my cheek. Then it's suddenly back in my teeth. This kind of traveling pain has gone on for as long as sixteen hours. And, I've always considered it to comprise a single cluster attack.
*But*, suppose, instead, that this is *not* a single attack that travels up and down the side of my face and lasts for hours. Rather, each change of location represents one in a series of separate, normal, fifteen-to-ninety-minute attacks, happening one right after the other.
Obviously, there may still be sufferers who have the pain for hours at a time and it's only in one location. Nevertheless, my theory does help to explain away some of the deviations from the standard.
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