possible help...

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Posted by Mike Albrecht ( on April 14, 2000 at 22:45:17:

In Reply to: Need advice posted by Dana Brooks on April 14, 2000 at 22:09:44:

I started getting Cluster headaches when I was 14 years old. After first seeing the family physician, then being referred to a Neurologist, I eventually was prescribed between 15-20 different medications, as well as oxygen.

None of them worked.

Finally, My Neurologist put me on Lithium Carbonate, (I was about 21 at the time) and after about 1 week, the headaches never came back. I continued to take the Lithium until the prescription ran out (for about 2-3 months if I remember correctly), and then tried living without it. I went for over 10 years without having a Cluster headache.

Mysteriously, I just got my first one in 10+ years over a week ago. Immediately the next day I made an appointment for the doctor. I had to go through a family physician again because my Neurologist is now operating out of Florida (I'm in Cincinnati, Ohio), and of course typical family doctor doesn't know squat about the "Demon".

I told right away and very curtly that Lithium is the only thing that worked for me, and I think she must have believed that I was a Lithium "junkie" and wanted to get a buzz off of it somehow. Of course she prescribed something else, (Zomig-$85 for 6 pills by the way, and you can end up taking 4 per day) and Depakote, a medicine used to treat seizures.

Needless to say, I kept getting the headaches, and when I spoke to the doctor earlier this week, I was told to "give them a chance to work".

Bullshit. I dialed information in Florida to track down my former Neurologist, eventually found her, and gave her a call. After explaining the situation, I asked her for a no BS referral--not a buddy or former schoolmate...someone she would go to knowing what she knows, and would trust her own life to or her children's life. She give me the name of a gentleman.

I called the office I was told I couldn't get in until the 25th of this month. Determined, I pleaded with the answering service who connected me to a different office line. I left a message explaining my situation, and begged for mercy on the answering machine.

I got an appointment for the next day. The doctor asked a lot of typical questions, and got straight to the point. "If lithium is what worked, then that's what we will do again".

I picked up the prescription, started taking it that same day, woke myself up in the night to keep taking it (to get into the bloodstream faster-going 8-10 hours while sleeping is a setback when you're trying to load up).

That was Wednesday, April 12. I had a terrible headache that night, but have not had one since.

I feel confident that this is the only thing that will work for me. If you haven't already tried it, give it a shot. And if you are not seeing a Neurologist that specializes in Clusters/Migraines DO SO! Don't waste your time with family doctors.

Good Luck. Let me know if it helps.

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