Deep in a cycle

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Posted by Bill ( on June 21, 2000 at 13:18:26:

This is my first post, so here it goes:

I am a 30 year old male who has suffered from episodic CH for 12 years
As seems to be the case, the CH were undiagnosed for about 8 of those
years. After finally receiving a correct diagnosis (and 20mg Imitrex
nasal spray) at least I know what I have to deal with when I have a cycle.

As my doctor would say, I have "classic" episodic cluster headaches. They
occur every year like clockwork and last 3-6 weeks. The headaches usually attack
at night about 45 minutes after sleep begins. Using the Imitrex nasal spray, they
go away in about 40 minutes 60% of the time. The other 40% of the time, I am
at the mercy of the headache - pacing, feeling like my right eye is being
squeezed like a cheap melon at the grocery store, wishing for any relief. Sometimes,
if I am getting more than the usual amount of headaches, I have to "ration" the Imitrex
as my insurance will only pay for six doses every six days.

Sometimes a hot shower or some sort of blood pumping excerise will help get rid of the
pain, but sometimes makes it worse. My wife feels helpless as she watches me slink out
of bed, knowing I am in for an hour or two of pure torture. I worry that when we have
children I will not be able to help during the first few months of life if I am in a cycle.

I am in a the fourth week of this cycle, hoping that I am near the end of it so I can
remember what it is like to sleep for more than four hours a night again. It's amazing how
incapiciating CH's are, and I don't think anyone can truly understand unless they themselves
are sufferers or have lived with someone who has had CH's. People try, but they just don't
get it.

Thanks for the great website.

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