Posted by Mike Costello (220.127.116.11) on July 13, 2000 at 18:34:31:
Hi All - I really appreciate the info on this site. I'm almost sorry to report that I have not suffered as badly as many of you have. I am 38. My first cycle came when I was 17. The left side of my face, and particularly above my eye, were on fire. The skin above my eye pulsated. I couldn't work (I was a lifeguard at the time), I couldn't talk, I remember going into such a rage while talking to my mother on a pay phone that I completely tore the phone out of the wall. I was hospitalized; the eventual conclusion was "migraines". It was only later, when I was in my late twenties and had my second cycle, that a doctor told me about cluster headaches. Unfortunately, I've also had a history of drug problems, I smoked cigarettes for many, many years, and I generally didn't take very good care of myself. But up until recently I'd only had two cycles in my whole life. The first two cycles I generally dealt with through hospital-strength painkillers and lots of water and sleep.
In the last two years I have been diagnosed as bipolar (manic-depressive). I've begun taking Eskalith CR (time-release lithium, basically) and also Celexa, an anti-depressant. My "support team" and I settled on this combination only after a sometimes harrowing journey through the prescription drug world. I remember my latest doctor (MD, not psych), upon hearing about my CHs, mentioning that lithium also had been recently prescribed as a "maintenance" regimen for certain types of migraines, and that if it was any consolation perhaps future CHs would be eliminated through the therapy. I didn't think anything of it. Well, a couple months ago I went on a fishing trip to Mexico. A whole week baking in the sun and generally carousing. When I returned, I had an absolutely crushing series of CHs. Fortunately, my therapist (who I believe is God walking among us, for all the things she knows) told me about Maxalt MLT. A miracle drug, at least for me! I used it, and the cycle broke.
Then, two weeks ago, I went to an outdoor concert, an all-day affair. Didn't have a hat (duh!). Tried to drink more water than beer but failed. Guess what? Bigtime CH that night. And again, Maxalt MLT was the stopper!
I don't know what else I'm trying to say except that, for me, Maxalt MLT is the SHIT. And the interesing thing is, my insurance (Blue Cross) covers it like any other non-generic drug, which means it only cost $15 for whatever my doc writes. Well, he was only writing me for six at a time. My therapist is going to see to it that he writes for like 60 or 90 at a time. I'm really fortunate to have found this drug.
For me, excessive sunlight seems to be the major trigger. And just because I've found Maxalt MLT, doesn't mean I can now frolic freely in the sunlight. I'm trying to be very careful. The present cycle is still there, I know I'm not out of the woods yet, but my Maxalt is generally always handy. If I run out, it takes 12 Advil just to knock out the basic stabbing pain, everything else remains.
Best of luck to all of you! I'm with you.
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