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Posted by Riccardo ( on July 21, 2000 at 02:16:29:

In Reply to: Another response from WAMC radio station posted by Ted on July 20, 2000 at 14:54:40:

I was a bit less sweet with Doctor Katz
(means cat in German and... penis in Italian...)
My letter:
Riccardo wrote:

Ms Mary Darcy,
I'm writing from Italy. I'm a member of OUCH (Organization for Understanding Cluster Headaches).

I read the note you have sent to Mr Bob Pahlow, about that Dr. Warren Katz. He answered that the pain is a very subjective and personal thing. Yes it is. And we can agree on the fact that migraines can last for weeks, and cluster not.

But I (perhaps only in Italy....may be) I never have heard a Doctor that say that the migraine pain is less (objectively) than cluster pain. The simple fact that the trigeminal nerve is involved in clusters could sink Dr. Katz theory! I could only agree on the duration, but I think that a cold is LONGER than a heart stroke, but is not worse!

The average daily pain of a CH may be 3 hours, but the pain is OBJECTIVELY worse. I have had migraines and CH, Be sure that I pay a free day (4 hours pain) from CH with a week of migraines.

The big problem about Dr Katz is:if he cannot define the level of the pain (the answer he gave to you) how the heck he have been said before that migraines are worse than cluster? Two different mental processes? Rethinking? a Save Our Souls thing? or, more simply, he didn't activate the brain before he had been speak?

These things create big problem in managing CH in public (work, relatives, friends).

We fight to publicize the REAL pain. The pain of cluster is one of the worse pain a man can suffer (Dr Goadsby MD in England) and we are surely not proud of this! But the boss understanding toward our pain can be killed by some Dr Katz phrases, and I do not want this. I write you from Italy, because I do not want you think I'm scared from that interview at my work....here in Italy my boss and my friends surely never hear that.

I write you to help the men and women in pain in USA, they have not to be hurted

Mary Darcy answer:
Thanks for writing. I wish you and Bob had heard the program. Dr. Katz spent the program talking about ways to help patients who deal with headaches. The doctor discussed a few ways that pain could be measured...say a on a scale of one to ten...so that doctors and patients could communicate better about their pain. Pain, he said...is a subjective thing. A five for one person could be a nine for another.
He based his statement on clinical research, but he maintains that for many cluster headaches are in fact much more painful. I am going to forward your e.mail to Dr. Katz, hopefully he can help you more.
I meantioned to Bob that I would like to do a feature on cluster headaches. Perhaps your organization could help me with that. If you have any info you think would be of use you can e.mail it to me here. Thanks again for your interest. I hope Dr. Katz can help you further .
Mary Darcy
Producer, The Health Show


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