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Posted by Bon ( on July 26, 2000 at 22:03:21:

In Reply to: Popular cluster patterns?/Cafergot/Clusters leading to physical damage? posted by John Braganša on July 26, 2000 at 21:03:21:

Dear John:

If I understand correctly, Cafergot is a vasoconstrictor
with a chemical makeup similar to LSD. I have used it for
over 10 years and have suffered no ill effects of which I
am aware. I do believe however, that a drug of this
type if probably not good for you in the long run.
On the other hand, as CH sufferers will attest, long
term health concerns often pale in comparison with
the immense pain associated with our affliction.

I have found Cafergot to be most effective when taken before
a full-blown headache. Once the headache hits, it is
of little use. I have found that weightlifting involving
great exertion with a fair amount of repetitions
will get rid of a CH virtually 100% of the time.
(Some CH sufferers indicate that exercise has the
opposite effect.) For me, it's doing one-handed curls with
a 25 pound dumbbell, one arm at a time. Initially, about
30 curls each arm does the trick. The headache turns
off as if someone threw a switch. After a few weeks
of CH's, the number of repetitions required goes up
to well over 100 each. The key to the treatment is
to make sure that the last few curls are with extreme
exertion; The kind where you internally scream at the
painful demon to get out of your head. When you're
done your arms will feel like they're ready to fall off.
Be careful though, the first couple of times you do
it as you may overdo it and make your arms so sore
that you can barely raise your arms over your head for
the next couple of days.

I have also kept a CH diary for a period of about
10 years, and have noticed no particular seasonal
pattern for my cluster periods. Also, the pain-free
durations have ranged from about 8 months to as long
as nearly 4 years.

Finally, your concern about permanent brain damage is
certainly reasonable. To an extent, the mere fact
that we get these headaches means that we have some
form of brain damage. It's just that doctors can't
seem to identify what it is.

Best of luck controlling your CH's. We all know what
you're going through. Oh, I almost forgot, breathing
oxygen can be helpful for many people.


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