Just to introduce myself and my story...

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Posted by Brian ( on October 16, 2000 at 23:49:49:

Just to introduce myself, I am a 31 year old male with a history of intense headaches. They started around 1996 when I was 27. The first group of headaches came during the summer. They woke me from my sleep about the same time every night (2-3am) for about 2 weeks with some days being 'skipped'. The pain was intense - there was some of what could be described as pounding but it was more like waves of more intense pain - I couldn't get back to sleep until they subsided - no over-the-counter medications did anything for them - they were always on the right side centered sort of between my temple and behind my right eye - it seemed to hurt no matter what position I was in (I'd be squirming around rubbing my temple or applying pressure etc. to try to make it go away)
I saw my doctor who thought 'migraines' but did think it was strange that I didn't have nausea, etc. with them. (He even orderd a CaT scan to rule out tumors and the like - I do have a bit of a 'lop-sided' head so he was concerned a bit.) He started me on propranolol and some stronger pain med's until the propranolol provided its supposed preventative effects. It certainly didn't seem to work. My doctor suggested I look for triggers but I couldn't really find a pattern. (Hot weather seemed to be a good candidate for a time as I rarely got the headaches in the winter) I suggested cluster headaches at the time but he stuck with the migraine theory. A year or so ago, my doctor added Imitrex to the mix which seemed to help. (Now that I think about it though, that's kind of hard to tell considering the headaches can go away in under an hour by themselves.) The headaches were showing up during the day by this time as well.
Now a few years later, I still have them and I worry that they could affect my new career. (Good health is a requirement and they looked at the headache issue intently at a pre-employment physical - minus these headaches, I'm in the best shape of my life really.) So, here I am researching clusters myself on the web and at the library. And it's scary how much of the information I'm finding points me towards thinking these headaches are much more like cluster headaches than migraines. The latest bout of headaches has included intense headaches at around 3pm and 3am for several days in a row plus other off the wall hours other days. I've also noticed more pronounced radiation of the pain into the jaw and behind the ear. The latest doctor visit yielded a "okay, it really resembles cluster headaches but let's stick with the propranolol at a higher dose." Not great for me as I hate the effects of the propranolol and it doesn't add any options to preventing/treating the darned things. I decided to change doctors now so we'll see how that goes during my first office visit next month. I am frustrated for sure and sick of getting these things. Glad I found a place to type away about this.

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