Posted by Mike L (18.104.22.168) on December 03, 2000 at 01:57:24:
I feel really lucky. Even though I have been chronic for about 6 years I do have some worse times of year. Winter is usually bad for me. I usually get a lot of migraines on top of my clusters and relief is almost impossible to find. However I have been watching my diet for migraines a little better then normal and have had a few weeks with no migraines at all. My cluster attacks have been less frequent also instead of about 10 a week I have been skipping a day or 2 between cluster attacks. I have worked full time for a week now and show no signs of getting worse again. I must stay on my meds without fail and listen to my body when I need to slow down and take a break. It always amazes me that I could ever forget my meds when the pain is so bad, but when I feel better I sometimes skip 2-3 doses a day and if it happens 3 days or more I pay with more frequent and painful attacks. I always feel after about 3 days without an attack that I may never get another one and go places alone and take a few more risks of getting caught in a bad place with an attack. It feels good to be a little unrealistic and I think the emotional high is worth it even when the attacks come back more often. Make believe is a good escape for me.
I have noticed something about how other people feel about my pain and I think I can tell if someone else has really had to endure a lot of pain and can understand where I'm coming from when I discuss my clusters. It seems that a person who has endured intense pain is not quick to say "That nothing, you should have felt the pain when such and such happened to me. Now that was real pain!" It seems that when someone understands pain they usually start with "Boy I don't think I have ever felt anything that bad but I can understand a little because of such and such experiance". Most cluster sufferers are very compassionate with other peoples pain and rarely suggest that no one else could ever suffer pain the way we do. Just because we read that our pain is so bad (and it is) does not suggest that no one else knows the meaning of suffering. I have suffered what I thought was terrible pain and couldn't imagine that anything could hurt worse until I got clusters. People may suffer about the same with much less pain because of what they are use to. When my wife or daughter get a headache I feel as much for them as someone who suffers bad clusters. I hope most of us are compassionate and never belittle someone elses pain just because we know worse pain. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving I am very grateful to chat with so many nice people on this board. Mike L
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