Posted by pinksharkmark (220.127.116.11) on December 05, 2000 at 04:14:13:
In Reply to: A great book (so far) posted by Marshall Van Stone on December 04, 2000 at 02:48:36:
Those of you have been here for a while know me as a fairly restrained individual. I try to present my input in a way that won't offend anyone, I try to absorb off-the-wall input and digest it before I add my two cents worth. If it works.... hey, I'm all for it!
There comes a limit.
CH is a PHYSIOLOGICAL disease. Let's face it, folks... we are all defective. There is something that is fundamentally WRONG with the way that our brain (specifically the serotonin regulating mechanism) behaves. No amount of stress management, psychoanalysis, or prayer, will change that basic FACT.
If you want to pray, get your neck adjusted, be psychoanalyzed, wear magnetic bracelets, take a stress-management seminar, or whatever.... cool, no skin off this shark's nose.
Whether we regard time as linear or cyclical, whether we believe in a higher power or not, whether we dance naked counter-clockwise around a yew tree on the Ides of March or not, doesn't change the metaphysical FACT that our brain physiology, and hence our brain chemistry, is DIFFERENT than that of the rest of the human race. To be brutally blunt, we are freaks.
No amount of "good thinking", "wish it weren't so", or "warm fuzziness" will alter that FACT one iota.
These techniques may help you deal with the agony when it comes, they may make you a better person overall, they may help you in your personal and professional relationships, but they have no effect whatsoever on the return of the Beast. The Beast is laughing at you.
Diabetics know that they have a disease. They take their medicine. They don't try to deal with it it by thinking differently. Leukemia victims know they have a disease. They take their medicine. They don't try to deal with it by changing their concept of time. Rheumatics know they have a disease. They take their medicine. They don't try to deal with it by going to a therapist.
The fact that our pain manifests itself in the cranium rather than in the... oh... I don't know... let's say the knee joint... doesn't change the metaphysical FACT that our bodies do not follow the same rules as a normal person's body does. To categorize cluster headaches as "psychosomatic" is to trivialize a very real, horrible, debilitating DISEASE.
Cluster headaches can sometimes be prevented, albeit imperfectly, with medication. Cluster headaches cannot be prevented with good thoughts. Please note that I do not pooh-pooh the benefits of positive thinking, bio-feedback or whatever. They can sometimes, for some people with sufficient mental discipline, aid in dealing with the pain associated with the disease. In the hands of certain people who are very skilled in their application, these techniques may actually be more efficacious than opiates, calcium channel blockers.... even Imitrex and oxygen, for that matter.
The headaches will return no matter how many yoga classes you take. They will return no matter which deity you pray to. They will return no matter how many hundreds of hours of psychoanalysis you paid for. They will return even if you won the lottery and no longer have to work at a high-stress occupation.
Because there is something NOT NORMAL about the way your brain is constructed. Too bad, so sad, not your fault. It's just like being born a midget or an albino. No amount of regarding time as cyclical, or reconciling the "false" mind/body dichotomy paradigm will ever alter the metaphysical FACT that you are a midget, an albino, or a clusterhead.
Why does it matter to me?
Because every minute spent on a non-productive area is a minute that could have been spent on researching something that WORKS... something that will allow a clusterhead to approximate some semblance of a normal existence.
Ideas have power. Wrong ideas have an insidious power, simply because they have a sly, semi-reasonable appeal... "My head hurts because I don't have my shit together." No one would ever think that, for example, "My joints are all gnarled and painful because I don't have my shit together."
If you think I am wrong, well.... BITE ME! I'm not wrong. Crap is crap. What we all suffer from is far too serious a condition to trivialize with airy-fairy nicey-nicey feel-good New Age head games. The Beast is a deadly serious adversary who will give no quarter. If you want to vanquish him, you had damn well better be prepared to slug it out in the trenches toe-to-toe with the most powerful weapons at your disposal.
If you enter the battle with an empty quiver, you will lose. That ain't pessimism, folks.... that's realism.
By the way... it is irrelevant whether Marshall is a migraineur or a clusterhead... the ideas espoused in the book he quotes are equally ineffective for either disease.
***Pinky dismounts his soap box with a sigh of relief, shaking his head in disgust***
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