Cluster or not? Please help me.

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Posted by Pam B ( on December 24, 2000 at 03:54:54:

Hello everyone.

Let me apologize ahead of time for the mispelled words you will (I'm sure) find here.

On Feb 24, 1999 I had a headache so severe I couldn't function. Years ago I had miagraine headaches (which I later found were linked to my birth control pills), but I have never in my life experienced the kind of excrutiating pain that started that day. It was continuous ... nonstop ... for 3 months. Every min of every day ... for 3 months.

It felt like my brain was exploding with each and every heart beat. I would push against the point of pain with my hand and would get a very slight lessening of the pain in that area, only to have it burst forth in another part of my head. I tried all the "miagraine" tricks I used to, but nothing helped.

I was hospitilized ... pumped with all kinds of medications .. nothing ... absolutely nothing they gave me aleviated the pain. They ran every test they could think of ... from cat scans to spinal taps to mri's ... looking for tumors ... bleeding of the brain ... I don't know what else ... and all the test came back negative (thank God). The only way I could get any relief was for them to knock me out ... even then the pain was still there and as soon as the medication wore off .. well ... at one point I begged my husband to kill me ... to put me out of my misery ... to stop the pain once and for all.

After I-dont-know-how-many doctors and hospitals and pain clinics and thousands of dollars in med bills, one doctor decided to give me steriod injections into my spinal cord ... a series of 3 injections performed surgerically ... and he started me on two medications for (hopeful) prevention. My last injection was in June of 1999. My headache finally started easing off after the 2nd injection in late May of 1999.

I am currently taking, and have taken since April '99 two med's for prevention. Verapamil @ 120mg/day and Celebrex @ 200mg/day. Amazingly this pain has not yet returned (again Thank God!). There have been a couple of times when I forgot to take my med's (stupidly I know), that the pounding headache returned but stopped short of being the excrutiating pain I had before.

Can any of you tell me if this is a cluster headache? Everything I've read so far points to the duration of my headache excluding it from being a "cluster".

Sorry this is so long, and thanks for anyone who might be able to help me.

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