Posted by Soren T (188.8.131.52) on December 26, 2000 at 03:54:12:
Hi there I am a nearly 40 years old guy from Denmark. Several years ago I searched the Net to find some material about cluster headaches – some cure for it. I did not find it *smile*
So why am I posting here today? Because I feel that maybe and only maybe I have a story worth sharing. To make my story a little more truth worthy I would like to tell a little more about myself. I am married and have two daughters. I am an engineer and have a master in foreign business. Love my work and often too much. I am a non-believer – believe only in the things I can see or things that can be tested/proved scientifically.
In 1995 I got my first cluster headache. A bit late age-wise but according to the doctor it was without any doubt a cluster headache. Heavy pains in the left side of the head that lasted around 45 minutes. I had approximately 6 attacks a day in 2 months. Then I had approximately 3 months without any headaches and then back 3 months of pain.
I could not accept that I had gotten something that no one could cure. So that was when I first started to search the Net for a cure. As mentioned earlier I did not find a cure so I had to take Verapamil and Imigran. Even though the pills did help to some degree I slowly started changing things in my life.
I started to eat a lot of salad to my dinner – I thought maybe you haven’t lived healthy enough – not that I ever thought about that before. As mentioned before I have a family so I am not saying that we did not eat healthy before – we are not a fast food family. But the new thing was that I to every meal at dinner made a salad which included for example cauliflower, bean, peas and not to forget cloves of garlic. I buy the garlic in a jar (maybe not the right word for it) and use 10-15 cloves to each salad. I do not eat them only to become healthy but also because I like them *smile*. I often make a dressing for the salad with fresh pressed garlic in too. Recently I read on the back of a medical book (borrowed to my wife on the library) that garlic do dilute our blood. As fare as I remember Verapamil do the same so maybe eating garlic helps me.
I also started to get some massage. Those headaches really did give me a lot of tensions. Maybe I had tensions before but at that time I did not listen to my body as I started to do. Wow do you start listing to your body and its signals *smile*. In the beginning I went to a professional masseur but nowadays my wife is giving me massage (I am doing the same for her) and we both enjoys it. My wife is giving my back, my neck, shoulders and jaws massage 1 to 2 times a week.
My wife felt that something in my back and neck could be better and suggested that I should go to a chiropractor but to be honest it took sometime before I went there. As mentioned before I am a down to earth guy and for me a chiropractor was working inside the alternative medical care and that was not something I believed in! But I went down there and have been coming there since. I go there at least 5 times a year but sometimes I go there more often. For the moment I visit my chiropractor every 5th week.
As I often had to get up several times during the night I started to go to bed rather early - around 9:30 p.m. I had to be able to do my job next day so I needed some sleep. I still go to sleep around 9:30 – 10:00 p.m. every night and get up around 6:45 a.m. So you could say that I sleep a lot. But I have learned that if I stay up late I am deadbeat the next morning. Some will maybe argue that I just got used to sleeping a lot and that is maybe true. But on the other hand it may also have helped – that I got more constant sleeping rhythm.
At my work things changed too. Suddenly I was off to the restroom (walking around on that single square meter for 45 minutes). I had to tell my boss as I had huge problems concentrating on anything when I had an attack. Slowly but surely I had to prioritize more than ever. I knew that I would get 1 to 2 attacks during the day and I therefore had to get things done before getting them (they often came late afternoon). Suddenly most of my work was finish inside the ordinary work-time. So even though I like to work hard I learned to be able to go home when I am not busy. Some weeks I only work the hours I am expected to and that is a major change. I also started to take a long summer vacation with my family. We go abroad for the whole period (3-4 weeks), as I do not want to think about all the things I ought to do at our house – I want to relax and only relax during that vacation!
I stopped using Imigran as it often did not help me instantly and I knew that my attack would last around 45 and then I would be back to normal more or less. I told myself that my wife and other women had been able to give birth to kids during all times even though most of them are suffering under great pain while doing it – so should I not be able to stand 45 minutes of pain? That was the way I got through most of my attacks.
I still had my headaches even though I made all the above-mentioned changes but slowly and surely they started getting fewer during the day and slowly the attacks became less painful. Nothing I really noticed in the beginning it took at least a year. Nowadays I do not use any medication. I seldom have headaches and when I get them I do not get them in “real” clusters like before. I have times where I get maybe 2 headaches during the night and some months the chance of getting them are bigger than others but when it all comes to all I have much fewer and less painful headaches than before.
I do not know if the changed – made in my life – have anything to do with my cluster headaches going away but felt that maybe and only maybe this was worth sharing with you.
Kind Regards and merry Christmas
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