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Posted by Lisa ( on February 27, 2001 at 01:40:19:

Hi everyone, I just wanted to say thank you for all of the valuable information on this site. I have not yet been diagnosed with cluster headaches - I go in to see my doctor on Thursday- but after reading the descriptions on your website it sounds (unfortunately!) exactly like what I have been experiencing. The only thing that I don't seem to have is the tearing/runny nose on one side. I haven't had that at all.

It started about 3 weeks ago. At first I would get one headache a night, about an hour and a half after falling asleep, sharp pain behind my right eye that started suddenly and stopped suddenly, lasting about 20 minutes. The headaches rapidly became more frequent, longer, and more painful over the next few days, culminating in 8 headaches between 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday morning. The pain was so bad and I was so exhausted I think I may have shot myself in the head had I had the opportunity. I have five children, and gave birth to three of them with no drugs whatsoever, after very long labors, so I'm not a complete wimp...but this pain is so bad at times I think I am going to literally lose my mind. Saturday night my roommate took me in to the ER and I was given a shot of demerol, which I was told would ensure no more headaches that night. Ha! I had one of the worst ones I've ever had about an hour later, on the way home from the hospital.

I had no idea what these headaches were, thinking that maybe they were some type of migraine, but my roommate is an RT (respiratory therapist) and happened to mention my symptoms to one of the PA's at her work, who said it sounded like cluster headaches. I have had migraines in the past, but they were nothing like what I am experiencing now. I thought the migraines were plenty bad, at the time, but compared to these horrible things they were about as painful as a hangnail. Anyway, after reading that O2 was often useful for cluster headaches, my roommate (god bless her!) brought an oxygen tank home from work with her to see if it would help me, and I found it helped with some of the headaches if I started it when the headache was first beginning and if I had the flow rate up pretty high (around 10 liters.)

I spoke to my doctor who says she would like to order some tests to rule out anything like an anyeurism (sp). She did write me a prescription for the O2 until I can get in to see her on Thursday since it has been somewhat helpful with the pain. I now take this E cylinder with me in the car everywhere as I am in constant fear of getting another headache during the day when I am out somewhere. Most of them are at night, but I have had a few in the early morning or late evening. Last night I only had four or five headaches, and none of them were the bang-my-head-against-the-floor, screaming ones that I had a few days ago, so I am hoping...HOPING...maybe they are starting to ease up a little bit. I will be bringing all the articles and information that I have found about cluster headaches and recommended treatments with me when I see my doctor on Thursday...does anyone have any other suggestions? I have so many more questions, but I should probably wait until later this week to ask them. Thank you in advance for any help and suggestions. Sincerely, Lisa H.

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