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Posted by Flash ( on March 16, 2001 at 04:10:37:

In Reply to: A question for Flash and Pinky and BobP... posted by Paco on March 15, 2001 at 18:53:04:

If you want the honest truth... I never believe they are going to work. To me this whole thing is completely absurd. Despite all that I have read about the relationship between LSD and Ergotamine and Methysergide, despite the similarity in the molecular structures of Serotonin and Psilocin... I mean party drugs being the most effective treatment for vascular headaches - NO WAY! Surely if they were then some pharmaceutical company would be extracting the stuff and selling it to Joe Punter for a small fortune!

The problem is that every year I take them my headaches stop prematurely, in fact right after I ingest those substances. Every year I don't take them my headaches run full term. The years I have ingested these substances between episodes those episodes have never arrived. This has been going on since 1993, and I've had CH since 1986.

OK - surely it must be the placebo effect. As much as I'd like to believe that there are certain problems with the theory:

1) As a teenager I had pretty bad hypochondria. The doctor prescribed some pills to calm my nerves. They didn't work. Later I overheard my mother and father discussing the fact that the pills were just sugar. So placebos and I do not have a great history.

2) LSD began treating my CH accidentally. I was taking the LSD recreationally! One of my biggest concerns about taking it was that it would bring on my CH. I was between episodes at the time. The next episode was months away. I had forgotten all about the LSD by the time I realised the epsiode had failed to materialise. This process was also inadvertanly repeated the following year, and I still didn't make the connection. I only made the connection 6 months after the next episode occured, and that was 18 months after I ingested the last dose of acid!

3) CH gets you when you are sleeping. It doesn't discriminate. I don;t believe a placebo could be effective against it.

4) Even on our limited, unscientific, disorganised, unofficial, trials this treatment has a 90(ish)% success rate. Placebos typically come in at 40-60%. The 10(ish)% that it hasn't work for isn't surprising. In some cases we don' even know if they tok the right shrooms. For instance one sufferer recently ingested the brew over a 4.5 hour period - that is way to long, and there was almost no effect, but that persons condition did slightly improve for a few days!

Paco - every time my episode comes I put off taking the shrooms. I kid myself that it's just to make sure that the CH has really taken hold and that it isn't a false alarm. I kid myself that if I don't wait for the headaches to get under way then I might be in a natural remission. The truth is that every time I am scared that the shrooms wont work - I pin so much hope on them. I never actually expect them to work. Every time I believe that this time my bubble will burst. Every time they prove me wrong. Thank God.

If you compare my situation prior to being able to treat the CH with now, the difference is pretty startling. That's why I was taking LSD, and all that other shit back then. I had given up. I was an under achieving college drop out heading rapidly downhill, and probably ultimately into jail. CH played a major part in that. It's hard to complete a college degree if you are useless for 2 months out of every 12. It's hard to form close personal relationships. CH is a curse. If I was chronic then I probably would have killed myself. I am not good at handling CH.

Since avoiding CH I completed my degree. I know run my own business and my employee count doublkes every year - we're up to 39 now, and there will be 40 within a week. I'm married. After the hell I put them through, my parents must think all their birthdays have come at once!

Those are the reasons that I keep coming here. I owe my life to these drugs. Despite being PF and successful, with a fantastic life that I thank God for on a regular basis, I still come here every day. I do this because it's my way of paying back the good fortune that I've been granted. I seriously believe that CH would stike me down again if I didn't attempt to repay this debt. I know that somewhere out there is another young Flash whose life is heading down the toilet. I couldn't live with myself if I sat back and let than happen.

I guess that's all I have to say.


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