Posted by Steve (220.127.116.11) on April 01, 2001 at 15:54:36:
I am a 36 year old, long time sufferer of cluster headaches.
I have been experiencinfg episodes for the last 15 years or so. Usually a couple of times a year, for up to a couple/few weeks at a time.
I have tried decongestants, and a variety of painkillers, all with seemingly no effect on the regular course/intensity of the headache. Applying heat to the affected side of my head, and moving it around the sinus areas of my face seems to offer some mild alteration in the intensity of pain. I have also learned how to do a facial sinus massage, that leads to the movement/drainage of the sinuses contents, and seems to have some small effect as well.
Once the cycle is at it's peak of intensity though, nothing seems to have an effect. I have gone from having 1 to 1.5 hour episodes, to 5 to 6 hour episodes just recently. This has been exhausting, and almost panick inducing, going thru days wondering when I would be able to sleep and be free of pain again. I considered looking into the possibilities of other medical options until I read the post about the water 'treatment'.
On the first day of trying I was at a viscious part of the cycle. 3 nights from that week had been spent awake, from 1:30 or so, until the morning, when the headache would subside around 6 am. I started around 4pm, drinking as much water as I could, not really keeping track, or trying to be systematic. I probably drank the equivalent of about 8 to 12 ounces every half hour.
I woke that first night, again at about 1:3o, and immediatley drank about 3 large 16 ounce glasses of water, before the onset of pain hit me. This is usually 5 or so minutes after waking.
I sat down in a chair I often sit in, awaiting the onset of what I thought was inevitable, and hept a glass of water by my side. I drank maybe 4 or more glasses of water during the next 2 hours, almost laughing/crying as the pain never rose above the 3 or 4 out of 10 level! The episode ended, and I was able to have several hours of sleep after this, interrupted only briefly by the need to go the washroom to urinate.
I am now on day 3 of the water drinking. I have not had a single epiode since the first night of hydrating.
If anyone reading has yet to try this, please do so, I pray you have even 1/4 the success that I have had. It does take a little bit of effort and obsessiveness with the water glass, but ohhhhh what a payoff!
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