Clusters on ice?...

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Posted by Dan ( on April 12, 2001 at 23:44:49:

Hello folks.. I'm new here. I'm a 46 year-old male that lives in the Salt Lake City area. I've had cluster headaches for over 10 years now. I first discovered this site about a year ago. I vividly remember the description of folks that felt like banging their heads on things... I could relate to the pain. Banging my head didn't seem enticing- however, I guess I've become an "ice-addict." For some reason, putting a large ice pack over my upper right forehead feels relieving. I also try to find something cold for the back of my neck- which is usually also very sore and has a knot in it. Sometimes, I even tie a dishcloth with an ice bag in it around my head- and try to get it to sit just so-over my eye. (I know that if I ever die in the midst of one of these headaches- they'll discover me- and think I must have gone insane.) Anyway, just wondering if anyone else prefers ice/cold to banging. I also pressure to the right temple of my head, with my finger- really hard, and this seems to help. I also usually have my headaches for hours at a time...and they never ease up within minutes. They might ease up gradually over the period of 1-2 hours. If I'm lucky- they might even disappear for half a day. Then, sure enough- they return. During these "off spells," I often feel like my upper right forehead is hot, and have kind of numb/tingling sensation in it. Kind of like the headache's "pilot light," letting me know that it's still there- just waiting for its next flareup. It usually takes about 30-60 minutes to reach its height. Sometimes, it remains at that point for several hours- or days. Other times, it seems to escalate even more- to the point of "explosion." (That's my description of a "10" on the pain scale.) I've had MRI's and CAT scans- and am supposedly "normal." However, I do have a bunch of other ailments- on the side. I've taken Verapamil for over 10 years now. Supposedly, it helps prevent headaches. I never noticed any major improvement, but continued taking it- due to the fact that I also have high blood pressure- and I guess Verapamil is supposed to help that, also. Yesterday, however, my doc decided that my blood pressure is still too high- and told me to drop the Verapamil, and start taking Norvasc 5 mg. I guess it's also considered to be a calcium-channel blocker, but more effective at lowering blood pressure? Today's my first day on it- and I've got a bad headache right now. But then, I've been fighting this bout for about 10 days now. So far, just calcium-channel blockers for "preventative." Not much luck. For headache pain, my current plan is to supposedly try a fioricet first- and then if it doesn't do the trick, 4 hours later, try a Lortab. (Vicodin 10mg.) Usually, even after the both of them- together- it's still borderline "unbearable." One doctor suggested adding Ultram- which seems to do nothing at all. This thing is horrendous to deal with. So, what do you think? Sounds like I don't have all the classic symptoms- like how my headaches don't hit as suddenly as most of yours do. They also last longer- like I said, sometimes days at at time. I don't feel like banging my head- yet I do find relief in freezing it. I do have 95% of my pain radiating around my right eye socket- and forehead area. Oh well, that's enough for tonight. I need to get fresh ice packs for my head and neck- and maybe try to get some sleep in my LazyBoy chair.... I'll check back to see if anyone else relates to my situation. Thanks for "listening." Dan

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