How I Deal

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Posted by Curtis Johnson ( on April 23, 2001 at 19:14:13:

I am 28 and have SUFFERED from Cluster Headaches for 10 years. I Get them about once a year for a period of a month or two, with 1-5 bouts per day. I have had many different prescriptions from Stadol (the thought of that stuff makes me ill now) to Imitrex. When I first started getting them I would lay there praying for death, wondering what the hell I'd done to deserve this. It soon became obvious that it was impossible to lie still when the pain started to peak. I would stumble around moaning, occasionally stopping in the bathroom to blow my nose and look at my bloodshot eye. I remember those days as the worst of my life. After 10 years, however, I have developed the following regimen which works pretty well. When I wake up with a headache or feel one coming on while I am still awake, I immediately take a maxalt (seems most effective for me) with a tall glass of cold water and jump into a hot shower, as hot as I can stand it. I breathe deep and let the water hit my sinuses and the back of my neck. After a couple of minutes I get out, dry off, and put on sweats and running shoes. Without any delay I go outside and start running. Rain, snow, who cares. Anything is better than a cluster headache in full swing. I run as fast as I can for about 1 minute. I then, exhauted, slow to a walk until I catch my breath and jog for about 2 minutes. I find that a "bouncy" motion is the most effective. When I get back home after about 5 minutes I drink another tall glass of water. Ever since I began this routine I have never had a headache reach that "please shoot me" point. Even if I dont have any medicine, it still reduces the duration and severity significantly. I have found that if I smoke a cigarette after the pain goes away, I'll wake up in an hour with another headache. On another note, my doctor has suggested that I get a CAT-scan of my sinuses. Has anyone done this? Did they find anything?

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