I'm about 90% sure my headaches are clusters, but...

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Posted by Mr_Shide ( on June 28, 2001 at 05:17:29:

(I'm sorry this is so long, but it is neccessary.)

Hi! I would like to thank you all that responded to my last post. It really helps me to know that there are others out there who care.

I've been talking to different doctors, (none nuerologists), and consulting different websites. I was positive last night that my headaches were clusters, but I just want to hear your opinion.

I'm 18 years old, and have had headaches since I was 14. Before I was 14, I would get rather small headaches, and I found the easiest source of relief was to slam my head in a door, concentrating the impact on my left temple. When I was 14, I came home one day after eating a Subway sandwich and a large Pepsi, groaning in pain. I sat in my room hitting the left side of my head over and over again. I found an electric massager, but it couldn't exert enough pysical power. The headache started at the left portion of my forehead, centered behind my left eye, extending through my left sinus cavity, and ended with pain in the top left teeth of my mouth. The headaches have been the same ever since.

Over the years, the headaches seem to come generally around the season change from fall to winter, and spring to summer. Occasionally I will have a year where I have a series of headaches in the dead of winter or summer.

My father says that he also has "sinus headaches", but they are much more frequent, and of a lesser severity. He says that his headaches (and therefore mine), are most often caused by food. For instance, when I was 14, that November evening, he blamed the Pepsi for my headache. My father also says that his father had constant headaches that were very painful. My take on this is that my dad also has headaches, but they are of a different type. I would imagine that his are migranes, and because his dad and I have headaches, he believes they are the same.

My Mother also believes diet is a strong factor, and also that I am sleeping too much, and that my room is not clean enough. When I was 15, I had a period of two weeks where I ate only healthy food, and completley cleaned my room. I stayed to a normal sleep schedule, but alas, the headaches remained. I finally saw a doctor, who decided that they were sinus headaches, and suggested the use of a nasal spray.

As time progressed, the headaches would disappear for 4-5 months at a time. Often I would think I was free, whether by lifestyle change, or a new long term treatment, only to find the headaches back again. When I was 16, I had an excruciating bout with the headaches once more. My doctor then perscribed another drug which was to open up my sinus cavity. The drug was to be used for several weeks, and then I wouldn't have to take it anymore. As you can imagine, the cycle went away, and I thought it was just the drug.

That same year, I was also diagnosed with serious chronic depression. After I talked with the same doctor, she put me on Prozac, but unfortunatley jacked me up way too fast. I went beserek, and found a psychiatrist.

By the time I was 17, I had been diagnosed with narcolpsey in conjunction with depression. I went to a sleep lab, tried a machine used with sleep apnea patients, but found no relief until I came upon my current combo of meds; effexor and provigil.

About a week ago I was doing great. I wasn't very sleepy, and I definitley wasn't depressed. One day at my job at the local grocery store, I was in the dairy cooler when a headache set in. It was familiar. I thought that it was probably due to the weather changing. I got some Excedrin, and the pain went away.

That Friday I was watching a movie, "The Fast and the Furious", with a friend. About 1/2 way through, a headache started to set in. Soon I was figeting around in my seat; squeezing my head in between my hands. My friend asked if I was alright, and I told him that we had to leave. I knew that it would get worse, and I had to drive us home. If I waited any longer, I wouldn't be able to. The noise of the movie didn't bother me at all. Light doesn't either.

I got home that night and went straight for the bathroom. I took two Excedrin tablets, and jumped in a hot bath. I soaked my forehead with a wet, hot washcloth. I finally fell into a state of semi-conciousness, with my head pressed against the corner of the tub.

My reasons to doubt that these are clusters are such:
*my eye doesn't get red, nor droopy
*I am able to fall asleep after "the dance", (perhaps because of the narcolepsy?)
*Often I have a very dull headache around my left temple that is not so much painful, but rather a reminder that I'm still in my cycle
*Clusterheads are over 20

What do you guys think is happening to me?

Thank you so much!!!

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