A few steps to take...

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Posted by Dave Emond ( on June 30, 2001 at 03:35:31:

In Reply to: Headaches,imitrex,smoking,pissed off posted by Mike R on June 30, 2001 at 02:50:23:

Welcome Mike to our little club,
Sorry for the reasons you had to join us, but glad you found your way here.
Be careful with your doctor, when they start guessing. Ask for a referral to a neurologist. And insist on an MRI. The neurologist will be able to tell you if you suffer from cluster headaches right away while your doctor continues to guess.
Also, at the left side of the board there is a list of links. Click on the one that says "Cluster quiz", this will help give you an idea if you do indeed suffer from CH.
It is possible that is coincidence that this has occured after quitting smoking. I had decided to "clean" up my life too, and live "healthier".
Wrong! I quit drinking (complete alcoholic), soon cut out the pot and a half of coffee each morning, and quit smoking (which I'm back to now).
Within the year, I started getting my first bouts with CH. I wondered the same things as you do now.
Thing is, many CH suffers never smoked, never drank, some are young children, etc.
The way you described Imitrex tablets is almost word for word my description I wrote when it was first given to me. I ended up throwing them away.
Two years later, I was given Imitrex nasal spray, which is the first and only thing that has ever put a dent in my attacks. When done just right, it can stop an attack in about 7 minutes.
Definitely see a Neurologist!
Take the Cluster Quiz.
Have the MRI's done.
Note: My MRI's showed apparent sinus problems, which made my doctor so proud, for he had argued for years that was my problem. He sent me to a specialist who would simply operate these problems away and I'd be headache free! The specialist basically looked at the MRI's and said he was full of shit, there was nothing a bowl of yogurt couldn't cure, and to stick with my neurologists advice instead of the docs.
But the MRI is important, just to make sure nothing else is going on.
One other thing, if you don't mind, could you tell us exactly what the pain feels like, how and when it comes on, how long it lasts, and what you do to try to ease it?
We can handle graphic and anger, and hope we can help somehow,

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