A Chronic's Mushroom Diary. Do not read if the word suicide upsets you.

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Posted by pinksharkmark ( on October 02, 2001 at 16:57:20:

As promised, here is an introduction/background, chronology of events to date, and some concluding remarks. Please feel free to post part and/or all of it as you wish. I apologize for it being so lengthy.

I always thought I knew what was implied by the term 'Suicide Headaches' every time I got one of those Kip 10's. In fact, I am sure I knew what the term meant. I would gladly accept suicide as an abortive just to end the pain. It would be an unwelcome - yet viable solution.

About 3 months ago, I personally ended up redefining what 'Suicide Headaches' meant to me. After over five years of being chronic with Cluster Headaches, I got hit with a wave of Kip 10's for about 4 nights in a row. The last night being the worst - a total of 15 headaches ranging from Kip 7 to Kip 10. What preceded this was about 1 1/2 weeks of having multiple Kip 6 to Kip 8's every evening and nighttime. Not much sleep going on here! Most of these were aborted with oxygen and Imitrex, but somehow in the end, the beast prevailed and I ended up with 4 Kip 10's back-to-back that 'final' night. After the last headache had subsided and I was very exhausted, I told my wife that I no longer wanted to live. This was the first time (outside of during the pain of having a Kip 10) that I wanted to die. And I sincerely meant it. Something had changed. I had no more fight in me, I contemplated and welcomed death for the next several days and nights (even when I had no headaches).

I then recalled reading about the mushroom treatment, and the success rates that were being experienced. I am not someone who would typically consider doing something like this due to the legality involved, but at this point - I have nothing to loose. I am neither a campaigner of anti-drug use, nor a pro drug enthusiast. I am a realist. At this point, I felt that I owed it to myself to find out if this type of treatment would work or not.

I then searched the web for all of the information I could find about procuring, growing and ingesting the mushrooms. I also paid particular attention to the chemical makeup between the human body and what was contained in the mushrooms that would alter the course of these headaches. I soon became awed and fascinated with all of the information that was available. I too became more convinced that this would work.

I justify this by reading about how if you were to have headaches in the past, you would go to the local Shaman, Witch Doctor (or what ever you choose to call him) and this is what you would be given. Through the centuries, man had
figured out that here was an all natural preventative. It was not until recently (last 30 years) that society has deemed this illegal - more than likely due to it's recreational use.

After a couple of failed attempts to grow some P. Cubensis (note: Trichoderma is a very nasty and easy to contract type of mold), I started eliciting the assistance from Pinky. In no time, I was *finally* growing some mushrooms. After 2 1/2 months, I started to finally see the fruits of my labor (pun intended).

Saturday, Sept 22nd
My first dose. After 2 days of detox from all the drugs the doctors had me on, I was finally ready. I ingested 2 1/2 grams of dried mushrooms on an empty stomach. Within 15 minutes, I ended up with a Kip 7. This was aborted with oxygen and ice packs in about 20 - 25 minutes. I then experienced a very pleasant trip for the next 3 1/2 hours. I went to bed feeling tired, but very good. No more headaches for the remainder of that evening. Not sure why I ended up the Kip 7, probably due to nerves or just coincidence.

Sunday, Sept 23rd
I woke up with a mild, but normal, type of headache. This was easily taken away by taking 2 Ibuprofen tablets. The rest of the day went just fine, but the main thing was that my head felt so clear! I did have some slight shadows later on that afternoon, but no headaches.

Monday, Sept 24th
My head still feels very clear - all day long. Slight shadows again in the evening, but this time I did get a couple of Kip 1's at night. Easily aborted with oxygen in 5 minutes. Basically, another pain free day!

Tuesday, Sept 25th and Wednesday Sept 26th
Both were good days, however I did experience very mild clusters both evenings. I had around 5 to 6 Kip 1's and 2's each of these evenings. These were easily aborted with 5 minutes of oxygen each time. And I am now feeling great because I am getting completely full nights of sleep!

Thursday, Sept 27th
2nd dosing. This time I decided to up the dose to 3 1/2 grams of dried and diced mushrooms. This was taken first thing in the morning (very empty stomach :)). I also took them with 2000 mg of vitamin C, 1 1/2 cups of Cranberry juice, and a cup of black coffee (at the advice of Pinky). This trip lasted around 5 hours, and was very intense and pleasurable. No more headaches for the remainder of the day.

Friday, Sept 28th thru Sunday Sept 31st.
Each of these evenings, I experienced multiple (approximately 6) mild cluster headaches in the evenings - but none that woke me up! None of these went above a Kip 3. All of these were easily aborted using Oxygen and ice packs. I am still getting full nights of sleep, and life is grand! I can easily say that life is grand as a typical night (while on the clinical medications) I would get at least this many attacks on a daily basis, but much, much, much more intense. Before the on-set of this treatment, I was an Imitrex junkie. Also of particular note is that I feel so much better now than when on all of the medications. No more trembling hands and muscle convulsions from the Lithium. No more feeling so tired and half asleep all the time. No more being worried about "did I remember to take my medication 4 times today?". No more extreme panic and fear of a surprise attack (daytime or nighttime) from the Beast. No more Verapamil and Naratriptan every day, and no more feeling like a human pin cushion, or poster child for an Imitrex commercial.

Monday, Oct 1st.
3rd dose. This evening started out just like most other evenings. I had 6 Kip 1's and 2's, which were all easily aborted using Oxygen. Then number 7 for the evening hit. What the fuck?!? It was a Kip 10!!! This particular visit from the Beast lasted 45 minutes. Although I used both oxygen and ice packs, nothing phased it. I would have reached for the Imitrex, but I was well into the 'Dance' at that point, and couldn't inject it even if I could reach it. Once the attack subsided, I sat holding my bruised head, crying and panting heavily, for about 30 minutes. I then decided to take another dose at 1:30 in the morning. This was 2 1/2 grams of dried and diced mushrooms, along with some Cranberry juice, black coffee and vitamin C. Although this trip was pleasant in itself, I was just too tired to stay awake. After 2 hours from ingestion, I crawled into bed and tried to get some sleep. It wasn't easy, as I was still tripping pretty hard, but I did manage to fall asleep and get some much needed rest.

Tuesday, Oct 2nd.
I woke up around 11:30 this morning - still tired and with a very bruised head. But my head is clear - devoid of shadows and the feeling of more headaches. As I have no more mushrooms ready at this point, I hope all goes well for the next several days and that I will have more on hand for 5 days from now (assuming I get more clusters).

Is this treatment successful? Is it really worth going through all of the hassle of figuring out how to be a Fungus Farmer? Is it worth going through all of the physical pain of fighting these with only oxygen, detoxing, and not taking medications? In a word...yes.

Going into this treatment, I was not (and ultimately am still not) quite sure what to expect. But what I do know is that if I compare the feeling of what my body was going through after all the years of taking medications 4 times daily, all of the repeated daily 'high on the Kip scale' attacks, all of the missed work days, and the continual psychological fear of what level of attack(s) I will get each evening - this is worth it. Now, I am on no medications and am taking something that is thousands of times less toxic for my body, and am seeing much improved results. I could not even imagine
what my life would be like right now if I was taking no medications - and was not taking the mushrooms. Undoubtedly it would be feelings of suicide again. But I am far from that point now, even after last nights Kip 10 as I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter as time goes by.

I will continue to keep taking the mushrooms until I achieve (what I deem as) satisfactory results. At this point, I am unsure as to when that will be, however I remain optimistic considering the improved results to date. I did not enter this assuming a fix all/cure all, but I feel confident that I will find a point where they subside, and a time period of remission (hopefully months) in between having to re-dose to maintain a normal and headache free life. I also feel that my treatment may take longer (as compared to an episodic sufferer) as I have been chronic with clusters for years.

I want my life back again, and I will get it!

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