The first cluster attack I witnessed...

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Posted by Margi on November 01, 2001 at 10:55:01:

In Reply to: It's best that she does see what it's like posted by Colin on November 01, 2001 at 03:49:56:

I thought Mike was surely going to die. We were dating at the time and I remember him standing there, shaking, deep breathing, sweating and unable to tell me what was wrong. Yet, 10 minutes prior he had (to my uneducated eyes) been fine.
He did the same thing you did, Shane - kept it from me, didn't tell me that he was in pain. Didn't tell me he was shadowing. Didn't tell me he was about to begin his journey into Hell for awhile. Didn't tell me that it wasn't going to be fatal, or that the attack would pass eventually. I thought he was having a heart attack (even though he was only in his late 20's at the time). I put my hand on his chest and could feel that his heart was about to burst! I didn't know what to do. I offered to call 911 and he just mumbled something negative. I don't remember ever being so scared or feeling so damn helpless. Now, because we have learned together about cluster headaches, I feel so much better prepared to help him. And sometimes the biggest help I can be is to just leave him alone to do battle. But I stay within earshot.
Please, please PLEASE tell your girlfriend about cluster headaches, Shane. Tell her about what you go through when you're not getting attacked and sit her down at the 'puter and bring her here. Send her to us at the Family Services Team - we are a group of supporters AND sufferers who totally understand what it feels like to see the horror of an attack.
And, for what it's worth, I'm a migrainer too. I understand head pain. But as a migrainer I had NO idea how much more severe (and how different) a cluster attack was until I saw one. Colin's analogy of a gut punch compared to a gonad kick is right up there with the best I've seen. Now, I think of migraine attacks as puppies, and cluster attacks as rabid wolves.
Hang in there, Shane and tell your girlfriend there are others like you, and others like HER out here. Okie dokie?

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