A Cluster Headache Sufferer

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Posted by Karen on November 01, 2001 at 22:48:02:

My name is Karen and I guess I am one of the very few women that suffer of cluster headaches. I've had these pains for about 2 months a year since I can remember and usually around the same time of the year. Today (11/1/01)I had my first one this year. I have just graduated from college, and started a new job about four months ago. School was very difficult to complete suffering these severe pains. I look back and I do not know how I did it; professors and even doctors always questioning if you are exaggerating to get away with special treatment. Today I went to my new doctor and since she does not know me she question everything I told her. After explaining and begging over and over she finally prescribe some Imitrex, which of course will not last too long. I almost got treated like a junky; and I guess the fact that I am a woman it makes it even more difficult for people to believe that I actually suffer of cluster headaches. In school it was a little easier to deal with these pains because of the time flexibility; as long as the work was done it did not matter if it was done a two in the afternoon or four in the morning. Scheduled exams and other activities, however, were what I really had a hard time dealing with. I guess instructors did not really see or understand why I could not perform as everyone else while I was in such much pain. Very few understood and where sympathetic towards my condition.
Now with work I do not know how am I going to deal with this problem. The doctor did not even want to give me a note explaining my problem to my boss until she “verifies” with my previous doctor that I really do suffer of cluster headaches, she said-you can probably imagine how long that will take. It is so degrading and embarrassing to be treated like that. I totally agree with those who believe that people in general should be educated regarding this disease, disability, a curse I do not even know how the refer to it. When I was leaving in the dorms I used to warn my neighbors saying "if you hear me cry and scream do not worry it is a headache attack. It will pass..." and I used to be embarrassed and apologize for it as if it was my fault. I guess my faith and knowing that everything happens for a reason is what helps me overcome and deal with this situation. I want to take this opportunity to thank those who put together and maintain this website. It rally is a relief to know I am not alone in this torture and that we can be there for each other. Wishing all of you a pain free night :)

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