Posted by Todd Owen on November 18, 2001 at 13:21:34:
Went out to the drop zone my wife and I frequent, wanted to make a couple of skydives. The beast had other ideas for me, however. I had some semblance of control over the CH, and made one low key jump, wanting to see how things would go before I pushed myself further. All went well, landed on target, went in and packed, and thought about getting on another jump.
That was when the beast decided he wouldn't let me go. Hammered with a good one, 9 on the pain scale. Finally came down to about a 6, just sitting there trying to push my eye through the back of my head. Another jumper that I have known for last few years looks at me and said "I know that look. That's me. You have cluster headaches." I was surprised to say the least. Turns out, not only is he another clusterhead, but he also has seen Raskin at UCSF for it. We end up talking a bit more through the day, and I find out the guy who I used to think was such a jerk was just that way because he was in pain levels like me. Absolutely amazed.
Went out to dinner, and got hammered hard again. My wife decides she's had enough, that I'm going to the ER if I like it or not. Since we were off at the DZ, we went to the local hospital out there. My god, I have NEVER received this wonderful sort of care in any ER before. The respect, caring, and sympathy for my condition was unbelievable. The speed with which I was triaged, examined, and treated was amazingly fast. The doctor decided to start with 150mg of Demorol, to try and break the headache. The nurse who came in to give me the injection started talking to me, asking me a lot of questions about my CH.
As it turns out, she was als a clusterhead, and a former patient of Raskin's as well. She went through everything with me as she gave me the injection, quite concerned not only about my CH, but my overall health picture, especially mentally. Within 30 minutes, the pain was down to a 3, and she came in to see me. My wife said that she went out and convinced the doctor to give me another 75mg of Demorol to make sure the pain was gone and I could get some rest. Needless to say, the pain was gone, and I slept VERY well last night.
I was quite surprised to meet two clusterheads yesterday, especially both patients of Raskin, like myself. The nurse in the ER sure helped a lot--she knew what I was going through. I never got her name, but my thanks go out to her, many times over.
Blue skies and PFNAD,
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