Any women with cluster headaches?

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Posted by Linda ( on January 09, 2002 at 15:52:06:

I am a female who's going through my fourth ch attack since 1984. Nothing against you guys, but I'm trying to reach another female with these things. I understand we're in the minority.

My first ch attack came in 1984 when my docter changed my birth control pill. It lasted for 4 months. Every night at 7:30 p.m. I got hit with a CH. They lasted anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Finally, I checked myself into an emergency room when a co-worker told me my face was swollen. Doc there told me it was migraine and gave me pain killers. At around the same time, my ob/gyn changed my bc pills. I didn't make any connection until much later.

In 1995 I went off the pill in hopes of getting pregnant. 5 months after going off the pill, my headaches started again. Like clockwork. Every night around 7:30 p.m. This time I went to a GP and he tried prednesone, which worked but I didn't like the side effects. I ended up on amitriptiline. Worked great. I stopped meds in Feb. 1996 and got pregnant in December of that year.

My son was born August, 1997 and in Sept. of that year, about 10 days after his birth, ch came back and this time there was nothing "clockwork" about it. CH woke me up 2-3 times a night. Went back to the GP and he gives me amitriptiline and then I'm fine. 6 weeks after my sons birth I start bc again.

August, 2001, I stop bc (depo shot) and have an iud inserted. November the ch back. This time I go to GP, he gives me amitriptiline but it doesn't work. Te ls me, after 6 years, that he's not sure I have ch because my episodes last longer than a few weeks. Also, he didn't fail to point out that I am the only woman he knows that has ch. He sends me for an MRI which comes back normal and now I have an appointment to see a neuro on 1/17/02.

My GP originally diagnosed me as having ch in 1995. I didn't ever hear of that term till then. Now he's doing an about face and it angers me. I have read alot of the reseach on the web about ch. I've taken the quizes, surveys, etc. My symptons are classic. One sided pain around the eye, nasal stuffiness, durations, etc., etc., This go around, nothing is typical. I have ch alternate nights. Sometimes when they come it's around 10:30 p.m. If not then, they wake me at 5 or 6 a.m. They don't seem to fall into any pattern. Is this typical.

I link my attacks to my birth control. Are there any women out there that can relate? Also, I'm worried that my neuro is not going to know anything about these headaches. Any good research I should provide him with. Any suggestions.

Thanks. I'm glad I found this webside. It's hard talking about these CH's when no one I know can relate to the pain. These things are right up there with labor.


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