An open petition for the people working in the healthcare industry involving patients with Horton’s syndrome
We hope that the term “headache” would not be used when dealing with our disorder but rather some other expression as part of the name of our condition. Using familiar "cluster headache" may build up to not understanding condition and expression like "it's just a headache". In our patient files Horton’s syndrome or Horton's cephalalgia can be used.
Horton’s syndrome also has a nasty nickname; “suicide headache”. This rough sounding name is an attempt to express the severity of our condition. This is not a headache or just a head pain. These are seizures originating from the brain that leave patient alone to overcome the physical and mental traumas from these seizures (attacks).
English term “an attack” is very fitting, and since we feel the pain of these attacks in our head region, some use the term “head attacks”. But only when you start to think these seizures appearing like physical attacks; someone repeatedly attacking you when no one can see - you start to realize the amount of fear many patient constantly live with. The “attacker” in Horton’s syndrome is an invisible shape; it breaks the patient because it feels like it’s stronger than you, it comes back again and again, it arrives by it’s own schedule and nobody even knows what is happening to you. Patients can actually be afraid to go to sleep, because sleeping is an usual trigger for an attack.
At some point when this condition has evolved to being severe enough, many of us are ready to do absolute anything to stop these attacks from happening.
In healtcare industry the better understanding of Horton’s syndrome and patients surviving with it will improve the management of this condition and also decrease the burden from people working in healthcare - it is an advantage for both parties.
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Patient with Horton’s syndrome