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CHfather

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Posts posted by CHfather


  1. Good for you, Christina!  If I'm remembering right, sumatriptan is Imitrex.  I'm a little out of my depth here, but I'll take a shot at an answer and let smarter people correct me if necessary.  Yes, it will interfere with busting -- you're supposed to detox from meds like this for five days before busting.  Is it injectable, or pill form?  I think it's widely believed here that the pill form is not very effective.  I guess that it would better for you not to use it if your seeds will be there in less than five days.

    If you don't mind, please tell us exactly what you're taking with the vitamins.  Not everyone does this "right."

    You will want to move ahead with the oxygen, too.  While busting works, it almost never works instantly, so you'll want to take several seed doses spaced five days apart.  It's likely that you'll still get some headaches during that time -- in fact, what are called "post-dose hits" can be pretty severe (usually only once or twice).  They're viewed here as a sign that you are shaking things up after a dose: often they also come at different times than your normal headaches.  I'm hoping that the vitamin protocol might help you, but being able to abort attacks with oxygen helps you stay "detoxed" from things that block busting.

    I have some other thoughts, but gotta run right now.  Again, congratulations on taking charge of this tough situation.


  2. I will also order the seeds. Anyone know the time frame on those? Do they need to grow?

    Christina, you can have seeds (rivea corymbosa) shipped overnight, or delivered within about 5 days or less.  You can use them immediately.  They're not expensive.  Here are some vendors:

    http://www.iamshaman.com

    www.psychoactiveherbs.com

    www.shamansgarden.com

    If you do take zomig, though, you might have to "detox" from it for a few days, because it interferes with busting.

    In section 1 of the oxygen file (http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1299901790) there are links to two articles about oxygen for cluster headaches.  If you have to go to the ER again, maybe you should have them printed out to bring with you. Or, Can you go back and show them to the docs there? Chances are they've never seen a cluster headache before and who knows but they might be receptive to this information.  (Believe me, I understand how exhausted and frazzled you are, so I'm not saying it's easy to do any of these things, at all.  Just trying to think of what might help.)

    If you go the welding oxygen route, you'll also need to buy a regulator and a non-rebreather mask, which you can't get at the welding-oxygen place (many people order them new on eBay).   The total cost for the two of them would be about $60.  We can show you in more detail how to do all this -- I just wanted you to know that there's more to it, practically and financially, than a trip to a welding-supply store.  But since oxygen aborts a CH headache within 15 minutes for 90-plus percent of people, the investment and hassle would almost certainly be worth it for you.

    Nobody minds any questions you ask here, and as you can see there are lots of people who will do their best to help you.


  3. Oxygen is essential.  Busting works.  RedBull or some other energy drink high in caffeine and taurine helps many people if it is drunk rapidly at the onset of an attack.  Inhaling cold air from an air conditioner is a poor but sometimes effective short-term substitute for oxygen from tanks with a non-rebreather mask.  Here's a more direct link about using LSA (seeds) as a busting method (the other files there by TommyD are also good):  http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1290128974

    The link Jeff gave you is very good for finding seed suppliers and other resources.

    I'd urge you to consider beginning right now the simple, inexpensive vitamin D3 protocol that has helped many, many people quickly and also lastingly.  Take about 10,000 international units per day of vitamin D3, taken with food; 2 or 3 calcium citrate tablets per day, with or without food (ideally, these tablets should also contain magnesium and zinc); and 3,000-5,000 mg per day of Omega 3 fish oil, with food. You can find these ingredients in a pharmacy or drug store.  Many people find that a glass or two of lemonade or limeade per day with meals increases the effectiveness.  Many people start getting significant relief within a day or two.  The levels I listed above are the "default" levels--you might wish to adjust according to your own tolerance.  These are not "megadoses"--all are within standard recommended daily allowances except the D3, which is high but not inordinately so.  To read a great deal more about the D3 regimen, you could wade through the following thread: http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1291969416/0

    Or, you could try the licorice root method discussed here. Depending on where you live, the licorice root extract might be harder to find than the ingredients for the vitamin D3 protocol. http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1298659068

    Everyone here has been where you are, Christina, or they've had a loved one who was suffering as you are.  Today those same people are living lives without pain, or with far less frequent and far less severe pain.  Stick in here with us and you'll be one of those people, too.


  4. Thanks, everyone!  (Interesting, kaboom!  The phrase "great minds" pops into my head, but I can only say that for your sake I sure hope yours is a lot greater than mine.)

    I use light therapy almost everyday.
      Ting, would you mind saying a little more about what you do with the light therapy (how you use it; what you use)?  I could ask you this in a PM, but maybe others will be interested, too.

    Thanks,

    Jerry


  5. Gosh, I now see from some further research that there was a time, back in the 1990s, when Dr. Kudrow (CH sufferer, HA specialist, father (grandfather??) of Lisa) actually was thinking about light therapy/resetting circadian rhythms as a treatment for CH.  Apparently it didn't go anywhere . . . so now I'm very curious to know whether that's because it just didn't really work to treat CH, or maybe (consistent with my fears) that it somehow made some CH worse, or maybe it was just supplanted by more effective things.  I'm remembering that someone here knows Dr. Kudrow -- Do you think we could ask him?


  6. My daughter has awful sleep problems, which we are attributing to her dysfunctional hypothalamus (though there might be other factors).  I've been reading about "bright light" and "blue light" sleep therapies that are used to re-set a person's circadian rhythms.  Apparently this is a legitimate therapy, since it's mentioned at sites like the Mayo Clinic's and the Chronobiology Lab at a big New York Hospital.  Our fear about trying it is that messing with her brain's already-screwed-up (or maybe already CH-causing) relationship to daily and seasonal light patterns might trigger something bad for her.  She's been PF for quite a while now (thank you!), but the sleep thing is really messing up her life.

    Any experiences or general cautions related to this type of therapy?  (Yes, I saw that interesting recent study posted by Kyle, suggesting the hypothalamus might not  be involved in CH after all, but that's not enough to make me throw caution to the winds in this regard.)

    Thanks!


  7. CH Father,

    you are so right about that site being hard to wade through.  Do you know why calcium citrate is recommended? And why not calcium carbonate? Is it related to stomach issues?

       leslie, i did a small amount of research on the citrate/carbonate issue a while back.  in general, i think "batch" is saying (over at ch.com), "this is what worked for me, so why not do it this way?"  and that's pretty much the way i've approached it, too.   from my research, there doesn't seem to be a major difference in absorption of calcium whether it's in citrate form or carbonate form, but -- as you suggest -- it seems that the citrate is easier on the tummy and can be taken without accompanying food.  it could be, also, that the citrate is more often blended with magnesium and zinc (and often a small amount of d3), and someone (batch, i guess) thinks those ingredients are also important -- but i don't know that for sure.

  8. Yan, according to Batch's specifications, you want to be taking roughly 10,000 IU of D3 each day (with food), and I'd say the chocolate version is not a great idea, especially since chocolate is a CH trigger for a lot of folks.  Here in the US, one can get D3 almost anywhere -- grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.--and I'm sure you can also find it on the internet.  He suggests a glass of lemonade twice a day with meals.  This thread is hard to wade through, but it might at least be worth it to you to skim it for any important information: http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1291969416/0

    Here's a site that I'm pretty sure is in Canada: http://www.tranceplants.net/

    (One person here has said she did not think their seeds were very effective for her.)  The cost is low enough that if they'll ship before 8/5 (which is the way it sounds) you might just order 100 or 200 now -- but you do still have the detoxing to go through, so maybe you can wait.  Couldn't you order from a US-based supplier, such as iamshaman.com (I'm just asking -- don't know the technicalities)?

    I hope some of this is helpful--I'm sorry your situation is so tough.  I take it there's some reason you can't have oxygen at work.

    Jerry


  9. Welcome, Yan!  Sorry for what you are going through, and hoping we can help you.  That's a very tough thing, going from episodic to what seems more like chronic.

    I can assure you that most people here are not "into drugs," and most are able to arrange their busting strategies so there is little or no psychedelic effect--only a cessation of cluster attacks.  And many are much older than you: "Hipshot" (Dan), for example, is about

    97. ;)  I think it's safe to say that seeds, such as rivea corymbosa seeds (RC), can almost always be used with virtually no psychedelic effects.  You can learn more about how to use seeds here http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1290128974

    and also in other files by TommyD in the "Clusterbuster files" section of this board.  Ask questions -- plenty of very kind and knowledgeable folks here will help answer them.

    I suppose your biggest challenge will be "detoxing" from your meds, some of which interfere with the effectiveness of "busting" with psychedelics.  So let's be sure you're giving the vitamin D3 regimen it's best shot.  You say "maybe the vitamin D I'm using is not the right one."  Is it D3 -- that's what the regimen calls for.  You can find it almost anyplace, but here's a list provided by "Batch" over at ch.com:

    >>>>>>>>>>>>I buy these items at Costco.  Sam's Club has some of these vitamins and minerals under Member's Mark label.  You can buy the Kirkland brand over the Internet from Amazon or go to Puritan's Pride web site. They carry the same items.

    Costco has the best deal on the 5,000 IU vitamin D3 softgels: $6.99 after $2 OFF Trunature® Vitamin D3 5000 IU Extra-strength 500 Softgels  < 3 cents/day 20 cents/week

    Sam's Club: Member's Mark® Vitamin D-3 5000 IU - 400 softgels  $10.68  < 6 cents/day, <38 cents/week

    Puritan's Pride SUNVITE™ MAXIMUM STRENGTH VITAMIN D (D-3) 5000 IU: 500 softgels for $14 <6 cents/day,  <40 cents/week<<<<<

    And of course the D3 protocol also calls for calcium citrate, Omega-3 fish oil, and maybe a couple of glasses of lemonade or limeade each day.  I trust you've also done that.

    Also, in terms of being able to detox, there are some oxygen strategies, sometimes referred to as "power using," that seem to work quicker and more lastingly than the 15lpm flow rate and the standard non-rebreather mask.  If you're interested, ask about these and someone will advise you.  Even at 15, many people say that the O2ptimask is more effective: http://www.clusterheadaches.com/khxc/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=catshow&ref=LifeGas

    As I say -- ask questions.  In one way or another, we're all in this together, we all learn from each other, and we all care about each other.


  10. enjoy, wade, and congratulations for taking control.  some people suggest a bust between cycles, maybe three months from now if you're on the fairly typical twice-a-year schedule, and also to be sure to bust at the first sign of a new cycle (some people here have regretted waiting too long).   i would also recommend that you do the maintenance-level D3 program: 5 IU of D3; couple of calcium citrate tablets; and 2-4 mg of fish oil.  probably can't hurt, and lots of evidence that it helps.


  11. I will bookmark those Ebay links for when I figure out which type of oxygen tank I will get.

    I hope you're not going to wait too long to get oxygen--can't be repeated often enough that it's a complete game-changer for most people with CH. 


  12. Lynn, I notice that you asked before about whether shrooms are legal.  No.  Unlike RC seeds, shrooms are illegal to buy, sell, or possess.  There's a lot of frustration and anger here about that, properly so, but it's the case.


  13. You can order a new regulator from eBay for about $25: http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=regulator+15lpm&_sacat=0&_odkw=non-rebreather+mask&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

    And a non-rebreather mask for about $15: http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=non-rebreather+mask&_sacat=0&_odkw=nonrebreather+mask&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

    Maybe there are lower prices elsewhere, but probably not significantly lower.  THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF REGULATORS FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF OXYGEN TANKS (basically, two different types), so you have to know what type of tank you are getting before you buy your regulator.  You want at least one large tank, and maybe one smaller one for portability (the big ones are heavy).  You might go through a lot of O2, so you have to weigh the trade-off between what you're paying (one tank or two, plus the smaller one) and not being stuck without oxygen.

    Also, while the basic non-rebreather mask will probably work for you, many people think the O2ptimask is well worth the higher cost ($27.50).  You can also buy these in different sizes to be sure it fits your face properly (not sure if size options are available at eBay). http://www.clusterheadaches.com/khxc/   


  14. Another of your usual great reminders, Ting.  Thank you.

    Has your daughter returned yet, and seen her new room?

    And I have the same problem with uploading images--would love to hear any advice about that.


  15. Seeds are relatively inexpensive.  You'd want to buy 200, I think, which would probably be about $25, plus shipping.  I'd recommend getting them fast and (unless others suggest otherwise because of the Zoloft) trying them quickly.  As you have probably read, seeds are legal to buy and possess (drinking the LSA mix is the unlawful part).  You can order them at these places, among others:

    http://www.ethnobotanicals.com

    http://www.iamshaman.com

    www.psychoactiveherbs.com

    www.shamansgarden.com


  16. Lynn, you want to get the oxygen ASAP.  I don't know what the cost difference without insurance would be between getting a prescription and getting O2 from an oxygen supplier versus creating your own system with welding oxygen.  This could make a huge difference.  Everyone here will tell you it's an absolute must -- I'm shocked that it's never been prescribed to you (though I shouldn't be; it happens so often; but it's still shocking to me every time).

    Sorry the D3 hasn't worked for you.  You could try the licorice root approach that's also helped a lot of people, but I'm not sure how it would interact with your Zoloft and your blood pressure issue.  http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1298659068

    You might find different opinions here about seeds vs. shrooms.  They both work.  Some very well-informed people say that LSA (the ingredient in seeds) is actually more effective than psilocybin.  The problem is that it's hard to precisely measure the amount of LSA you're getting from seeds, because their strength varies--but if you take enough, that's not really a problem.  RC Seeds plus oxygen saved my daughter's life, and she was very close to being in the place you are.  You are less likely to experience psychedelic effects with seeds than with shrooms.  Others will add more opinions, and some will tell you to try one or the other even as you are cutting down from the Zoloft (very carefully, as everyone has said).  I don't have any experience with that.

    Things could get a lot better for you fast with oxygen and busting.  My daughter had gone so long with so many misdiagnoses and mistreatments and failed treatments that she was not willing to get her hopes up about either O2 or busting, so she went through cycle after cycle just having all the pain and all the distress.  Once we got her set up with the oxygen and busting, everything changed. No reason that can't happen for you, too.


  17. Lynn, I'm so sorry for what you are going through.  It's not clear to me whether you have a diagnosis of cluster headaches, or have concluded that CH is what you have.  Certainly the pain is terrible enough to be CH, but do you have other typical CH symptoms (intense "drilling" red-hot-poker pain around the eye or temple; eye symptoms such as drooping eyelid; running nose or tearing from the eyes; etc?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_headaches

    I'm not saying that seeds are not worth trying regardless of what you have, since pharma meds aren't helping you, but some approaches, such as oxygen, are first-line treatments for CH but not particularly effective for other kinds of headaches.

    You can get an oxygen set-up without a prescription, using welding-oxygen tanks and other equipment you can buy separately.  Even without insurance, it's not hugely costly and is a lifesaver for aborting CH attacks.  You might want to look at this file: http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1299901790

    You might also begin the simple, inexpensive vitamin D3 protocol that has helped many, many people with CH quickly and also lastingly (again, I can't say how it might help other kinds of headaches, but it's basically safe and, I would think, worth trying).  Take about 10,000 international units per day of vitamin D3, taken with food; 2 or 3 calcium citrate tablets per day, with or without food (ideally, these tablets should also contain magnesium and zinc); and 3,000-5,000 mg per day of Omega 3 fish oil, with food. That's it, except that many people find that a glass or two of lemonade or limeade per day with meals increases the effectiveness.  Many people start getting significant relief from CH within a day or two.  The levels I listed above are the "default" levels--you might wish to adjust according to your own tolerance.  These are not "megadoses"--all are within standard recommended daily allowances except the D3, which is high but not inordinately so.  To read a great deal more about the D3 regimen, you could wade through the following thread: http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1291969416/0

    You mention that you've read the FAQ about LSA.  Have you also looked at the very valuable files in the "Clusterbuster files" section of this board, particularly those by tommyd, detailing ins and outs of busting principles and methodology?  Here's the one on seeds, but there are several others there that you might want to look at: http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1290128974

    Keep us informed, please, and we'll keep doing our best to help you.


  18. Chuck, here are some places that folks here have used and recommended.  I can't really speak for their storage policies.  We've used a few of them and they worked fine.

    www.ethnobotanicals.com

    www.iamshaman.com

    www.psychoactiveherbs.com

    www.shamansgarden.com

    www.tranceplants.net (Canada)


  19. Rob, this is great news.  So glad the licorice is working for you.  Note that Les favors cutting down the amounts you are taking over a fairly short time period (because of its effects on blood pressure, as I recall).  I don't know whether you want or need to follow that advice.  Here's a summary of what he said:

    >>>For preventive purposes, Genser began by taking 2 milliliters of licorice tincture (about thirty drops) three times per day. He advised, “You needn’t count drops or anything. Two squeezes of the dropper should be a little over 30 drops, about 2 milliliters."

    After two weeks, he cut it to 1 milliliter three times a day. He stated that his aim was to be “completely off it” after three weeks.<<<  http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1298659068

    Keep up the great work.  We're all happy for you.

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