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Everything posted by weatherman

  1. Hey Buzz, I have also refined the Kip Scale in an effort to be more precise when documenting the symptoms and triggers of CH. In particular, the beginning stages seemed to need a better description. This is what I use ......... This is my BITCH Scale (Bradley's Intensity Tracking of Cluster Headaches) Pain Level  K=0   NO PAIN ….. Life is Beautiful                   Not even thinking about headaches. Pain Level  K=1   Minor Shadows that come and go.                   First realization that Head Ache is forming.                   Slight Pressure in Head and Sinuses Pain Level  K=2   Stronger Shadows becoming steady.                   Pain becomes sharp and centered in eye or temple.                   Time to start O2 and get to a safe place.                   Avoid work, driving and people Pain Level  K=3   Constant strong Shadows.                   Becomes an intense regular headache                   Very Strong Sinus Pressure and Head Pain Pain Level  K=4   The Cluster Begins                   Intense Eye pain, tearing and restlessness occurs                   O2, Ice Packs and Energy Drinks and Aspirin tried                   Agitation begins with pacing and shutting off outside world Pain Level  K=5   Very Strong Eye Pain with swelling and complete Congestion                   Unable to stop holding head.                   Pain becomes stabbing and VERY acute Pain Level  K=6   The Beast is Here May be Woken from sound sleep                   Diminished senses (sight and hearing) from overwhelming Pain                   Relief is mandatory. This is the beginning of a severe attack Pain Level  K=7   An Hour of Pain at least. All relief options fail.                   Pain becomes unreal and reaches highest levels of bare-ability                   If you can ride it out (and it doesn't get worse) you'll collapse                    with complete exhaustion and fall asleep. Pain Level  K=8   Severe Cluster Headache. Intensity becomes unreal.                   Rocking, cursing and yelling. Some weak convulsions occur.                   Reality starts to fade. Cannot stand or sit. Pain Level  K=9   The "Why Me" Syndrome sets in. Pray to God for relief.                   Hopelessness, depression and fear becomes prevalent                   Actual feelings that you will die. Pain becomes very clean                   and almost spiritual. Pain Level  K=10  Head Banging and convulsions. ER trip.                   Cannot move or speak. Complete loss of senses,                   Extreme Depression, Feelings of Suicide I really like the "jingling keys" concept. Sheesh, next CH I'll be thinking of that. Best of luck with all your busting. I've have not had to bust myself, as I found a Neuro first. I now take small doses (300 mg) of Lithium daily. The O2 and support from this group are PRICELESS weatherman
  2. I'm just like you guys, experiencing rapid decrease/increase in pressure can trigger a CH. There seems to be a delay (usually 2-6 hours after pressure tops or bottoms out) that I get hit with the onset of the Beast. Wholly cow, since 33 ft down in the water is one atmosphere of pressure, that would be like going into space for the reverse effect. I can't even image the PURE HELL of experiencing a CH under water. High pressure days seem to usually be good for me. There is just no possible way (except a hypobaric chamber) to avoid what Mother Nature throws at us. Amazing that the weight of something invisible can vary so much to cause something like CH. Best of Luck and PF days and nights.............. weatherman Brad
  3. jimmys..... I haven't seen studies on ANY type of weather and it's associated effects on CH, but rapidly dropping pressure can sure be a trigger for me. Passing storm fronts (not that we get too many in California), airline flights and trips into the mountains all decrease ambient pressure quickly.......and have set off a HA in the past. I've kept a log of all triggers and weather factors for several years and only air quality appears to provoke a CH for me. Nearly all Humidity related processes are independent of total air pressure because water vapor in air does not interact with oxygen and nitrogen in any way. There is a very slight decrease (not perceptible by humans) in air pressure when humidity increases, as water vapor actually weighs less than oxygen or nitrogen. Florida has seen quite a few passing Low pressure systems and even a near-miss hurricane Irene lately. I was actually in Jacksonville for that one. The mosquito's seemed more of problem than the humidity, although anything above 80% pretty much wipes me out these days. If humidity was a trigger, those warm showers taken for relief probably wouldn't work as well. Wish you abundant PF days and less moisture in the air.......... weatherman Brad  8-)
  4. Hey Rod, I've been on Lithium a few months, and my opinoin is that it works "sort of well". After being diagnosed Chronic CH about a year ago, my Primary doctor quickly gave me O2. I bought my own 15 lpm regulator and an Optimask. It was a tremendous improvement over the K8-9 headaches I was having almost every day. Occurrance of CH went down to 4-6 times a week and pain levels were much lower, K5-7. I can't recommend it enough. GET IT !!! I was referred to a Neuro several months ago and Lithium Carbonate was prescribed. I reluctantly tried it, knowing the history behind its use in the Medical community. I was started on one pill per day (300 mg) for one week, then two per day, their recommended treatment. After the first week, the CH occurrance and intensity decreased only slightly. After the second week of 600 mg/day .... I was a freakin Zombie !! I mean total disconnect of mind and body from reality. I couldn't work, drive or have any kind of higher-level brain function. My wife thought I had Alzheimers Disease. I just didn't care anymore. To say I was lethargic is an under-statement. So, I immediately cut back to 300 mg/day (one pill) taken just before bedtime. They are quick-release pills and I think the timing is right for the evenings. 2-3am was always the worst time for me. I've been on this dose for two months. Since then, I have not been woken up in the middle of the night once with CH. The occurrances are down to 2-4 times per week (always in the early afternoon) with Pain Levels K=4-6. O2 quickly erodes the CH if I can catch it soon. Never had any of the classid symptoms of Lithium; tremors, thirst, nausea, etc.... but the lethargy kicked my butt and hit me like a ton-of-bricks. I'd say give it a try .... but start out slow. I plan on quitting the Lithium soon and want to give my best shot at RC Seeds. Funny, I ordered them and they arrived exactly the same day I saw the Neuro. I'd love to try the Shrooms but don't have the resourses to locate or grow them. Best of luck my friend ...... Brad
  5. I scored 6 on the right, 12 on the left. Diagnosed chronic CH for 3 years and 100% on the left side. Brad :-/
  6. To all the CH Buster Veterans... I Thank You all, the entire CH Group, for the advice and encouragement I've gotten in the short time I've been here (since Nov 2010).I read every day the ongoing stories on this site. That passion for caring is surely behind CH Fathers reason for writing. Just the idea that people don't care and have taken advantage of your big hearts, is tough for anyone to swallow. After several years of insane suffering, I was CH diagnosed and started oxygen therapy. My doctor readily agreed after I suggested it. I got that IDEA HERE !!! I worked beautifully. I bought an Optimask and my own regulator that puts out 15Lpm. I get all the O2 I can use from my Medical provider. I seem to use about two "E" tanks a week ....... I have been in the "record keeping" phase for several months and am trying to figure out my patterns of occurance, cycles and possible trigger mechanisms. It make take a year to get enough data for reasonable conclusions, but I'm sticking with it. Until then, almost daily K8-9's have gone to K4-6's only a couple times a week. I "Lurk on the List" almost every day and I'm informed, enlightened and sometimes touched by the outpouring of true nuturing occurring on these pages. I just don't feel I have anything to contribute and certainly don't have the experience from many that respond to us "noobs" when we join. I may be lazy, but I'm not un-appreciative. THANK YOU Weatherman
  7. A wonderful story that does indeed parallel the experiences, that I have certainly found, on this site. Without the suggestions, products and encouragement, I wouldn't be as PF as I am today. Thanks for posting and THANK YOU ALL !! weatherman p.s.  O2 RULES !!!Â
  8. Les, Your message is beautifully written, honest and a real down-to-earth piece of knowledge. You have obviously put a great deal of effort into researching and compiling a healthy dose of information. I thought I'd read everything about CH that was out there, and your narative tops them all. THANK YOU Sir !!! And BTW, I find your prose refreshing, to say the least. Most interesting about the connection between the hypothalamus and Chakras. We are certainly a very complex system of physical and emotional aspects that relates to our environment in ways that have yet to be all explored. Someday, probably well into the future, the exact cause of CH will be determined and it will surely blow all our minds. Personally, I've been Chronic for several years and have recently enjoyed the wondrous benefits of O2 at 15 lpm. My health care provider (Apria) was unable to furnish the proper regulator or mask, and 3 weeks later now, have still not obtained them. Screw them, I bought the Optimask from Clusterbusters and my own regulator (Amazon, about $22). Life has been glorious since Dec 14 after trying it for the first time. K7-8's are hopefully gone forever! If the day ever comes, I'll take your advice and try the Licorice Root. It seems better than any chemicals or surgery that is available. Thanks Again for all the info.... HAPPY HOLIDAYS Weatherman
  9. Hey Napa, I was also at the San Jose concert and you're right, the songs are still lingering between the ears. It was even better (if possible) than the original "Wall Tour" in 1980 in Los Angeles. I started to feel a CH coming on just prior to the beginning of the show. My wife began to cry as she knew what was hapening to me. I'm a huge Floyd fan and have have the tickets for about 5 months. This was supposed to be a very special night. She got me a large bottle of cold water, which I chugged very quickly. Also took 4 Extra strength aspirin and hyperventalated for about 5 minutes. As soon as the music started, the pain left me and I thankfully enjoyed the rest of the performance. Is Roger Waters the cure? Probably not, but will certainly try some Pink Floyd on headphones the next time the beast hits. We will all try anything imaginable to give us relief from CH. Whatever works ..... rock on!!
  10. TakinitEZ and alleyoop, Sorry for late reply, first time in 8 days I haven't been hit with a K=6-7 through the morning hours. I was soooo happy, loaded 1/2 cord of wood, put up the outdoor Xmas lights, then chased my wife around the house for awhile. Seems the K=0 days are getting farther apart. At least my O2 has arrived and Optimask from Clusterbusters is in the mail. WOW, Ajijic is an incredible place. Nat'l Geographic rated 2nd best climate. Although the elevation is moderately high (5,200 ft), it has very little temperature variation month to month and season to season. Very steady atmospheric pressure in a semi-tropical climate, outside the Monsoon season June-Sept, as the Chapala Lake Basin stays pinned between the large thermal trough over the Gulf of California and high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico for most of the year. No storm fronts pass the region either, but strong thunderstorms do occur in summer. Compared to the states of Pennsylvania and Georgia, Ajijic is severely challenged in pressure variation. Nearly constant humidity also. This may be the reason for lesser occurrences of CH. It's only a guess. All the clean mountain air surely couldn't hurt either. Outside the rainy season, the weather is quite docile overall. I have no idea if this helps, but would certainly consider vacationing (or heck, even moving there) in the future. 8-) Weatherman
  11. TakinitEZ, You are indeed correct about having a spike in low pressure with the storm that went through Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Not sure where you're located, but the State College area (central region) saw peak surface air pressure falls to 29.6 "Hg (1001 mb) as the front passed.  This is a pretty good drop, although it is typical for winter storms that transit the northeastern US. For reference:  Current surface air pressure at State College is 30.2 “ mg (inches                 of mercury), which is also 1022.7 mb (milli-bars) and rising!!                          Standard air pressure is 29.92”mg (1013 mb)                Dec 01 storm passage was 29.6 “mg (1001 mb) GOOD NEWS with rapid rise in pressure through the next week. I have also monitored / recorded air pressure, humidity, air quality and temperature for at least a year trying to connect all the headaches I was having to some sort of allergy or environmental cause. I didn’t find any correlations with air quality and temperature that were mostly suspected, but DID notice that times of low pressure tended to coincide with the worst headaches. This now made sense as airplane flights, trips to the mountains, long car rides (yes, pressure is lowered in a fast moving car) and storms passing were apparently triggers for CH. Of the last three cold fronts impacting northern California since Nov 19, I've been hit twice. There must be some connection between atmospheric pressure, especially when it drops fairly quickly, and the hypothalamus or vascular systems of the body. I’d almost bet that the rapid pressure falls will combine with something else that end's up providing one type of trigger for some of us ..... and surely myself. There’s always Siberia in the Winter…   (world’s record high pressure, 1088 mb) HA! Good Luck EZ and everyone finding there triggers and cures !!!! Weatherman
  12. Oh, I pray bacon and chocolate are never triggers for me! Alcohol (any kind), afternoon naps and too much coffee are the definite triggers for me. Also, anything that lowers the atmosphere pressure. Long drives, plane rides, high altitude trips and even storm fronts seem to get me 90% of the time. I've only been documenting duration, intensity and possible couses for a couple months now and just beginning to understand my patterns. Will have to go to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA (just over the hill from me) and get some chocolate covered bacon to test ...... I can't wait!! weatherman
  13. Thanks Dave O, Alleyoop, Bonkers and Hipshot... I have not tried the O2 yet and may quickly seek that remedy. Now that my knowledge base (thanks to all of you and this group) has increased exponentially, this seems the next thing to try. I'll surely probe for specifics on it's use when the time comes. At least my doctor is "on board" with that solution and is actually ready to start me on it whenever I am willing. I'm really much more secure with the plant-based remedies than prescription drugs. Now that my pain threshold has reached levels that I never imagined possible, absolutely anything will be tried. I've used mushrooms and psilocybin before. Since I'm quite the "Chili-Head" and love extremely hot peppers, I'm going to do some experimenting with the effects of capsaicin on busting these headaches. I grow the Naga Morich and Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Chili's), so they are now waiting for the next episode. I've eaten them without headaches, and the experience can be transcendental. It's a whole new avenue of fighting pain with pain. As you all know, when it hurts that bad, you'll try anything! Thanks again for the speedy replies, I'll keep ya posted on the results. Weatherman ps Forecast is getting sunnier by the day
  14. Hi Everyone, I'm new to the group and here's my CH story............. Several years ago, when in my early 50's, I started getting allergies for the first time in my life. Have lived in N California since 1980, worked the same job (Meteorology) for 20 years, married to the same beautiful lady (17 years ), generally active and in pretty good shape. Initially, it was the congestion, sneezing and running nose all day long. Then the nasal stuffiness started leading to headaches. Seemed to always be associated with Spring/Fall, high pollution days and working in the yard. I tried OTC medications like Sudafed, Tylenol, etc and had pretty good luck for awhile. I was tested for allergic reactions to everything ...... the usual grasses, pollens and trees. Food, molds, animals ... even cement! No reaction to anything. Flonaise and nasal rinses gave me partial comfort, but the cranial pressure was just unbearable at times. Then the real fun began with the serious headaches. The first attack was after a plane flight to Colorado (from Calif) and after getting on the ground, renting a car and driving about 20 miles ... it hit me hard. The intensity of the pain was unreal. I could see, but not process the visual information because the agony was actually absorbing all of my consciousness. I pulled off the road and paced the highway for a 1/2 hour thinking my head was going to burst. I'd never experienced pain like this before and nearly went crazy. I chewed enough aspirin and Migraine medicine to make me sick. Next one wasn't for several months, then they started coming more frequently. About a year ago, when the reality of the anguish became established, I began badgering my doctor for answers. Hot showers and applying pressure to the temple/eye area was no longer working. After full health screenings, more allergy tests, CT Scans, blood-work, etc, etc, there were still no results. That was when I was first told about Cluster Headaches. After reading the list of Signs and Symptoms, I nearly fell over. I had every one of them. That was several months ago and I've been keeping records of the events and and using the Clusterbuster Pain Tracker Scale to keep track of them now. My next step is supposedly Oxygen. Fresh air, ice packs and vigorous exercise sometimes help. But when they hit in the middle of the night (usually midnight to 3am), its hard to get up and do these things. Tolerating the pain, because I know it will only last 15-25 minutes, is all I've been doing. In the past, when the headaches last several hours, the aftermath exhaustion would put me down for awhile. Now, it's not quite so bad. Have been accumulating information like a sponge lately and finally found this group. My heart goes out to some of you folks that have been suffering with CH for years. I absolutely can't imagine the strength you must have for enduring so much pain. I suppose I'm a Chronic case. I get them 2-3 days a week and usually my days off work, Thurs-Sun. There seems to be no remission period as this pattern has endured for almost a year with no more than 10 days of pain-free time since early 2009. I've come to loath the weekends. Being male, 50+ yrs old, occasional drinker and working rotating shifts has apparently condemned me to this situation. Thank you for listening. I'll take all the suggestions, advice and encouragement imaginable. Weatherman
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