Hello everyone. I want to share my story of headaches. I am still not sure if it is cluster, migraine or something else.
I am 36, my first headaches started when I was 14 or 15 it was mainly behind one eye lasting 30-40 min. Back then it would come once or twice a week and go away for a while. Then they started to come more often around when I was 18-20. By the age 25-30 the cluster cycle would start once a year regularly and last for 4 to 6 weeks with episodes once or twice per week.
When cluster cycle starts, usually pain is mild and it progresses over the few weeks to being 8-9 out of 10 (10 being strongest pain ever). Pain is focused around back of the eye making it tear, pain can radiate to the forehead, nose would get clogged or be running. During the attack I may have hot flashes and then feel cold after pain subsides.
Episode usually start either at 9am but not later than 2pm. Some days can be 4-5am but not often.
Fast forward to today, this cluster cycle started about a month ago but the intensity feels stronger and each episode is lasting almost 2 hours now. After 2 hours of strong pain, I still have some mild left over pain that can last for a few hours. The episodes come every second day now.
If I take Advil at the first sign of the headache, it would help monimize the pain from 8-9 out of 10 intensity to 5-6 out of 10. Usually takes 30-40 min for Advil to help.
I do have Rizatriptan, in past I would take it once or twice during cluster cycle but not often as I was told it can make episodes come more often. Yesterday I took it during the episode and it took 30 min to work and in about 50 min it minimized the pain to 3 out of 10.
My question is, does it seem like it is a Cluster Headache or Migraine? Or perhaps something else?
Is it normal for cluster cycles to get worse over the years and last longer and come more often?
I have a neurologist who is certain it’s Cluster Headache but we never did any tests to rule out other stuff. My doctor prescribed Topamax saying it would stop the cluster period. I didn’t start it yet.
Also has anyone tried acupuncture for this headache?
Thank you for reading this and for your help.