Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have been lurking here for the past couple of weeks.  Finally joined this week. 

I have had headaches since I was around 10.  I am now in my forties.  I have headaches 3 or 4 days out of the week.  Most are manageable.  Every three months I get what I call a blockbuster.  The one that you think is going to kill you.  Mine wakes me up at around 11:30pm and ends at 3:30pm.  I have never found anything that will stop that one.  I just walk around the house trying to find the spot that will relieve my pain. My triggers for the blockbuster is wood smoke, beer and bacon. (not all alcohol).  If I am around a BBQ grill I am guaranteed to get a real nice headache.  I am curious to hear what your triggers are.

Like most of you I have been to a “specialist” or two (headache clinics, pain specialist, etc.) and had all of the tests.  I have been on the triptrans and topomax type drugs (hated them).  I have never found a drug that works for me.

This site has inspired me to try and find an “alternative” solution to my headaches.  I am trying the Licorice process that Les provided.  Seems to be working.  I have not had a headache since Sunday.  I am curious about the energy drink thing that I see mentioned.  Can someone explain that to me?  The D3 process is also interesting.  I am going to see if my DR. will proscribe oxygen.

Most of you seem to know when your cluster starts and ends.  How do you do that?  My headaches are year around; so how do identify the start and the end. Also, how would you describe a shadow?  Is that the same a tunnel?

I have noticed that several of you were forceps birthed.  I would appreciate if everyone would chime in on this subject.  Could be something there.

I appreciate the site and pray that everyone here finds relief.

Rob 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Rob - Jeff asks the questions that cluster-enquiring minds want to know, so I'm looking forward to hearing more, so we can be cram maximum informative-ness into our responses.  :)

You asked about energy drinks - I know that they can work for both migraine and cluster if chugged right at the onset of an attack. The shots can be handy for this. It's the combo of caffeine and taurine in them that is credited for their abortive capabilities. Personally I can't abort a CH hit that's determined to go to a high Kip with an energy drink, but milder hits, yes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was diagnosed.  I was told that I was chronic HA suffer, non-migraine.  I can't remember if the word Cluster was used.  It has been a while.

My HA's start on one side of the head or other.  Mostly right hand side.  It feels like my head is on fire.  Depending on severity it is a steady pain or could have a pounding feeling. Pain can run up one side of the neck all the way to the top of my head.  If it is a bad one sometimes I can't decide what side hurts.  Sometimes feels like if I drove my thumbs through my eyeball socket I could relieve the pain.  I can't lie down or sit still during the bad HA's.  My nose runs on HA side of head.  During a couple bad ones my face has actually swelled really bad. 

Does that answer your question?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob,

Yes the description does help, some of your symptoms are typical Cluster symptoms, not all, but some of us get some variations.  The symptoms that are more common it seems are pain in the temple, behind the eye on one side, runny nose on attack side, facial swelling on attack side.  One particular symptom is the opposite of migraine.  Those with CH attacks typically can't lay down and instead rock back and forth or pace (I'm a rocker with the occasional hit of my head on the wall or floor when in the throws of a K9 or greater).  Migraine sufferers usually prefer to lay down in the dark.

You may want to see your neurologist for a proper diagnosis and script for 100% Oxygen.  The O2 is definitely a life saver and is almost a unanimous first choice for those with CH at the beginning of an attack.  I'm unsure what the percentage is but I'd say 90% of my attacks are aborted within 15 minutes if I get to my O2 quick enough.

Many of the other natural remedies on this site are more for cycle termination, though some are useful as an attack abortive also.

Many of us use the term Shadows to describe the unpleasant feeling we get when an attack is eminent or a very very low pain headache. 

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

hmm, that's a tricky question as I'm sure each person with CH will give a different answer.

For me:  I get crazy vivid dreams when my cycle is about to start.  They usually start 1 to 2 weeks before the attacks start.  Like that for every cycle as far as I can remember.  The dreams stop shortly before my cycle ends, though the exact cycle end is VERY difficult to determine.  I took a prescription drug Lariam (for malaria) when it was experimental back in the mid 80's.  One of the side effects are vivid dreams that can persist after ending the drug.  I've hypothasized that Lariam did something that triggers the dreams when my CH is starting up each cycle.  (Some nerves in my brain rewired in the same place the CH affects?).

A few years ago I had gone nearly a month without any attacks.  I figured I was out of cycle and decided to test the theory by drinking a beer.  BAD idea...  I had an immediate high K attack, and it started the entire cycle back up again for another month or so.  No more 'Beer' tests for me unless I'm positive I'm out of cycle.

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites
I am going to see if my DR. will proscribe oxygen. 

Rob, have you done this yet?  As the other folks have told you, it's essential, a lifesaver.  You can read more (including some major journal articles you might want to show your doctor) here: http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1299901790

Even as you're getting relief from using other strategies, oxygen is at the core of any CH sufferer's arsenal.

Incidentally, regarding your question about cycles, if you're chronic, then you don't have the same kinds of cycles as people who are episodic.  Episodics have periods when they have CH and periods when they don't, and those periods are often referred to as "cycles."  Often these periods start up kind of slowly, or with some kind of warning as Jeff says, then things get worse, then the kind of wind down again.  Chronics generally don't have the "periods when they don't have CH" part, although there do seem to also be "cycles" within the experiences of chronics: http://www.clusterattack.com/blog/do-chronic-patients-cycle/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback Jeff and ChFather.

I have not gone to the Dr. yet, but I will take your advise and show up with research to back the oxygen.

Update:  I have been using the Licorice for seven days.  I only had one HA! (on Saturday).  It was a strange feeling.  First I was upset that I had it, then I reminded myself that one is a lot better than the 4 or 5 I normally have a week.   It was probably a 6 on my headache scale.  I tried to use the licorice to abort it, but it didn't work.  I just had to wait it out.   I have felt great since.

Other things that I am trying are:

Staying away from all alcohol.

Trying to stay away from foods that have a lot of strong perservatives (bacon, cold cuts, soy sauce, etc).

Staying clear of any type of smoke.

Thanks again for your help.

Rob

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:  On 6/20 I started the licorice process that Les intoduced.  It really has been great.  I have had one HA and 1 (what you guys call) shadow.  I think I will call it a storm cloud.  It felt like I was going to have a HA but it didn't materialize.

I have reduced my dose and will fininsh taking it this week.

Rob

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday was my last day using licorice.  So far so good.  This has been an unbelievable experience for me. I mean a miracle.  I believe God help me find this site and help me find the licorice posts from Les.  Having headache almost my entire life and licorice extract stops (1 HA in three weeks) them in their ugly tracks.

I will keep you posted on my progress.

Rob

Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:  Sunday and Monday I had a HA.  Sunday's was pretty bad.  Monday's was manageable.  I tried using the licorice to abort each HA, but it didn't work.

Today is a good day.  If I can go without a HA today and Wednesday, that will be two HA's in one week.  Still not bad for me.

I haven't seen any posts from Les in a while.  I'm curious what he thinks about staying off the licorice for a couple of weeks and then starting the routine over again (in needed)?

I am going to buy some energy drinks and see if I can abort one of my HA's before it gets legs.

Rob

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob, you could try PMing Les if you haven't already.  He's always been very generous with his time.

As I recall, you did not have oxygen, and it sounds like you still don't, so I'll repeat my/our earlier exhortation to you about that.

Also, you could try the D3 regimen (which I'll be happy to describe to you again, if you want).  According to Les, it's very unlikely to interfere with licorice root if you go back on that.

And I guess you also haven't done any busting, and you're not using any pharma meds such as Imitrex, if I'm also remembering right.  Depending on what you might hear from Les and how your HAs go, this could be a very good time to try some seeds or other busting methods.  I remember Les saying that the licorice root is out of your system in 24 hours or less.

So, maybe plenty of options to completely wipe this thing out.

Jerry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...