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Yet another noob!


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Hi All,

A friend of mine recommended this board to me so I'm taking the proverbial plunge.  Hope I can get some help here, maybe?

I have had awful headaches for almost 28 years but no medical treatment has helped.  Neurologists can't even seem to figure it out.  I end up in the ER a few times a year because I just can't cope with the pain, but most of the time I just end up crying and screaming into a pillow when it gets truly evil.

Anyway... my friend mentioned RC seeds as a possibility.  I'm sure my headaches are cluster headaches based on 27+ years of paying attention to what's going on when they hit.

I'm on antidepressants (150mg daily of Zoloft) and blood pressure medicine (10mg of Norvasc daily).  Would RC seeds interfere with these?  I want to get off the Zoloft anyway because I feel like a zombie most of the time nowadays.  Not even sure I even NEED to be on Zoloft anymore so weaning myself off of it very slowly.

If I decide to go this route - and I've been on so many different meds for these headaches that I've spent a small fortune on treatments and "big phat pharma", so it's likely I'll try this - where should I start?  How much do I start with, how often, etc.?  Yes, I've read the FAQ but need to address my particular circumstances.  I am having the headaches daily now.  I may get a day or two respite now and then, but it's pretty much continuous.

Oh, and before I forget: I DON'T have medical insurance.

If anyone can help please let me know, feel free to ask whatever you need to about my current situation.  I figure this can't harm me any worse than, say, my stint with Topomax (which I took and ended up with the worst pain IN MY LIFE EVER).  Now that was a fun time (not!) and my doctor's reaction to my not wanting to use it?  "You need to stay on it for awhile."  (I didn't and got another doctor).

Anyway I'm rambling, thanks for listening.  :)

Lynn a.k.a. LeKook

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Zoloft is an SSRI, so it would interefere. The blood pressure med is a tough call... I busted while on calcium channel blockers with no apparent interaction, but there doesn't seem to be any agreement on this point, so it's your decision

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Hey it's a noob noob bo boob, banana fanna fo foob, me my mo moob, NEW-oob.

Ahem...uh...sorry for whipping out the name game in lieu of a proper greeting, Lynn. :-[

Lynn Lynn bo bin, banana fanna..........ugh, must cut this OUT!  >:( *vigorously slapping self in face*. :o

OK hopefully I'm finally over that now, and I just want to say that I think you've come to the right place.

I can't offer any helpful advice regarding how to proceed with the Zoloft, but I can say that 40 seeds before bed can be a good starter dose. Many of us experience a better night's sleep than usual as the main 'side effect'.

And if a 40 seed dose goes down well, bumping it up to 50 for the next dose could be good. Minimum 5 days between doses is a good rule of thumb.

I think a smart strategy is to at the same time also be working on procuring or growing mushrooms for your back up plan, because some of us have found that if the seeds don't work, or work at first then stop working, moving on to psilocybin will work, and of course it's nice to have it on hand sooner than later!

Sounds like you're on the road now to some pain free-ness without the pharmaceutical horrors. YAY.  :) 8-)

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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.

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I was checking the FAQ to see what it said about interaction with SSRIs and detox and I found the following:

There are some medications which may interfere with psilocybin (and LSD):

•      tranquilizers and mood-altering medications such as Xanax, Valium, Prozac and Wellbutrin.

Â…..

*SSRIs :

such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine) and others, may blunt psychedelic effects. It is unknown whether these medications also intensify or blunt the effects of mushrooms or LSD on cluster headaches, but this possibility exists. It appears from the information below, that Prozac will block the actions of LSA seeds and LSD but most likely will not block psilocybin mushrooms.

Â…..

*Prozac (fluoxetine)

has an active metabolite (norfluoxetine) that is very slowly metabolized, so its levels actually build up to twice as much as the levels of Prozac itself. They drop very slowly; count on a week for a 50% drop and five weeks or so before it's all gone. Consequently, the 5-day detox recommended by Clusterbusters won't work for Prozac. The other antidepressants (Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Zoloft) all have a 24 hour halflife, so five days is enough, and Paxil has a 12 hour halflife so is gone in even less time.

.....

http://www.clusterbusters.com/faq.html

Bear in mind that Zoloft's "half-life in the body is 13–45 hours and, on average, is about 1.5 times longer in women (32 hours) than in men (22 hours), leading to a 1.5-times-higher exposure in women" [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sertraline]. So you might want to wait a couple more days if you're a woman, although most of the zoloft will probably be out of your system after 5 days.

I do urge you to be careful though, if you're taking zoloft for depression you might want to talk to your doctor first. The other thing is that usually, with SSRIs when one stops taking them, it's not done abruptly but diminishing the dose over days or a few weeks. Take care.

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I agree with skibo, if you are going to stop the zoloft on your own, be careful.  Though you may not even need it (once my son's pain got under control, imagine! he wasn't depressed anymore!! duh) your body is used to it.  Taper carefully.  Maybe someone else will have good advice on how quickly/slowly it needs to be done.

And jeebs . . . you made my day  ;D ;D ;D

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Completely agree with Father, Jeebs, skibo and mom above.. :)

Definitely taper from the zoloft slowly per Dr advice.  As a positive note:  Many here have reported (including myself) a general uplift in attitude and mental well being after starting alternative treatments spoken about on this website.  Long after the immediate effects are gone a very slightly uplifted feeling is left.  Nothing huge, but definitely present.  Could just be the missing CH attacks, and normal sleep!!  :)

Jeff

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Hey everybody,

Thanks for the lyrical stylings and advice.  :)

I have been diagnosed with cluster headaches, yes.  And I have all the pain criteria anyway, but the last neuro I saw confirmed cluster headaches.

As for the Zoloft -- I know much of the reason I started it was because I was in constant pain.  It would keep me up several nights in a row (back in the mid-1990s), and that triggered major depression.  In other words I got depressed initially because I'm always in pain and I just reached a point where I wanted out and went a bit nuts.

That being said... I've already been doing the D3, calcium and fish oil thing for quite some time anyway, but it has not helped any over the course of the past year or so.  Prior to losing my med insurance my doc was fussing about my D3 level being so high, but I insisted I need it so he didn't argue (it won't kill me, LOL).

What's more effective though, shrooms or seeds?  Are the shrooms legal?

I'm going to wean myself off the Zoloft, my husband has agreed to keep an eye on me and let me know if things start looking like they might be going badly.

To be honest, I had an attack Saturday that was so bad I just wanted to end it, frankly.  Zoloft couldn't even counter that.

Will check into the oxygen and read up on all the links you kind folks have supplied, and I thank you so much for your help.   :)

P.S. I forgot to mention this: Percocet is the only thing that has ever given me "temporary" relief from the pain.  I say temporary because if I'm already in a cycle, it will only alleviate (not eliminate) the pain for an hour or two, then it's right back at it again.  However, none of my docs ever want to provide it, they freak out thinking I will become an addict.  After 28 years of this, really?  Hasn't happened yet.  LOL!!

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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.

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Chfather, yeah, I'm shocked too, but not really -- NONE of my doctors has even mentioned oxygen or even offered much in the way of relief.

The way I see it, rather than let them continue to choose poisons for me to use with no benefits, let me choose the poison for myself and at least try it.  Cut out the middle man.  Maybe get enough money to buy insurance and actually find a decent doctor.

May 2011 was my 28th year anniversary for having cluster headaches.  I'd like to survive to my 29th year without actually having to say, "Yes, I have a headache STILL."

As for shrooms vs. seeds, I will of course have to go the less expensive route first, out of necessity, so any advice on that point would be very helpful too.

Thanks so much to you and everyone for your help and support.  :)

-Lynn

P.S. Has anyone else with CHs ever noticed that the distress never seems to be less with each attack?  I wonder about that - I mean, we know what might happen, what to expect, but each cycle I have the same response.  Weird.

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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

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Hello Lynn, welcome on the board, as you can see you are not alone and help is very close to you now.

I read your story and looked at the prescribed drugs from the doctors, seems pretty unusual for treating clusters.  I sure can imagine that Zoloft is given, CH drives all people mad during the years. Every cluster is more evil as the past cycle.

I am not a doctor but I should be very careful with trying shrooms or seeds whilst you were on Zoloft.  It is very important that you detox the zoloft before using seeds or shrooms. Zoloft will interferer with any psychedelic drug.

We have a lot of drugs boards in the Netherlands as it is no problem to talk about. There are also doctors that give people advise on these boards, very useful and full of information.

I found an article about Zoloft and shrooms, maybe it is useful to you.


Thanks to google translate, the article was Dutch:

question:

I use Zoloft for some time, now I have two questions, what is the interaction of zoloft and mushrooms?

Zoloft and I can combine with LSA?

answer:

Your code was: LSA

Dear questioner,

Mushrooms have a stimulating and consciousness-changing effect on the central nervous system. People with mood disorders or depression may be better anyway not use mushrooms, not to mention possible interactions.

Agents such as magic mushrooms trip to work on your feelings. If you're not good in yourself, you will quickly get a bad trip.

Interactions are possible because both the two hallucinogens that you mention on the neurotransmitter serotonin or receptor for work, what Zoloft does.

Users of these products report that a generally higher dose of the hallucinogenic needed, so the SSRIs block the effect a bit.

Dangerous if you do it by shooting too high doses and with a bad trip as a result. There is a group of sensitive people who left with permanent effects of hallucinogens. If you can use drugs is likely to increase.

Sincerely,

Gerard Alder Dearest

Doctor Brijder addiction


Stopping Zoloft is not easy and many reports effects after a couple of weeks. It is stimulating serotonin levels in the brains like shrooms or seeds do.

Be careful about yourself and maybe it isn't a bad idea to discuss this with your doctor. At least zoloft and seeds probably won't harm you but you sure want to get the best results with busting.

Don't give up if you don't get relief from the first busting time. Many report also me that more busting attempts is needed.

Be careful and good luck. Wish you some PF days !

Oscar

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To be honest, I had an attack Saturday that was so bad I just wanted to end it, frankly. 

Well that's a normal reaction to such a severe situation of course, so I'm glad you're now going to pursue the treatments that are more effective than what the failed medical profession has to offer.

Will check into the oxygen and read up on all the links you kind folks have supplied....

Yes! Around here O2 is considered a critical abortive to have on hand while awaiting busting results, so I hope that right after ordering the seeds today you can jump on getting the O2, either welding or prescription, with the high flow regulator and non rebreather mask.

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I'm holding off on anything until I get off of the Zoloft.  I don't have a doctor anymore so I'm on my own for the moment with no insurance. 

I figure it may take a month to get completely off the Zoloft, maybe another couple weeks to get past any side effects.  Have to see how that goes, not sure how my system is going to respond to being off of it after so many years.

Once I'm sure things will be okay, I'll order the seeds and/or shrooms, and give that a try. 

I don't think it's smart to try this stuff while still on Zoloft.  Maybe I don't need it anymore, I don't know.  I just stayed on it because the doctor told me once I was on it, I should never get off of it!!

Anyone know of some places I can order the flow regulator and non rebreather masks for a decent (low) price?  :)

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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/   

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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.

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Chfather, thanks so much... I will bookmark those Ebay links for when I figure out which type of oxygen tank I will get. 

Also for the info on the shrooms -- I thought this was the case, but the clarification puts my mind at ease a bit. 

I had a day (mostly) without a headache, but then tonight I noticed a cold feeling behind one eye and it started watering, and then the stabbing pain in my right temple and behind my eye started up, so here we go again.   ::)

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O2, O2, O2 - By Far your best $ spent.

As for Seeds or Shrooms:

I used seeds to successfully terminate a cycle last year with only two doses.  This year seeds didn't do beans...  Fungus though initially gave me 4 days at a time complete pain free releif.  After 2 doses the PF time extended further.  I'm now at 14 days PF since my last dose with the fungus!!!!  :)  Hope that helps.  I'd say order and try the seeds first, but don't count on them to work long term.  Several others have reported the same as myself, that they worked one year but not the next.

Jeff

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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. 

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Lekook,

I forgot to mention:  On the $ for Oxygen...

Oxygen setup:  Most medical supply companies have a nomial 'setup' fee with your first oxygen pickup.  Both the company I use in NC and here in FL had it.  BUT, it's a bargain!  (I travel between NC and FL for work a few times a year, so keep Oxygen in both places)

In NC they charge $20 for a non rebreather mask, regulator (8lpm is all they have), hose and carrying bag for a small tank.

In FL they charged $25 for the exact same setup.

Both companies charge between $8 and $9 for an 'E' size oxygen tank (I can pickup an unlimited number of tanks for the same price per tank).  The 'E' tank I usually use to abort 3 or 4 attacks and keep anywhere from 4 to 8 tanks around the house depending on where I'm at in my cycle.  At about $2 an abort, trust me it's $ WELL spent.  And these charges are without using my insurance.  All you need is a prescription.

I'm a strong advocate for using 'E' tanks and not larger tanks for one simple reason.  Safety.  This is also the reason I'm sure most Dr's are reluctant to prescribe Oxygen (They know it can kill you, but I bet most don't know why).  Breathing O2 above sea level depletes nitrogen from your body.  Nitrogen is required to keep the alveoli in your lungs inflated (The sacks that allow Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide to be exchanged to the blood).  After an hour or so the alveoli in your lungs slowly start to collapse reducing the amount of Oxygen obsorbed in your bloodstream.  Your body doesn't know anything is wrong because your body senses you have plenty of carbon dioxide and Oxygen in your system.  If you were to fall asleep on 100% oxygen for 3+ hours you run the risk of basically suffocating in your sleep. 

I regularly fall asleep after some hard attacks.  The exhaustion kicks in and BAM, I'm out like a light when the pain goes away.  Simply exhausted...  I've woken up on several occasions when the O2 'E' tank hits empty, never realizing when I fell asleep.  Wearing a non rebreather mask will wake you up pretty quickly when you take a breath in your sleep and can't pull anything in).  If someone has a large O2 tank (3+ hours of continuous 100% O2) you could run the risk of all the Ovoli in your lungs collapsing.

Don't mean to scare you or anyone else, but it's a very real fact.  If you use tanks with 2 or less hours total capacity you should never get to a seriously dangerous point.  Normal usage for aborting CH attacks are between 15 and 40 minutes.  With experience most are closer to the 15 minute mark or less.

That said:  I now only use 1/10th the oxygen I used before starting seed and fungus treatments!!! 

O2 + Fungus = Return to Living Life!

Jeff

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