Jump to content

It amazes and baffles me


Recommended Posts

I'm sure I've posted along these lines before.

I had a short-ish, mildly intense cluster attack earlier today. I don't really use the KIP scale, but I'd call it a 4 on my 1-10 scale of cluster pain. It was enough to cause me to leave my desk and curl up in bed for 15 minutes or so.

What amazes and baffles me is how completely and utterly drained it left me. The attack happened about 2pm, and I was still tired and grouchy come 5:30. I eventually found a snickers bar, which magically restored my energy (shocking, I know). Just in time for a second attack at 7pm.

This one lasted a bit longer, was a bit more intense, and has left me equally shattered.

It felt like someone was using a cork screw on the top of my eyeball.

I've felt cold since the first attack. Mood is non-existent. Also left with a headache that won't die. Listless is a good word to describe how I feel. Am glad my house-mate's daughter is around and she's fixed some dinner. Otherwise I'd have no desire or energy to fix something myself.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like your blood pressure is very low, probably due to a strong vago-vagal stymulation effect.

I've experienced this kind of debilitating crush myself quite a bunch of times, sometimes I even had syncopes during attacks, with my hands becoming completely numb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like your blood pressure is very low

Interesting - I saw some TV thingy once where low blood pressure patients were supposedly stabilizing their blood pressure by eating pickles (?!).

And MG it has been long established that you have all the signs of being hypoglycemic (as am I) so ya think maybe it's time to get a wee bit smarter perhaps about eating ultra sugary crap like Snickers that spike the blood sugar level way back up in a real jiffy (weeeee!) but correspondingly tend to then induce a low blood sugar rebound (BOOO!) ?

The nuts in there are good. It would be pretty basic common sense-ish for a hypoglycemic who has been lectured about this before to eat nuts but skip the honkloads of poison sugar. <End of tuff love lecture>

Link to comment
Share on other sites


After reading your post and timeline, I have to ask.  And, why would you eat a chocolate bar instead of nuts or something else?  I don't know if chocolate is on your trigger foods list, but I know it's right at the top of the scale with alcohol for triggers for me and many others.

From your post you said you had the snickers bar and right after had another attack that was longer and more intense.  :(  That's how I eventually figured out chocolate was a BIG trigger for me.  Wait a day and try eating another snickers bar.  I suspect you'll get hit again.  My attacks would come 20 to 30 minutes after eating chocolate.

When in cycle, I have a very strict diet.  I've found I can prevent 90+% of attacks if I stick to it.  Drawback is I drop weight like you wouldn't believe.  Thinking I lost 5+ pounds a week the last time a cycle slipped in, which isn't healthy either, but a lot better than the number and intensity of attacks I would normally get.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, for the record.

I am not hypoglycaemic nor do I have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. I have recently been tested for this and a number of things (high cholesterol, etc.), and am very healthy in that regards.

Neither chocolate nor alcohol is a trigger for me.

Yes, I like chocolate. Yes, I like rum. No, I do not always have the healthiest of diets, as my best friend often reminds me. But it is much better than it used to be, and I'm constantly making improvements.

For example, today's snickers bar was my first in a month. Which is pretty damn amazing for me.

If you follow my posts, then you know I've kept a very detailed and accurate record of my headaches, migraines and clusters for over 4 years now. Although I don't track food any longer, I did track it in detail the first year or so, enough to know I don't have any food triggers.

My triggers consist of 'cold', either eating something VERY cold (KFC Chrush'em for example), or someone putting something cold on me (like an ice cube). Lack of sleep is another trigger, which is why I have a pretty strict bed time of 10pm, and certainly can't stay up past midnight more than 2 nights in a row. Strong smells is another one. Basically, with strong smells and cold, I'm OK with them if I know they are coming. But if someone shoves something in front of my nose, or drops an ice cube down my shirt for a joke, I'm in major trouble. Relaxation can occasionally be a trigger, but I think that pretty much sums them up.

In fact, caffeine and chocolate are slowly, but steadily, working their way out of my diet. Alcohol and I part ways from time to time for 3 or 4 months a year. But then I'll get a really bad migraine that won't go away, and vodka turns out to be my last resort, and best abortive.

I do have a VERY slow metabolism, so slow snails look fast in comparison. I rarely experience a sugar drop from eating chocolate.

One of the side affects of my cluster has ALWAYS been a sharp and intense energy drain. It usually returns after a few hours, but I've been working pretty hard lately, busy with a lot of things. I really need some time off, except it would trigger more clusters.


PS. Apologies if this reads a bit brash. Still on edge from the clusters. Normal, polite Moxie will return tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, coulda picked a better time to whip out some attempted pseudo tuff love.  :D

But not knowing when to shut the crappity smack up already, and having the distance of the Atlantic ocean to protect me from a vigorous and possibly well deserved face slapping :D, I'll close with this attempted zinger:

When someone (like MG) has said "if I get to hungry, my body goes into panic mode. I can't think straight, I am incapable of making a decision, even about what to eat.", it reminds me of a certain low blood sugar related state, which can be called hypo-whatever, but is a real thing that a certain percentage of the non-diabetic population experiences, and for which (DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?) tests/drugs/doctors may have little to nothing to offer.

Glad to hear your Snicker barring is actually rare these days BTW. Jeez now I realize I coulda skipped launching into the entire misguided lecture series.  ;D 

I'm still finding DrTy2's mention of low blood pressure intriguing. Of course there's often a good natural way to treat this sorta stuff, and besides pickles  8-), I'm recalling that licorice root is known as an effective treatment for low blood pressure...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When someone (like MG) has said "if I get to hungry, my body goes into panic mode. I can't think straight, I am incapable of making a decision, even about what to eat.", it reminds me of a certain low blood sugar related state, which can be called hypo-whatever, but is a real thing that a certain percentage of the non-diabetic population experiences, and for which (DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?) tests/drugs/doctors may have little to nothing to offer.

This is just carbohydrates craving, some say it's due to a yeast overgrowth... I don't believe that very much, I think it's mostly how the hypothalamus-amigdala interaction caused by low blood carbohydrates levels/CCK/insulin release, changes from person to person.

To some people it's an urge wich cannot be contained, much like some people are very much prone to dependencies compared to others.

I myself am almost immune to any kind of serious dependency (smoke, marijuana, psychological, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, etc), but I suffer of strong craving when I do not eat regularily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bejeeber and Jeff, my deepest and most sincere apologies.

Monday's daily headache was like someone had soaked my eyeballs in napalm, then put them back in my head and lit them. They burned for hours.

Tuesday was double cluster day.

Yesterday was day long drilling of the temples and a kettle drum party in my brain.

I should know better than to post when I'm in that headspace.

Yes, you're right. When I get hungry my blood sugar does seem to drop, and mental focus goes out the window. I do tend to panic at this stage, but more so because all my life, getting to hungry has always been a migraine trigger. And if you've my sort of migraines, you'd go into panic mode too. So I'm not sure it is all physical, but probably a lot of conditioning. There are times when I get that hungry, and I can calm myself down, take control of the panic, and I'm fine until I get food.

So, the jury is out. Will speak to my GP about it the next time I'm in to see her.

Like DrTy, I don't believe I have an addictive personality. I know I like things, but do walk away from a substance if I feel I don't have control over it.

Big hugs, MG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Moxie,

In a late reply, will just confirm that what happens during/after your attacks is something that I also experience.  Bet most of us can relate and are just as baffled and amazed.


After every K8-9 adventure (thankfully very few of those), I have been known to immediately fall fast asleep.  Unbelievable how pain, and internal exertion to fight it, can leave you so tired, like you've run a marathon. 

I think it's a good indicator for "level of suffering", that the amount of energy required to fend-off the agony equals the magnitude of misery.

Skipping Meals:

Whoa, there's a trigger for me.  Combined with stress, lack of sleep or allergies ...... it's the perfect storm for the Beast to appear.  The regularity of everything;  eating, sleeping, exercising, working ..... keeps the Beast at bay.  Skip meals, stay up late, get lazy and work too much overtime is my request for the Beast to come right on in and kick me arse.

Sticking to the known safeguards and avoiding the recognized triggers is our best defense.  I keep logs like you do, so we should know them VERY WELL.  After extended periods of relief, it's easy to forget the routine that got you there.

Best of luck and so sorry to hear you're in this situation now.

Sunny skies and PF days


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Moxie,

It does not matter if I killed the hit in 10 minutes with O2, I also experience exhaustion. I am not cranky, but just don't want to do anything! Drained is the proper word. So, even if I endure a full 2hr plus hit or kill it quick with O2, I am not up for much more for several hours. I may scan the net (no posting) or watch mindless TV, but that is about it. Sleep is a no no since it will trigger another hit.

As for hypoglycemia: I have had it since childhood. Two of my kids have it as well. My mother had it. It will: cause shakes, make me cold, give me a headache, confuse my brain (as in I can't make a logical decision about anything at that moment) and make me cranky as hell. Yes, you can prevent the drop with cheese and nuts. Protein. But, once tanked, I need sugar or easily available carbs. I always found a beer to be the quickest recovery agent. Much faster than OJ. Candy will also give the needed boost. But, any of these are followed within 20 minutes by a meal. Otherwise, I just tank again when the sugar is gone.

I had the old several hour blood test as a 20 year old. They would give you a horrible sugary drink and then start drawing blood at regular intervals for the next several hours. It was horrible. But, it was positive too. That is when I learned to eat peanut butter or cheese or similar between meals to prevent it.

When my kids get cranky, I always look at their hands. If they are shaky, I shove food in their hands. They have finally learned to recognize their symptoms and fix the issue.

Sorry to be late to this thread, but life is a bitch at the moment. No need to worry about your post. We all go thru hell don't we? So we do understand the hell others are going through.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spiny, very interesting information regarding hypoglycaemia, and what to do to manage it. Some nice tips there.

There is a form of migraine that strikes without pain. One gets all the other symptoms they get with a normal migraine - sensitive to light, sound, movement, spots before the eyes, etc. - just no pain.

It almost feels like I can get a similar thing with clusters. The pain ISN'T a KIP 9 or 10, maybe only a 4 or 5. It can last anywhere from 5 minutes, to 30. But afterwards I feel just as shattered as if I've had a 1 hour KIP 10.

Earlier this week, after one such attack, I lay in bed for a half hour, barely able or willing to lift my hand. I wanted to get up. I wanted a drink, but was utterly drained of energy.

One of my worst attacks ever, a KIP 14 by my standards, left me shattered for 6 hours or so. Even too tired to sleep.

Glad, in a way, I'm not the only one that experiences this.

Hugs to all.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Join the conversation

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

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.


  • Create New...