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justcurious

Not sure and need advice

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Hi. I'm new to this and someone suggested starting my own thread.  This attack started about three weeks ago. I know it's not a migraine because I used to have them, but I'm not sure it's a cluster ha. The pain is constant, especially in the right eye, but both eyes hurt.  I have periods of intense pain that lasts 10-15 minutes, then it reduces to a dull pain.  I have some breaks where it's almost pain free for maybe an hour, but then it starts all over again. From what I've read clusters are on, then off.  My pain is constant.  To the point I can't do anything.  Even taking a shower or eating is almost unbearable.  I don't have insurance so finding a specialist is a no go.  I stay home to care for my mother with dementia. I finally went to the dr. {which I couldn't afford) and she gave me Fioricet and Maxalt neither of which helped.  AGain prescriptions I can't afford.  I don't know if I'm making myself worse by stressing over the money part.  All i know at this point is I'm going crazy and no one around me can understand.  My poor mother is so confused! This may not get me any help but it felt good to say it. 

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I'm really sorry you're going through this but glad you found this sight. If I were you, Ideally, a doc or neurologist, hopefully one that has a clue, just eliminate other possible culprits. But if you can't do a doc right now, I would get some oxygen and try that. I believe that cluster headaches are the only head aches that are relieved by oxygen so you'll have an answer at least. Although, some people o2 doesn't help but it's definitely worth a try. If you get relief, hallelujah, if not, you'll know you need to get in with a doc. In my experience dealing with high stress situations made my cluster headaches worse. I know caring for a parent is seriously high and chronic stress. Hang in there.

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My best guess -- and it is just a guess -- would be hemicrania continua, because of the constant head pain with occasional increases in severity.  Usually hemicrania continua is one-sided, but it can be two-sided.  I don't have the sense that it's primarily located in the eye, though.  http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/hemicrania_continua/hemicrania_continua.htm  If it is HC, it's treatable with a prescription pill (Indomethacin).

 

If the pain is really mostly in your eye, I would think you might really want to see a real eye doctor -- an opthalmologist, not an optician or an optometrist..

 

Would love to have a good, simple, inexpensive answer for you, but guesses and ideas are all I have.

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Thanks CHfather. Does it ever make sense to go to the ER? I know it would only be a temporary relief but I'm beginning to feel like if I don't get some relief soon I'm going to do something desperate.

 

I do notice that after several days the pain moves down to my right shoulder, but that's probably stress.

 

I will check out that link.  

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Again, just my opinion here -- no expertise behind it at all.  Clearly, it makes more sense to go to the ER than to do nothing, but of course the ER is a real crapshoot in terms of what level of skill and caring you might encounter.  Even though the fioricet and maxalt didn't help, maybe that information will help someone make a diagnosis.  I just don't know how costs work out for you without insurance.  If it was me and I could try to convince the doctor who prescribed the fioricet and maxalt to let me try indomethacin, I'd probably try that first. (Again, I really have to say that all this is nothing more than my opinion.)  Indomethacin can be quite tough on the gut, but if you have hemicrania continua, it should treat it fairly quickly.  I would imagine that opthalmologists pretty often see people who are there about eye pain, and that some of the time those people will have headache conditions that the eye doctor will recognize. So I think maybe that would be my second choice, if I'm reading you accurately that you have constant pain in your eye(s) but not much pain anywhere else.  I've had surprisingly good luck with walk-in medical clinics in big cities, but again, it's a big crapshoot when you have unusual symptoms.  I hope someone sharper and wiser than me will give you better advice.

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It's pain all over, but mostly in the right eye.  I've had my eyes checked recently so that's not it.  I've called my doc and requested that she call in the indomethacin, so fingers crossed.  

I can't thank you enough for pointing me in a possible right direction.  J

 

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I'm not sure that having your eyes checked would necessarily be the same as seeing an opthalmologist.  Opthalmologists have a lot of years of training that the typical eye-checkers don't have.  Only opthalmologists are M.D.s.  But this might just be semantics.

 

Hoping maybe the Indomethacin will work out for you!

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Glad that you started this thread!

 

Indomethacin is a good one to try. It works for HC, but not for CH. So, it can rule one out at the very least. Process of elimination is helpful.

 

Let us know if it works!!!

 

Taking care of your Mom is quite a job all by itself. This must be very difficult all around. :(

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