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Overdue for a bout?


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Remission periods are so wonderful... mostly.  When I become convinced the bout is complete, I rejoice warily.  I haven't fully got a handle on the timing of this cyclical hell after about 10 years, and when it goes away I can never fully trust the pain-free state.  The Beast is unclear in his logic but one thing is made crystal clear as he departs for his long-awaited vacation: "My work is not done, I will return sooner than you expect." 

It's as though I'm in denial, I have this painful headache that has promised to return, but when it has been gone for several months (or even just a few weeks), every shadow feels like "Yep, this is the one that will surely usher me back into the familiar realm of pain."  Then the shadow passes after 10-20 seconds, usually just blood pressure equalizing in my head (I used to enjoy the dissociation of a "head rush," but now it mimics CH and frightens me).  In this way, the Beast has a hold on me every day, as each minuscule fluctuation in my temporal vessels reminds me of the great power this condition has over me even while it's dormant.  Still no full attack since my last post (I believe it was the 11th of either May or June '17), but transient shadows nearly every day.  The shadows often seem to happen at mildly stressful moments, and I wonder sometimes if they're even happening, maybe I just briefly imagine the pain as a developed response to stress, as my mind has come to equate the pain with stress...

I've dealt with bipolar disorder since childhood, and had plenty of social issues to accommodate in a world full of people with better emotional balance than me .  I tend to be extremely irritable during clusters, very short tempered and impatient with people, prone to overreacting to the smallest hang-ups that would make few people bat an eyelash.  I'm now beginning to wonder if that's triggered by the CH-induced anxiety (as I always assumed), or if the CH might actually be a manifestation of my stress.  Like my brain gets so caught up in loops of cognitive dissonance that it starts to blow at the seams!

So here I am, overdue for a cycle.  I seem to have had attacks every winter and every summer since late teens, but didn't begin documenting anything until last year.  I downloaded that RegistrateYourJourney app, my cycle ended two hits later, so I don't have much of a journal yet.  And now I sit here with that wonderfully deceptive feeling that maybe it's been spontaneously cured, I mean it's been so long that I can hardly remember how intense the pain can be, all I remember is that it really really hurts lol... So I'm in what I now call the Denial Phase, that tasty point of the cycle where I tell myself that this time it really is over, not just a remission but it's actually not coming back this time.  Let me take comfort in my delusions haha

Anybody else ever feel this way?  I think maybe I'll be able to better predict the onset of an impending cycle after 2-3 years of documenting, but for now I'd like to pretend that this whole cluster headache thing was just a bad dream from which I awoke in a cold sweat.  I mean I really WOULD like to feel that way if I could choose, and I feel like I'm trying to convince myself of this blatant lie and getting better at believing it every pain-free day that passes, but I know the Beast will eventually be vindicated when he makes his grand entrance.  I guess I feel a sort of guilt, maybe something like survivor's guilt, as though I don't deserve remission and shouldn't be allowed to exist without the pain.  I get the feeling that this disease is some sort of penance for all my transgressions against other beings, and then during remissions I begin to feel like maybe I'm a better person now and I won't be needing that Beast to punish me anymore.  I've had some relatively stable emotional balance lately and I wonder if that could be a direct link to my lack of headaches at a time of year when they normally occur. 

I have a tiny feeling that the DMT corrected something in my head during the last cycle and now it's over, but that's highly unlikely, as most Busters report needing treatment to abort subsequent cycles and DMT only aborts individual hits (for me at least).  This year I'll be getting some mushrooms and dosing according to the recommendations if/when the cycle begins, perhaps I won't need to abort any individual attacks if the whole bout can be stopped instead.  Actually now that I think about it, I did have some recreational MM in July, maybe that had something to do with my prolonged remission (duh moment).  I still don't understand how much psilocybin helps me, but maybe this time it did help without my intent.  I've never taken mushrooms with the intent of treating CH, they're typically unavailable during bouts, but maybe that dose worked enough magic on my brain to ward off the next cycle, months before it was to begin?  I'm torn between this chemical explanation and the mood-triggered explanation, and of course it could be a million other factors I'm not thinking about.  Probably not a simple explanation anywhere, but I feel like this is some puzzle put here to be solved, ya know?  Gotta throw my chips in...

Do we have any other people here who suffered from depression before CH set in?  I can see firsthand how CH could trigger depression, but what about those who already struggled with mental problems before a physical pain became known?  Sometimes I think this CH might just be a more extreme symptom of my insanity, but it's comforting to see that you Busters seem to present yourselves as reasonable people.  What's going on under the hood?  Do you think CH triggers your stress, or the other way around, or both?  And has anybody else had experience with accidentally busting a cycle several months before it's meant to begin?

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  • 8 months later...

Onglamesh, Alexandrax,

Depression and anxiety attacks are part of the cluster headache syndrome.  Some CHers experience clinically significant depression. 


We know what you've been going through and the good news is it doesn't need to be that way.  Nearly all CHers are vitamin D3 deficient and that deficiencies contribute to the frequency, severity and duration of their CH.  Solve that vitamin D3 deficiency and the odds are high you'll solve your CH problem...  depression too.

My name is Pete Batcheller, a.k.a., "Batch."  I'm a 74 year old retired Navy fighter pilot and long time CHer... chronic since 2004... except I no longer suffer from these terribly painful debilitating headaches.  In October of 2010 having experimented with a combination of vitamins and minerals to reduce inflammation, I added 10,000 IU/day vitamin D3... I was mildly surprised when the frequency of my CH dropped from 4 CH/night to 1.5 after the first dose... 

I blew the first CH away with 2 minutes of oxygen therapy at flow rates that support hyperventilation... The half hit was so minor it went away before I could get to my oxygen...  I was totally pain free the second night after the second dose... That very pleasant surprise blew me away. It's stayed that way ever since unless I do a burn down test of my 25(OH)D by stopping the vitamin D3 until I get hit... I know that sounds crazy... That said, I'm so confident in the CH preventative capacity of this regimen, I do this 3 to 4 times a year and never have more than one or two mild hits before returning to a blissful CH pain free status. I've an estimated 800 CHers taking what I call the anti-inflammatory regimen of vitamin D3, Omega-3 fish oil and the vitamin D3 cofactors.  I've run this treatment protocol in front of several vitamin D3 experts, endocrinologists, Integrative physicians and a few neurologists experienced in treating CHers.  All think it is the best, safest, and most effective CH preventative we can buy...  for roughly 55 cents a day if you buy the supplements at Costco or over Amazon... The results of this regimen have been published in the American Academy of Neurology journal Neurology in April of 2014. You can download the latest version of the anti-inflammatory regimen migraine headache (MH) and CH preventative treatment protocol at the following link.  Be sure to share a copy with your PCP and in particular, your neurologist.  This treatment protocol also contains the results from an ongoing survey of 215 CHers taking this regimen since December of 2011.  Having your PCP and/or neurologist up to speed with this headache preventative treatment protocol will have you all singing from the same sheet music when you ask for the 25(OH)D, total calcium and PTH lab tests 30 days after starting this regimen.  Henry Lahore, the brains and brawn behind the VitaminDWiki website posted this treatment protocol for me on 21 January, 2017.  As of this morning readers of this post at VitaminDWiki had downloaded over 11,050 copies, a little over 17 copies a day so the word is getting out about the efficacy of this regimen to prevent CH… and migraines.


This is not a joke and I don't sell anything.  I've been providing information outreach to migraineurs and CHers on the benefits of this regimen and vitamin D3 since December of 2010.  If you've any doubts about starting this regimen, click on the following VitaminDwiki link.  It will take you to a page at that site that's all about my work with CHers taking this regimen with vitamin D3 and the cofactors.

http://is.gd/clustervitd If you’re still in doubt about starting this regimen, click on the links below to read posts by other CHers who started this regimen.  I have hundreds more just like them.






Please feel free to ask questions... Most CHers have them when starting this regimen...  I'm here to help. 

I’d also suggest you order some Bio-Tech D3-5 (5000 IU water soluble vitamin D3 capsules) and a 12 capsule bottle of Bio-Tech D3-50 (50,000 IU water soluble vitamin D3 capsules from Amazon.com.  It is proving to be more effective with greater bioavailability than the liquid soft gel vitamin D3 formulations.





Take care and please keep us posted,

 V/R, Batch 



Edited by Batch
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Thanks for never getting tired of putting the info out there Batch!  This post convinced me to give it a try and recommend it to my sister with RA. I’ve been taking 10k units of D3 but have to add the cofactors.  I’ve been getting success with MM but it would be nice to have a good back up. Do you use MM too?




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