My brain hurts! Health/Fitness

This week marked the official return of the Eyegraine. For years I talked to doctors & headache people and even an optometrist and nobody had any idea what was wrong with me. Finally, in the past 5 years or so I’ve started seeing information on what I now know is the Cluster Headache.

In the same family as the Migraine headache, Cluster Headaches differ in that they are usually isolated to a specific area – usually behind the left temple or eye and show up for months at a time sometimes several times a day and then stop for months. For me at least the individual headaches last from 15 minutes to an hour. I get the sensitivity to light & smells and all that lovely pain. Although they can just come on whenever they wish they can be triggered by stress, low-oxygen trance-like computer programming & pheromones (like the perfume counter at the Boscovs). I’m currently in a cluster cycle and getting a headache once or twice a day unless I’m able to abort it before it goes full blown. Actually aborting a pending C.H. is tough. By the time I feel it coming on (they have an “aura” much like a migraine) it’s too late to pop pain pills that might take a half hour to kick in. Caffeine helps but suffers the same time delay problem as pills and has the side effect of messing with my sleeping which can actually cause a cluster cycle to begin. No, for me there’s only one way to get rid of a C.H. – Adrenaline!

I wish (oh how I wish) I had learned the secret sooner, but the best way for me to kick a headaches ass is to kick my own ass. Grab the running shoes and sprint out the door or drop and knock out 50 push-ups or spend a few minutes fighting the heavy bag. Jump rope, squat thrusts, sex, it all works and it’s all good! Some research suggests that result is due to the increase in oxygen in the blood, but as I’ve personally seen an elevated heart rate & tried deep breathing techniques without relief, adrenaline is the only way to go! Its not always convenient to have sex or do squat thrusts while at the office though but I’ve found my ways around the problem. I used to walk up/down 16 flights of stairs while I was working at Spiewak. I’ve pulled off the highway and ran laps around the parking lot. I’ve dropped to do push-ups in the mall. I’ll do whatever it takes because an Eyegraine in full bloom is heinous!

So if you see me absentmindedly rubbing the back of my neck or left temple, it’s Cluster Time and you should immediately scream “What’s your major malfunction soldier Oh, does your head hurt? DROP AND GIVE ME 40!”

Headaches. They’re all in your head anyway.

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