Question: What rhymes with couch and hurts like hell? Answer: OUCH.
I’m a few months late in writing this but BLTN as they post. Only two years after my 2014 cluster headache cycle I started a new one in 2016. This time around I fully documented every headache in an online calendar log. I started with the Auras in early May and by the end of the month was having at least a minor episode nearly every day. The onset of the cycle was likely expedited by the pressure/sleep and stress changes involved in a trip out west. This cycle was a little strange in that they headaches skipped tuesdays for the first month and then were not as long or as painful as I expected. Unfortunately by late July I was having them every day. August saw many days with multiple occurrences and a few dreaded waking eye-graines. The pain continued into September and faded out over about four weeks into early October. So May through October with 2 and a half months at full blast. This was a few weeks longer than the previous cycle and very painful. Since I started really documenting these each cycle has been longer. This is not a sustainable happiness model.
The good news is that these are now mainstream. Google has special results for when you search for them. They are considered Common and the pharmaceutical industry is standing by ready and willing to push me into a heroin addiction whenever I’m ready to offer up a co-pay. They may be willing to substitute a cancer causing steroid. Hooray! Ok, so yeah, the bad news is that nobody has figured out what the deal is with these as of yet but mainstream awareness just may prove useful. Can an awareness ribbon be far behind? We’ll have to pick a color. I recommend something dark that doesn’t strobe and kick off a headache for anyone actively in a cluster cycle.
Some links that give me hope:
- Clusterbusters.org – Somewhat new website that offers something of a support group and has info on clinical trials. I joined the patient registry and will be following them closely.
- Clusters are now well documented in the International Classifications for Headache Disorders… so where is our Awareness Ribbon already?!
- The disorder now has its very own ICD9 code. Once insurance companies recognize a disorder proactive pharma/nutraceuticals soon follow. Money talks!
- The top 5 links under Cluster Headache all seem to have been updated in the last year.
Until some solid science comes up with a preventative I’ll just keep stomping up and down the steps and doing pushups at the first hint of an aura. Adrenaline still works for me which is a blessing. I will leave you with a fun quote:
Experts have suggested that cluster headache may be the most painful condition known to medical science.
Well, at least I don’t have THAT kind of cluster headache! [attribution]