Cluster headaches, have you heard of them? I hadn’t until I had suffered with them for 3 years. It was 3 years of hell.
In 2008 I had a pretty hellish headache one morning, nothing seemed to take it away. The pain felt like someone had put a knife through my jaw and was twisting it. I assumed it was either a migraine or my wisdom tooth coming through. The headache came in spurts. It lasted on and off for 4 weeks and I had to bite on a wooden spoon just to gain some relief. I tried to sleep through it but it seemed to get worse. My face dropped like I have had a stroke on one side and my eye and nose run. It was living hell. Eventually it subsided.
Roll onto 2010. Same thing happened again but for a more prolonged amount of time. 10 weeks to be exact. Again I thought that it was my wisdom tooth as it still hadn’t come through. I went to the dentist and they said it was due to me grinding my teeth. £50 later I was issued with a gum shield. It helped a bit but the headaches of hell were still there. Again it subsided.
I had a few years of relief and thought the hell had gone… 2014 and bang. It’s back… with vengeance. It’s May and my head starts. Ten times worse than ever before. I am back and forth to the doctors and even attended A & E. I was on a ridiculously strong amount of drugs. Even Tramadol, Codrydramol and Naproxen- you’re not supposed to take this together. It was unbearable. Erin’s birthday party was a nightmare I tried to stay happy and it was still there banging away.
One night Erin was sat on the floor watching TV and an attack came on. The only thing I could do was face time my mum. I couldn’t speak. She took one look at me and said I’m taking you to hospital. A friend had Erin and she collected me. So many times the doctors had said I was grinding my teeth or having stress headaches. These weren’t normal headaches.
I walked through to see the doctor in A & E. She took one look at me and said she needs Oxygen; she has a cluster headache. Wow, one look at me and she has diagnosed me. I spent 50 minutes on Oxygen and felt so much better.
This was the help I needed. A diagnosis. I went to the doctors the next day and they set me up with regular oxygen at A & E until I could have it delivered to home and work. They then gave me an ECG and put me on Verapamil to stop them reoccurring as often. The last thing they did was tested the effects of Sumatripan on me. The nose spray didn’t work but the injections are a life saver.
Since then I have been on Sumatripan injections, I no longer have oxygen or verapamil as there is no need. The injections go into my leg and the only way I can explain it is like a cold gel that runs up my neck through my head and back down the other side. I lie down as it makes me a little dizzy but within 15 minutes normally my headache has completely gone. I know the symptoms so can catch them early. There are only few instances where it doesn’t work. This is much better than it used to be.
I have also found a correlation with the time of year they come and its always end of April early May. Do you suffer with Cluster headaches and are yours seasonal?