Doc's Cluster Headache Journal

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Visit from a nearly forgotten and unwelcome acquaintance

For a couple of weeks now I have been complaining that:
  • I feel "out of it"
  • I am "20% less sharp" than usual
  • I can't think
  • My legs ache
  • I constantly feel fatigued and sleepy during the day

All these things are what I would consider my classic cluster cycle precursors. All the things that would happen to me in the weeks leading up to a long stretch of cluster attacks. Since I have been taking Topamax, and as I have gotten older and the attacks have become less frequent and fierce. Because of that, things have been a bit more muddled and less defined and I think I started wondering if I had imagined that these "symptoms" were really related because I was still experiencing them now and then but often without the headaches themselves.

But here I sit, with clear cluster pain growing behind my right eye and I wanted to type this to myself and to others that may also feel these same "aura" type symptoms leading up to a cycle. It is so clear to me at this moment that it is all part of the same thing... and when I get the "aura" symptoms without the painful clusters, I am still having a "cycle", just one that doesn't spawn the end result of crushing pain. This of course could be unique to me, Clusters seem to be odd that way. I wonder if its a bit like auras of migraine sufferers, some see spots, some get dizzy, some have no aura at all.

I wonder if it is something going off the rails a tiny bit in my brain. I start feeling dumb, unable to concentrate, constantly tired, I have muscle aches, problems staying awake, tonight I even felt dizzy for a bit (I never get dizzy) and then, if I am unlucky, the old familiar pain creeps in. I don't expect it to get very bad tonight, I haven't had many really horrific attacks like I used to in quite a while now, but even if this doesn't crest into a full blown cluster cycle, I still expect to feel "weird, tired, and confused" for at least the next several weeks.

The pain in my head is getting to the point where it is a little hard to concentrate on typing so I will end this post by reminding anyone who finds this blog that for many people like me, Cluster headaches start to go away eventually! I know how painful and hard it can be while they are going on... I may never by 100% free of them, but I am so much better than I was just a few years ago. Don't lose hope.

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