Doc's Cluster Headache Journal

Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Empty Cycles"

I want to clarify my last couple of posts a bit if I can.

For a while I have believed that something is happening in my brain and that the cluster attacks were just the worst and most final result of that problem. Of course this is all speculation, just a few notes based on a few things I have read and my personal experiences, I really don't want anyone to confuse it with science...

Leading up to the cluster attacks I always experienced feelings of "confusion, being less able to focus, feeling cloudy in my thinking, aching in my legs and hands, general fatigue, extreme and bizarre daytime sleepiness. I don't think everyone who has clusters experiences these same things... So I wonder if they are somewhat like the various "aura" that migraine sufferers sometimes (but not always) report.

So here is the thing, over the several years as the actual headaches have gradually become less and less frequent, I would say that I can still "feel" the cycles... its as if the "event" that caused them is still happening, but perhaps my body has learned not to overreact so dramatically.

So I still go through many weeks of feeling like a weakened, less intelligent, dazed, hollowed out version of myself even if I don't get the soul crushing pain stabbing me behind the eye 2-3 times a day. Before when I was feeling stupid, achy, grumpy and weak, it was easy to blame it on the pain (except for the fact that these symptoms proceeded the onset of pain by weeks). So I begin to wonder if this is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. When people say that the clusters go away eventually, are they free from ALL effects of them or are they just lucky not to have a distinct "aura" like I am describing? Not a altogether bad trade off mind you, anyone who has suffered cluster pain would take that deal in a heartbeat.

Oh then there is the other trade off... as the clusters get weaker, they increasingly last longer.

So, I still feel lucky even though I have a weak little cluster banging annoyingly at the back of my eye demanding my attention like a petulant child, angry because I am doing my level best to ignore it.


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