So apparently what I have are called "Cluster headaches", which, by what I have read online, they supposedly are the worst kind.
The doc says the "cluster periods" will come and go, and being that there is no way to predict when one will start or stop, it is something I will have to learn to live with and manage.
In discussing with her the various ways to manage and deal with the pain, and/or prevent it, there are a number of very interesting "methods" she has suggested for me to try.
1. Diet - Cut out all sweets, caffeine, and TRY to eat 75% fruits and veggies. (GASP!) No ice cream????Is she fucking NUTS???? God, I love nuts, especially in Rocky Road Ice cream...or a nice creamy butter pecan in a waffle cone...or that Kroger brand Blueberry Waffle Cone - shit I can put away a whole gallon of that myself.
2. Alcohol - None. This is the point I started crying I think. To which, she said, "okaaaaay, if this is going to be an issue...just no hard alcohol (goodbye seductive martinis) and limit the beer (no more wings at Hooters - god I hope I don't have to give up hooters too - feel free to take that in whatever context you choose) and if you MUST, wine in moderation. So I ask what she means by that, and she says, "well, it is better for you to have a glass or two of wine each night, rather than having a whole bottle one night and then waiting 2 or 3 days, and having another - essentially, don't binge drink." I still am trying to piece together the look she gave me when I asked about a whole bottle each night. I guess she didnt find it funny, but then, neither did I.
3. Exercise - Get some. She was delighted to know I weight train every day and do karate twice a week, but that I need to vamp it up a bit to help with the destress, and to really help with the decompression of the pressure on my head. Which leads to number 4.
4. Sex - Get some. That is all I have to say about that. :)
5. Oxygen therapy - Yes, I COULD be one of those people hauling one of those tanks around with me sucking on a mask every 5 seconds...I asked her what the difference between that and an iron lung was, and again, I got this "Are you REALLY a dumbass?" kind of look. Apparently, the oxygen therapy didn't encompass me wheeling around a tank and a mask, but hey, one can dream right???
6. Water therapy - As much as I wanted to envision the "chinese water torture" that my brother used to threaten me with, it is no where near that glamorous. Water therapy seems to work for some people with cluster headaches - the deal is, whenever you feel the onslaught of a headache (there is a scale 1-10 of pain, so you would want to begin this when you first feel the ache), you begin to drink massive quantities of water. From what some people who swear by this therapy indicate, they drink about 21oz of water every 30 minutes.
So, here is what I can conclude. Is it REALLY curing the headache or are you just overcome with the pain in your bladder from having to piss every 2 seconds? I drink alot of water as it is, I am not even sure how I could begin to suck down that much water. AND to note, this would clearly be comprable to the Oxygen therapy, except, you are now hooked up to a catheter as opposed to an iron lung. Nice trade.
7. Meds - My doc is more of a...."let's prevent rather than stick a bunch of bandaids on the issue" - to which I am appreciative. I hate medication, as it always makes me feel zonked...especially the meds the neurologist prescribed to me years ago for these headaches. I don't want to do that again. So, we are hoping to go without drugs at this time, and see if I can't get a handle on it. Although I did tell her that my next trip to the ER, her ass is getting a call from me and she better scribble me SOMETHING. LOL.
8. Journaling and sleep - When I got these years ago, I started keeping a journal of when they happened, when it started, intensity of pain, what I was doing when it came on, etc...So I have begun that again. Looking back over the past month, there has not been a day that has gone by I have not had a headache - granted it might be a 1 or a 2, but it was still there. And then we come to sleep. Get sleep. Get more sleep. lol. So I AM trying some sleep meds to try and help with that on occaision. I don't want to use them (see number 7) but will if I have to.
So 8 potential "thingys" to try, or not try, I guess to deal with these clusterfucks.
There is a sight dedicated to people with Cluster headaches and they call the actual headache "the Beast". I prefer to use the well-known term "Clusterfuck".
I love to say fuck, and there really is no other word to describe it.
As of right at this moment, I am clusterfuck free.
Looking forward though to tomorrow and trying out that new catheter!!!!