11th January

What a beautiful day, what a beautiful day
I’m the King of all time, and nothing is impossible in my all powerful mind

Despite the sunny day most of my time was spent thinking about darker things! The main thing that was occupying my mind was the medication I have been prescribed for my Cluster headaches. I looked at some online forums such as O.U.C.H and the Cluster Headaches forum on Facebook but I find these don’t really help that much. Let me explain….

Cluster headaches are very very painful and as the name suggests they occur in clusters. You can go for long periods of time with no problems and then you will get a cluster which lasts for about a month or so where you gat get 2,3, or even more headaches a day. These often occur during the night and to add to your misery sleep deprivation starts to kick in as well. At the end of the cluster your life slowly returns to normal. At that point I have 6 months, a year sometimes even longer before it starts all over again and in that time, up until now, I haven’t given them much thought.

The problem is my clusters are episodic as described above – however some people suffer from them virtually all the time and are known as chronics. From what I can see is that these people seem to dominate the help site forums and if you pose a question relating to medication likely as not a chronic will reply. Obviously their attitude is going to be different to yours.

Now I have been prescribed Verapamil which is supposed to prevent the headaches from occurring. The alarm bells should have started ringing when I was told I needed a ECG before I could be prescribed it. I naturally thought that this was to make sure I had a healthy enough heart to take the medication and that’s the impression I got from the consultant. However I’ve looked into the medication online and it would seem that studies show that a high proportion of people taking the sort of doses of Verapamil that are needed to prevent cluster headaches develop heart problems – namely about 20% suffer from arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and 35% get bradycardia (slowing of the heartbeat).

Now the question I have to ask is – is it worth taking a risk of long term damage to my heart to prevent a series of headaches that although are very very painful do only occur once every 12-18th months. So the question going around in my head is should I be seeking a pain management solution for the attacks rather than looking to prevent them? I’ve been prescribed some solutions along those lines as well and I need to start looking into them as well. I think once I get to the point where I know more about the drugs then I will return to my GP to discuss these issues.

On a lighter note there was a cool payback for the sort of people who like to change your Facebook status when you leave the PC unattended for a while (I hate the expression Fraped by the way). Based on an idea that Lissi used to try and wind me up – I refined it and got her back with it a little later. I did a screengrab of the PC with Fackbook open and then pasted that into a powerpoint presentation. I then inserted a text box that had a choice message (Bugger off Lissi) and set it up so that it would only appear on a mouse click. I then ran the presentation and walked away. (obviously I made sure that I’d logged out of Facebook first).

Sure enough the temptation was too much to resist and in a short space of time I’d not only caught Lissi but Bex as well – she was first and almost gave the game away by collapsing in hysterics! Unfortunately I have a feeling that I may have started a war!!!!

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