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Wow, I sure can't go one year without a new diagnosis on my body.  So yesterday I went to the ER due to majorly debilitating headaches that I have been getting for 1 month to 2 weeks now, daily.  It feels, during an episode, that an ice pick is repeatedly stabbing me in the back of my eye and that my head is about to explode - if it did I am sure that it would feel a lot better.

I have found websites pertaining to Cluster Headaches but I am coming to my Steady Health family for support and advice before trying a NEW forum site out.  Steady Health is the only one I have ever found I like and want to stay at, I love the support and advice given out here.  The only problem I'm finding is that when I search on our Toolbar there is nothing about Cluster Headaches - and I need answers and suggestions.

So at the ER.  Explain my history to the youngest, most attractive doctor I have seen in a long time.  Eye candy is wonderful and at one of the worst places to sit at and wait, lucky me is what I am thinking!  He goes on to rule out Brain Tumor symptoms (thank god) and says it sounds like that I have all the headaches: tension, migraine and cluster headache.  There first line response is to start an IV run me with fluids - first a bag of Ketorolac (anti-inflammatory), and then a syringe full of Morphine (that was the ticket) within 5 min of receiving the Morphine I could look at lights again without groaning and feeling like I am about to explode, they top me off with another 1/2 syringe before leaving - floating with the angels is very fun.  Also, they gave me a one-time tablet of Prednisone which gorgeous doctor guy is hoping that would keep headaches at bay for a time; no headache last night that woke me up from my deep sleep finally!

Now, my question is: they told me that if I get another of these headaches to wait out the ice-pick stabbing, when that is done to go back to ER where they will put me on Oxygen for a time which seems to help the headache to go away and stay away for a time.  Does anyone know why - Oxygen for a headache?  Also, why would I suddenly start to get these headaches, I've never suffered from headaches before and now to get the worst medical condition known to man; these headaches are nicknamed Suicide Headaches as they are known for people to commit suicide to get rid of these debilitating headaches.

You may remember or not that I am healing from a major bunion surgery repair for almost 3 months now which has required a lot of bed rest due to elevating the foot for most of the day.  For the first while I did not change up my position in the bed and now I have muscles that are seized up in my back; seeing a Registered Massage Therapist to work out my back (reason for Tension Headaches).  So I do know some of this is related to my recent surgery: another question is this, So after my foot is healed do you think that these headaches might be a part of me now or will it go away with me getting better and being up and walking around?  I really don't want these headaches and would love for someone to tell me it WILL get better and go away completely, but I am running out of faith.

Wish me luck guys and that I never get one of these awful headaches ever again!  And, please help...

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Hi Lizard,

What symptoms do you have from the cluster headaches?  Normally they tend to focus around the eyes but you can have them anywhere around the head.  Have you ever noticed droopy eyelids or changes to your pupils?  Do you tend to get them at about the same time each day?  Do you smoke?  Drink? 

I'm just trying to see how the diagnosis was made.  You don't seem to fit the typical profile.  Usually it's a male in his 20's. 

Have you ever had them before?  It's common to have these for a period of months and then they tend to stop, go into remission.  This can last for years.

As to your question, oxygen is a very common treatment.  The problem is that since these tend to come on fast most medications don't really have time to "kick in."  High flow O2 can help increase oxidation and helps remove C02.  It can help with other headaches too but it usually impractical.

It's hard to second guess the doctor but if you're having tension headaches I would look into that.  I do think once you are up and running around it will improve your health and reduce the headaches.

 

 

 

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Symptoms? I have the waking up from a dead sleep with the ice pick stabbing in the back of my eyes and they typically last from 25 - 40 minutes and yes I have gotten 2 this way between 1230am and 1 I've also had one during the day between 330pm and 4. They are debilitating. I have so much pressure in my head that I have tears streaming down my face but not crying, I am holding my head moaning in pain and thrashing around. I have swimming/blurring/waves in my peripheral vision. I don't smoke cigarettes but I do vaporize medicinal marijuana for a different diagnosis. And, I haven't touched alcohol in years.
The ER doctor made the diagnosis and I agree with you about not fitting the typical profile but I don't disagree with his diagnosis. He thinks that it may have something to do with how tight my muscles are in my neck, shoulders and whole back that they are restricting blood flow into my head thus the Cluster Headaches.
I have never suffered from headaches before these. But I have had them for around a month and at the same time of day with the episodes I have already explained - I just want to bash my head in to a wall or the floor to relieve the pain. What has helped; a shower, a cup of coffee, yesterday at the ER it was morphine and the prednisone/steriod tablet.
I will be making an appointment with my doctor. The ER doctor doesn't disagree with you either he thinks I have all the headaches combined into one headache; like I said I am going to a Registered Massage Therapist. The massage I had on Monday took away the headache symptoms for a couple of hours to come back and be awoken that night to the worlds worst headache - the first time I took a dilaudid for it. It helped but they (doctors) don't want me to self-medicate. I was also taking the Ketorolac at home but never got any relief from it either.
I sure hope that I don't have these headaches to deal with in my life and that when I am up and about it will all dissapate. To a faint memory would be great.
Thanks for taking the time to answer and give some advice. Any more insights would be appreciated if you have any.
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Did they prescribe anything for you?

Sometimes they'll prescribe sumatriptan, it's used for migraines usually and is injected. Another common drug would be zolmitriptan, in tablets or spray.

I'm glad you're going to see your doctor about this. Your symptom do fit the profile but I do think you need to check out the tension headache part of this.
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They did not prescribe me anything except to go in for oxygen. I don't know why this is because as you that is what I saw for these headaches too but I do think they might want more documentation to confirm diagnosis?

I am seeing my doctor within the hour as there was a cancellation, so I may get some oxygen there to combat the pending headache I feel.

Don't worry I am getting massage treatments covered under my insurance policy as well as when that is done and my foot healed I want to see a chiroparctor to realign my back from my improper gait with the aircast on my foot.

I'll let you know what my doctor has to say about this when I get back home.
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Good luck Lizard. Keep us posted.
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So on medications to abort headache once feeling of coming on (if I have warning) - Sumatriptan. And a preventative - Amitriptyline. She wants me back in 2 weeks for follow up.

Doctor says it common for the symptoms to present themselves in these type of situations that I am in. Healing from a surgery, major stresses to the body, major changes to the body, etc - a major lifestyle shift/change often is the cause. Sucks to be me in the meantime. We also won't know if they will continue to be present in my life or if it will dissipate completely once I'm up and around - only time will tell.

Thanks for your help, it's always much appreciated here!
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Weather changes can trigger the cluster headache, certain foods, and stress. I take Topamax (max amount) every night and Maxalt when I am having these headaches. Mine are cyclic. I get them every few years or so.
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