Cluster Headaches

I was finally diagnosed in October 2009 with a specific type of headache called Cluster Headaches. I had been suffering since 1988 and they had been getting more frequent and more intense. I had been showing them to doctors over the years and basically had been blown off by every doctor.


In fact, one GP told me “it’s nothing.” Yeah….just YOU try having one and we’ll see if it’s ‘nothing.’ I wanted to say to him. My eye doctor thought my red eye was a sign of scleritis, or, arthritis of the eye, and told me to take the glucosamine supplements. They helped my knees, for awhile, but the intense pain kept getting worse and more frequent. Finally I got a GP who was at a teaching hospital and he could see my red eye. By this time, I was suffering agony that lasted a month or more at a time, with at most a week or two break between outbreaks. His diagnosis literally changed my life. I mean, just a few months before, I had been to the ER at this hospital and they, too, had blown me off.

That’s TWO ERs and BOTH blew me off…the second was another hospital AFTER my diagnosis and I TOLD them what it was. The physician assistant at that second ER, after I showed her my bloated, bloodied eyeball and told her not to touch it, proceeded to perform an eye exam and touched it all over and then diagnosed me with pink eye.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it can be a long, frustrating, painful haul until a proper diagnosis is reached. But don’t give up. I thank God for the doctor who diagnosed my cluster headaches and I ask God to bless him. I pretty much have only a few days pain free, but at least I have that. I have a neurologist who helps me with pain management, which is something I could certainly have used 20 years ago. But I am grateful I have her now and didn’t have to wait another 20 years.

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