Hello. I am a fourth generation migraine/cluster headache sufferer. My highway to hell started when I was four years old. I remember that first headache simply because I relive it on almost a daily basis.
My great grandfather farmed and put red pepper lineaments on his head so he could continue to work. My great aunt had the doctor come to the house and hit her with morphine. She would sleep for a day or two. Both my paternal grandparents had headaches, my grandmother would get up, bake bread, throw up and back to bed.
My father has suffered from cluster migraines since he was in high school and as a teacher spent many days teaching while not actually seeing his students in front of him. I have witnessed him passing out and having convulsions from a cluster migraine.
As a sufferer of intractable cluster/ migraines, I have been at the mercy of many "professionals" my entire life. My experience after all the familial information has done absolutely no good. I have gorged myself on pills, with no relief. Watched my triggers, the change in weather forty eight hours out is my trigger. Watched my diet, useless.
When I have a migraine, my dad has one, my niece, sometimes even my brother. We suffer together. Holidays are spent having a headache or talking about them. Reunions bring new treatments and discussions among the families of sufferers.
Every decision I have ever made, a headache is always part of the equation.
I don't have children due to being dependent on medication. The clothes I wear, soft, soft, soft. What I eat, if I can smell it, probably can't eat it.
Every event is surrounded by a headache, white bronco, headache, Oklahoma City, in hospital with a headache Everything, every plan is made with a potential headache in mind.
My niece has them and hers started when she was about five. She like me has trouble taking the medication. We have all the side effects with no relief. I feel for her. Facing " professionals" who will tell her she is a drug addict, the cost in money, the toll on relationships, her wanting a family, and in the end all after everything is said, her head will still hurt. Every decision she makes, her head will always factor in the equation and her life will be more difficult.
Five generations and it seems like all the pills, all the money spent, all the indignity, and disrespect from professionals and her life will still be filled with chronic headaches no one can stop.
It truly is the highway to hell and while it may not kill you , when you have a headache, you are in hell.
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