Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Tuesday, March 15, 2011


A Little Perspective

I feel like crap. Not literally.

I have what I'm assuming is a cold. Congestion, coughing, fatigue and heavy on the achiness. Not loving it. I get a little whiny and self-pitying when I'm ill like this. But right now, I'm not feeling too horribly sorry for myself.

Because right now, my dad is undergoing another go-round with cluster headaches.

I'm not quite feeling up to doing a whole bunch of research at this moment to link to accurate, clinical information on clusters. So I'll just write a bit on what I've gleaned about them seeing my dad suffer through them for about three decades:
  • along the lines of a migraine, but, I believe, a bit worse than that.
  • like someone is shoving a bunch of icepicks into your brain.
  • can drive you near-suicidal with the pain.
  • come and go in cycles.
  • possibly triggered by diet(?)
  • not cured by much of anything.
I've seen my dad deal with these frigging things since he was in his thirties. They're hard on him--see above--and hard on the people who love him, because there's fuck-all you can do to help. You can stay in the other room and be quiet. You can leave him alone. You can feel really bad. And that's about it.

My dad's a strong guy. I've seen very little that can lay him low. But these things do it every time. He's gone a few years without them. But my mom told me the other day that he's getting them again. I hope--really, really hope--that this cycle does not last terribly long.

I love you, Dad.

You're right, baby brother. A few added points...cluster headaches are, in fact, nicknamed the "suicide headache" because people that get them (mostly men, hereditarily) do often kill themselves. Dad has been getting them since his early 30s, however, as he has gotten older, the frequency has subsided, as well as the duration. It had been a few years since his last bout. Over the decades, he has tried everything to minimize their effect...chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, nerve blocks, massive doses of vitamin C, diet, exercise at the onset of a headache, and many more... Although some things seemed to mildly relieve the pain, nothing has prevented them. I've seen him in so much pain, I couldn't imagine. But, being Dad, he ALWAYS managed to go to work, help a friend, or even, unbelievably, perform onstage with one of those excruciating headaches. So, here's to our dad. And, here's saying whatever power that be who gave him these fucking headaches can kiss my ass...
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