Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cluster Headaches are NOT Cluster Migraines. Migraines are NOT Cluster Headaches

I would much rather prefer to read layman's terms myself, and generally that is how I write. The percentage of physicians and medical staff reading my blog is probably pretty low so I write for the survivors and supporters....

There is 3 primary headache types.
1. Tension Headaches
2. Migraines
3. Cluster Headaches

To me. tension headaches are very much like a woodpecker taping away at my head. Telling me that i can fully function but its taping at my head as an annoyance and hindrance that almost every time an Ibuprofen can get rid of it.

Migraines, I have experienced since early childhood. Its hereditary which I got from my mom and sadly now my son has debilitating chronic migraines too. I too am chronic. The pain of a migraine can be from an aura to bedridden can't move can't even listen to a pin drop without vomiting. Migraines can be highly debilitating.  Migraine pain feels like a large elastic band from the base of my neck to the top of my forehead closing tighter with pounding. Nausea and vomiting can occur, with blurred vision to extreme sensitivity to light, and sound. I have been cured up in a ball in the dark and breathing was to loud. My triggers can be chocolate, red meat, heat and god knows what. They suck but it is the most common headache out there.  Its discussed on television for over the counter drugs to how many millions and millions suffer and loose time off work and school. At no point during the severest of my migraines have I ever wanted to kill myself. AT no point even having a migraine for 2 weeks have I ever wanted brain surgery because of it.

Cluster Headaches. I'm sorry no your mother, buddy at work or you doesn't get them. Chances are slim to none. This disease, yes disease affects 0.01% of the world (less than 1%). I live in London Ontario and there is only a small hand full of us who have it. And let me first clarify. There is no such thing as a Cluster Migraine. Stating migraines and clusters together is really insulting to us that suffer. At no point shape or form is either headache similar in any way. The pain is 100% different. The saddest thing of it all is that Clusters should not even be called a Headache.. because its an attack not a headache. Having a cluster headache feels like being shot or commonly described as a hot steel knife or poker rammed into ones eye coming out the other side of our brain. Many times I have contemplated suicide. In fact I planned my suicide in Dec 2008. There is in no way any comparison to a migraine or a cluster headache. And by no means is this to demean anyone who suffers from migraines. I suffer from all 3. I know. About 5 times in my life I have had a migraine and a cluster at the same time. Its torture because as a migraine any sound is worse but as I scream in agony with a cluster headache I am making my migraine far worse. I have also never hit my head, given myself black eyes or broken headboards over a migraine.

There is many google and medical and wikipedia definitions of all 3 types of headaches if you need to read the medical terminology.

I am writing this blog to help with those who are misguided on the subject of Cluster Migraines because that name is 100% incorrect. Your migraines may come in clusters but in no way shape or form is a migraine a cluster headache. Migraines start with an Aura that can last hours,days and weeks. A cluster headache will typically run 90 min but no more than 3 hours tops. A cluster head survivor can have 1-15 attacks per day.
There is episodic cluster suffers who have these attacks weeks to months a year then leave and return the exact same time the following year. Then there is chronic who have it everyday with no remission.

Please understand this blog was written with respect to those who suffer one or both or all 3. But comparing a cluster headache to a migraine to comparing a bullet wound to a paper cut. Because I have all 3. I would rather have a migraine until I am dead than 1 more single cluster headache. I hope this educates the person reading this to full understand the severity of a cluster headache. My definition maybe blunt and not to your liking but as my head was drilled into during brain surgery my mind hasn't changed then and its still the same now. They do not do brain surgery for migraines.

I am sorry if this definition has offended you but I make no apologies for the disease that takes way to many lives to suicide.I pray no one endures what I have in my lifetime let alone for 5 minutes. It is inhumane.


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