Since the summer of 2000 cluster headaches have accompanied me in my life, and this more exotic pain – also known as ‘destruction headache’ – can really make you crazy in its grievous form and concerns more males than females (as for example the German author Franz Kafka, US president Thomas Jefferson or the Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe).
So far no scientific research in this regard, and I have really tested all what was recommended by doctors or what I found being suitable like osteopathy – so medical oxygene for inhalation is always at my home which will however only ease the whole complex a little bit. A lot of symptoms conform with migraine (like hypersensitivity concerning light and any kind of noise), but typically cluster headaches do occur in the night (after 10 p. m.) when you start sleeping, in the middle of the night or even in the very early morning as an ugly wake-up-call. But all day long this usually does not happen.
The ‘cluster’ can be so dominant that you get simply paralyzed. Such a pain attack usually has a length of 30 – 60 minutes and can happen once or many times per night (my maximum was 4 attacks per night), so the lack of sleeping gets a real problem after some time because a night without an attack is seldom during a ‘cluster’ which can happen anytime in the year irrespective of the season or where to be.
These headaches set the whole body and mind also into a state of panic, and when you follow this panic and fall deeper into it, all is getting worse especially the intensity of the aches which are in my case only on the left half of my face (eye-region). This is accompanied by a complete stressed left eye, moreover the mucosa in the nose are heavily swollen together with a pulsating ache in the left sinus. During these times the area of the cheek is somehow inflamed and uptight.
After such an attack I often feel as if someone had roughly swept my nerves and brain besides tiredness. A ‘cluster’ lasts normally at least 4 – 6 weeks or sometimes longer driving concerned people like me after some time to a fundamental physical and nervous exhaustion. The good thing, however, after such a challenging and also horrible ‘cluster’ there won’t be any problems for 1 – 3 years in my case, but it needs always some time to recover from such a stressful episode.
At the moment I am happy and cluster-free for around 10 months, otherwise I would not be in a position to write and publish all this here.