I’ve not really talked about this much on here, I’ve mentioned it to a few people but not made too big a deal out of it. Well for one thing, it’s boring listening to someone whinge on about how their life sucks. Well mine doesn’t suck at all. It’s great, apart from this one little problem i have. I suffer from something called Cluster Headaches.
I was woken up about 4 hours ago and couldn’t initially move for the pain in my head. I wanted to scream, i wanted to bang my head on the door frame. This morning’s was the worst one I’ve had since I’ve been on my own. When i was living with my last girlfriend, she couldn’t actually do anything to make the pain go away, but having her there was a help and a comfort. I used to see the love in her eyes and know that it would be alright eventually. I also saw the frustration in her eyes because she thought she couldn’t do anything to help.
The hardest thing for her to do was to let go and let me bang my head – then tend to the wound afterwards. If you don’t suffer from clusters you can’t imagine how painful they are. I’ve heard really scary stories of the lengths that people will go to. People have been known to put their head on rail tracks and wait for a train, because that will stop the pain. And at 5 o’clock this morning, it was almost a temptation – but two things stopped me. Firstly the tracks are so dirty and secondly, have you ever tried to get a train on a Sunday morning?
It’s bizarre, but i look forward to migraines. I get both you see, but only a quarter of them are migraines, the rest are clusters. When one comes on, i crave for a nauseous feeling, a migraine is easy. I can control those – i have tablets for those and the best part is, I can keep control of me. But the tablets don’t work for clusters. A cluster is a completely different beast. It takes control of me. It becomes a wild beast in my head that drives me where it wants to go. It’s increasingly becoming very very hard to keep a grasp on reality when one strikes. And i hate being alone. It’s the one time i feel really really scared and alone. How very silly i know.
I lose the ability to function on almost every level. I cannot use the telephone, or the computer. If during an attack you asked me what number to dial for an ambulance, i’d have no idea. I’d struggle to understand the question. So much of the brain shuts down, the rest is in some sort of wild spasm. There is not enough brain function left to work out how to stand up or get a drink. That’s why being on my own is so hard. Catherine used to just get on with it and help me. She’d help me stand or walk about, get me water etc. I guess i realised this morning just how much she helped.
Officially there are not many cluster sufferers in the UK, but that’s because there aren’t many doctors that know about them and can recognise them. Most at best, confuse them with migraines. I was lucky. I’ve had these for twenty years, but i recently met a doctor who actually worked out what it was.
Well this morning’s is waning now, downgraded to the severity of a mere migraine or even less now i guess. And i survived it. I always do, but it’s horrible. And the next one? Well this was the second night running, so if i’m lucky i won’t have one tonight, maybe not until Tuesday or Wednesday if i’m lucky.
I once started to have one right before i was due to play. The person didn’t know me that well and so i didn’t say anything. I figured the play would be a welcome distraction. And actually, it was brilliant. I was given a good long severe flogging – during an attack – albeit a mildish one. And it really helped. It was like a good strong massage that just seemed to be draining all the pain away from my head. So all i need to do is to find someone who is available to give good long floggings at 4 or 5 in the morning and who i can get to without having to use the car or the telephone. Any volunteers?