Monday, March 11, 2013

Cluster Headaches, Migraines, Tension Headaches

Yes I get all three. All 3 being very distinctively different in location and pain and side affects.
My cluster headaches are in my right eye. Attacks feel like I had someone shoot me point blank in the eye with a 12 gauge and I live to tell the pain in screaming at the top of my lungs, rocking, holding my right eye with the palm of my hand and wishing I was dead. Whether I am sound asleep or at a rock concert. Noise, light make zero difference. Mr right eye sinks in, my right nose plugs up, then drips. The pain starts in the trigeminal nerve and shoots behind my right eye sometimes to my ear canal. It is the most pain any human could imagine x 1000. I would gladly put my testicles on a table and hit them with a hammer repeatedly until I bleed to death vs having one more Cluster Headache. They last 30 min to 3 hours long. This happens to me multiple times a day for almost 8 years now. Imitrex injections assist but make me violently ill. Bloating, nauseous, just sick to my stomach. Expensive and horrible. Its almost not worth it.
My tension headaches are temple location both sides. Irritating more than anything but I continue with my day.  can have a couple a day or not have one for a week. Last about an hour. Ibuprofen does the trick.
My Migraines are 90% of the back of my head from the crown to the occipital bone. Throbbing. I am light and sound sensitive. And all I want to do is hide in the dark away from even the sound of a pin drop. Vomiting is normal. These can last hours to days. Tylenol extra strength migraine relief with a can of coke helps allot on a full stomach. I used to get 3-5 a week prior to clusters. They subsided substantially after Clusters. But as of recent, have increased. I have had 3 this week. Odd.

All these headaches are 100% different. All unique in their own right. All have different characteristic's, pain levels and tolerances and all require different medication if any at all.

None of them are the same. A Corvette,a Prius,a Edsel are all cars, but all different. You can not compare pain, or experience just because they are from the same family. Luckily as of now I have only ever had a Cluster and a Migraine twice. Screaming is a given having a Cluster Headache attack. Silence is needed during a Migraine. I ended up screaming more because I only irritated my migraine by screaming from the Cluster.

I wrote this blog to explain my point of view of the difference between all 3 headaches. Unfortunately I have all 3. You can read anywhere on line and in medical journals that these traits are well known. The screaming and pain for clusters, the silence and darkness for migraines and the annoyance for tensions.

I believe 75% of my headaches are due to stress. I try my best to avoid stress, like the plague. But I can not always help the inevitable. Food is another trigger for Clusters. My migraines are usually triggered by smell/fumes.

I do not drink alcohol(instant attack for Clusters), Wine is instant migraine. I do not smoke, because I don't want to end up like my dad (a neck breather) and no illicit drugs. Choice because I am not an idiot. I smoked for 25 years, and now this August 23 will be 2 years smoke free. It made zero difference on my clusters. But I am 100% healthier in my lungs now. Decreased chances of cancer.
I did gain 80lbs but most of that was also when I sprained my left ankle and broke my right hand unable to walk and only hop for 4 months. And I used a cane for 1.5 year and ate junk food. I maybe fat but I am smoke free.

Back on topic....I try to avoid stress. Try is key. Living with CH, Migraines, Tension headaches, eczema. IBS, are all things I have learned to deal with on a day to day basis. I didn't ask for any of this. Its the cards/fait I am dealt with. Its only up to me how to play them out. Some days are better than others. Some are not. I have to take my good days in memory and think about them when I am having the bad ones. It keeps me motivated, on track and positive.

If you are like me, have CH, Migraines, tension headaches. You are a world expert as well. Educate the ignorant. Teach the ones who listen not hear. Spread the knowledge and educate. Then people will have compassion, learn and understand what we deal with.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Exactly and sometime Patients suffering from migraines and regular headaches may find their condition to be painful but are able to bring it under control with the help of regular therapy and medication. cluster headache treatment

  3. Hi, just desired to let you know, I enjoyed this blog post. It had been funny. Carry on posting! headache on top of head

  4. That's crazy.
    Ive been getting these things for years and just put a name on the pain last night! Almost cried to watch peoples videos and see them go through what i knew so well. I always chaulked it up to a migraine. Never really knowing what a migraine felt like it seemed accurate until NOTHING STOPPED THE CH. They would occur daily for a couple of weeks and just vanish. Plenty of 3am wake up calls clawing at my temple.
    I always chaulked it up to poor eating habits.
    **Anyway you said food is a trigger. A good meal(not fast or junk) with 3 or 4 bayer and a strong soda (coke or Mt dew like you mentioned) soon as i start really absorbing the meal in 10 to 20 minutes the spikes(im sure you understand that word) back off considerably.
    ** I did have to MAKE myself eat in the middle of the spikes. I always blamed poor eating habits for the pain. And have suspicsions that the biochemical or simple geneitc source of CH also plays a part in my body not really letting me know that i should eat.

    I feel for you Tom. God Bless. God Bless you a thousand times