Thursday, December 23, 2004

Cluster Headaches

Caregivers are not invincible, or at least I am not. The Christmas Season has held my personal kryptonite for 11 years.

Cluster Headaches ( lurk just waiting for the moment in time when the stress hits the magic mark. They will begin and I will enter Hell for between 2 – 4 months.

As a caregiver you often face the march into inevitable consequences. This journal has shared Patti’s health; I should be fair and share the health risks in my caregiving. Mine is Cluster Headaches for 11 years now triggered with the Christmas season.

As mentioned in the linked AOL Health page, Cluster Headaches are sometimes referred to as “suicide headaches” because of the unbearable pain level.

At peak I usually get two to three a night for five nights out of a week. It feels like a corkscrew twisting deeper into my brain from above my right eye for about 30 minutes of steadily ever building pain and then equally slowly out again.  Not sleeping is the only defense. After so many days and nights I of course doze off some where some how only to be tortured awake. Soon if I’m not in pain, I live in fear of its return. If God is merciful I pass out during an attack and awake on the floor or wherever. I can’t think or function. In between I become a zombie going through the motions of caregiving waiting and waiting to be dragged back into Hell.

Cluster Headaches have been my Christmas bonus as a caregiver for 11 years now. With that many annual vacations in Hell, I always have apprehensive enthusiasm for the season. In theory the transition to a 24/7 care facility reduced the stress of caregiving, we’ll see.

Caregiver health is too often ‘invisible’ compared to the person they care for.

1 comment:

  1. Patrick, IF you get even a hint of a cluster headache you must promise me you will phone me...we can be over there in 25 minutes to take care of Patti while you TRY to get rid of the headache, please promise me, we are your only family and for us that is what a family does. We are going up to visit Patti this afternoon from 3:30 - 5:30.


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