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This is a question Pet Peeves

What makes you angry? Get it off your chest so we can laugh at your impotent rage.

(, Thu 1 May 2008, 23:12)
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Specifically, Women who consider childbirth the alpha and the omega of pain, and that a man, such as RPW, here, can't possibly understand pain in any way. My mother was one such woman, until I was about 18, and the severity of my condition was realised.

An ailment from which I suffer, occurs in 5 times as many men as women, and those female sufferers who have had children describe the pain of natural, anaesthetic-free childbirth as a walk in the park by comparison.

As well as the severity of this pain, here are other important comparisons:

(a) You chose your pain, despite plenty of warning that it will hurt a lot.

(b) Many of you even had to try quite hard to get yourselves in the appropriate state to experience this pain.

(c) Your pain happens maximally, for about a day about once every 10 months. After experiencing the first one, you can choose whether and when to suffer it again. My pain occurs in 3-4 weeks stints at least three times per year, every single year, from its onset when I was 14 until I eventually die (if I'm lucky, that is - 10% of us go on to develop the chronic version, where we have the joy of about 3 pain-free weeks per year). I understand that childbearing also has its discomforts, but I don't hear anyone describing the rest of the 9 months as agony.

(d) Your pain is easily relieved by happy-gas, and there are several pain-killing options readily and immediately available to you if that doesn't do the trick. There is no readily available relief for my pain, and the prophylactics all have dangerous side-effects, not just the tiny increase of a risk of cancer that some of the prophylactics for your condition have. You also have a choice of adverse-effect-free prophylaxis.

(e) The outward manifestation of your condition, causes people to coo, and generally fuss over you in a nice way. Mine makes me look like I have mental problems.

(f) You suffer some discomfort, and restless nights in the lead-up to you suffering this pain. For the 3-4 weeks when I'm suffering, I am awoken by the agony normally 3 times per night, and typically won't start sleeping until the last "daytime" pain goes away at about midnight.

(g) After your little bout of pain, you have a nice little trophy in the form of a baby. My prize is that I get to live like a normal person for 3 or 4 months, and then it starts again.
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 17:32, 12 replies)
It's not cluster headaches is it?
your description sounds all to familiar for them.
/suffer from Cluster Headaches myself
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 17:57, closed)
@Great Architect
You hit the nail right through the orbit. I hoped I'd included enough specifics for those in the know to get it.
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 18:13, closed)
I was going for Chrons disease.
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 18:15, closed)
Oh yes, I know it all too well :(
generally at least 6 months of the year is spent dealing with them in my case, usually in 2 month on/off cycles. Took 4 years for it to be correctly diagnosed and only just got some 'reasonable treatment' for it last year (been getting them for the past 10 years), after much battling for it through the NHS. Still nowhere near great as an effective relief, but it's better than nothing I guess. Sorry to hear you're a fellow sufferer :(

You probably already know the site, but if not, there's often some good info. and support here:

and for those who'd like to see what it's like having a cluster 'attack', here's a video of a guy called Chuck having a cluster attack.
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 18:16, closed)
Fucking hell
I never heard of this condition before. Just looked it up on Wikipedia.

Poor, poor you :(
I genuinely feel for you. How horrible. I do hope that some day they go away.
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 18:33, closed)
Jesus that's horrible.
Why is no one looking into lasting cures for this, that sounds like torture :( much sympathy to you!
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 18:40, closed)
My god that
sounds terrible, I hope they find some relief or cure soon. I for one never claim childbirth to be that bad, in fact kind of enjoyable. I've had worse pain in my life than that (have similar to crohns)but nothing like what these cluster headaches look like.
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 19:00, closed)
I know what a bad headache feels like and that's bad enough. Fuck knows what your going through.
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 19:19, closed)
LSD and shrooms
I hate cluster headaches. the ones that wake you up in the night are the worst...

Plenty of anecdotes tell of people whose cluster headaches are lessened in frequency and severity by use of either LSD or mushrooms.

Good fun as well :) and yes this is first hand experience.
(, Wed 7 May 2008, 19:24, closed)
Good response from all
@Great Architect:
Yes, I visit ouch.co.uk whenever the clusters come. It took me 14 years for a proper diagnosis, and I'm yet to get any sensible relief. It's extremely frustrating, that a condition with such distinctive and obvious symptoms should cause GPs such confusion.
(To those not in the know, if you present with this collection of symptoms, you have one of two equally debilitating headache problems, the other one responds well to strong NSAIDs. There is nothing else that even remotely matches this) Sorry to hear your woes, when I am pain-free, I feel generally fortunate about my frequency, I get 3 or 4 months of it per year.

@Jimmy Large:
I have read about the psilocybin research by the folks at clusterbusters, well done them. They are clever and brave people, like those early mariners who sailed over the edge of the world. Emotionally I simply can't bring myself to consider taking drugs that increase one's sensitivity to physical experiences, during a bout, not to mention the effect that hallucinogens combined with the psychological issues that go hand-in-hand with the pain might have. (to those who don't know, it is not uncommon for sufferers to seek the final solution. Although I'm not that bad, home trepanning has certainly been something I've considered).

@everyone else, Thanks for your sympathy, and I'm glad that this post has spread knowledge of this condition to a new audience.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 0:19, closed)
This is news to me, thanks for the education, guys,
the Youtube made me get wet eyed a bit, looks awful, hugs to all you sufferers on here, hope you all find something that works for you.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 9:14, closed)
Holy shuddering fuck!
Having watched the video I am left speechless...
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 9:40, closed)

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