Sunday, September 27, 2009

09-20-09 to 09-26-09

Saturday : 09-26-09
The Beast woke me up again, I hate it when he's that RUDE!! Got hit with a Kip 7 at around 2am rocked for a few min. then took a shot. Woke up the next morning with a still swollen eye (happens sometimes) and still feeling like I'd been run over by a MAC Truck!

Took note of air pressure during the time frame of the hit...
***Note there times are set for when they record them and the pressure change could have occurred any time with in that hour.

2:54 AM, Sat 26 September 2009

46° 39° 76% 30.30in 10mi Unlft N 5mph 0mph Clear

1:54 AM, Sat 26 September 2009
46° 39° 76% 30.33in 10mi Unlft ENE 6mph 0mph Clear

12:54 AM, Sat 26 September 2009
47° 39° 74% 30.33in 10mi Unlft N 3mph 0mph Clear

"Oh but the days only beginning!!" ... says the beast.

Yes, we are still on Saturday : 09-26-09
Got hit again around 4pm with a 5 kip decided to forgo the shot and went for nasal Imitrex instead...Big mistake hit climbed to a 8 kip before Imitrex nasal had time enough to start working.

Again...Took note of air pressure during the time frame of the hit...
***Note there times are set for when they record them and the pressure change could have occurred any time with in that hour.

6:11 PM, Sat 26 September 2009
54° 48° 82% 30.09in 10mi 3800ft 3mph 0mph Overcast Light Rain

4:54 PM, Sat 26 September 2009
58° 44° 60% 30.12in 10mi 5500ft 3mph 0mph Overcast Light Rain

3:54 PM, Sat 26 September 2009
59° 43° 55% 30.15in 10mi 4100ft 9mph 16mph Overcast

This one was one HELL of a roller-coaster ride. Had CH hit then an air pressure headache after that.

If you would like to keep track of your local air pressure changes go to enter your local area and then check The "Past Observations" link, it goes back just shy of 48 hours.

Friday 09-25-09 back to Monday 09-21-09 only had minor shadows through the week was able to muddle through without medication.

Sunday : 09-20-09
CH Hit kip 6 evening around 6pm had to take a shot, was not a happy camper!! Didn't have the time or presence of mind to check air pressure later on.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

09-13-09 to 09-19-09

Busy week and weekend so I'm keeping this post short.

I had shadows 4 days this week but was able to get through without using the abortive never got above a 3 kip each time.

I'm not sure which of the herbals I've added is doing the most good at keeping the intensity down on the CH hits (I'm betting on the Kudzu tho), I just thank God one of them seems to be doing the trick.

I have cut down on the stress at work by switching areas in my dept. the new position keeps me busy but stress free!! As a result I am actually enjoying most of the time I spend at work.

Until Next time PFDAN to you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

09-06-09 to 09-11-09

Saturday 09-12-09
I had a PF day but my poor Dad didn't, spent the day trying to keep him smiling even though he didn't feel much like it and trying to keep his mind off the pain.

Friday 09-11-09
A beastly night and had shadows during the day again. Didn't get quite bad enough for me to run for the imitrex, but spent most of the day and the evening holding my head or grumbling wishing the pain would kick up so I could take a shot or just plain go the F$*! away.

Thursday 09-10-09

Have had heavy CH shadows all after noon since about 1:30ish today. Kept up all afternoon and into evening, started getting more intense as the evening progressed. No abortives working, Lord let me off this ride.

Did take note of air pressure changes bellow, any time they are a quick change such as the .03 point change below I usually get nailed by the CH beast.


2:54 PM, Thu 10 September 2009 30.36in

1:54 PM, Thu 10 September 2009 30.39in

Monday & Tuesday Wednesday, PF Days Woohoo

Sunday 09-06-09
Had air pressure change headache but no CH hit, yes they are two totally different types of headache. A regular air pressure change headache affects me at the base of my head where the neck begins sometimes they will turn into or cause a CH hit. If I get to the air pressure headache soon enough a nice hot shower will ease the pain along with Tylenol or ibuprofen.

I have had these types of headache get bad enough to need help getting through them with hot clothes to the back of my neck. My dad gets these too by the way.

Monday, September 7, 2009

08-29-09 to 09-05-09

Not a bad week all in all.

09-03-09 Thursday Had Shadows but didn't have to use any medication, Thank God, my new boss has a habit of putting the term A$$hole to the test.

09-04-09 Friday: Had a bit more than shadows today wound up using a mini canister of O2 plus a half another one. You know those little O2 cans they have for sale, I ordered a few. Not a bad fix but the price sucks. So I'll be saving up for a E/Pax DS Emergency Oxygen and for a O2ptimask kit by LifeGas. Hey, if the doc won't give you a script for the O2 that does work to kill a CH hit, you do what you gotta do.

09-05-09 Saturday had a bit more than shadows today again and used another 02 can and a half. Took the edge off and probably wouldn't have worked if I hadn't gotten to it at the 1st signs of a CH hit.

Make sure to check out the post below for info. on Verapamil SR, Imitrex, Herbs and vitamins that have been a big help to me and other CH sufferers.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Verapamil (SR), Imitrex, Oxygen, Vitamins, Herbs and My CH

By Ginger S.

I have been a CH sufferer for 10 years now (2009), and labeled as a chronic CH sufferer for 10 years. Before I was finally diagnosed in 2001 and after suffering for about 2 years prior, I was getting up to 20 CH hits per day. Needless to say I was not working or functioning well at all and was terrified that I had a brain tumor or something awful like a tumor!

I have done research on my own medications and herbals/supplements and have done so continuously, as well as each time I've heard or seen a new treatment or other treatment items used by others.

Below is what I take daily prescription or otherwise and it has worked WONDERS. By no means is it a cure but it has had dramatic affect on the number and intensity of the CH hits I get.

Below the Itemized list, I have added a brief description of what that product is i.e. a basic description of the type of product and what that product is supposed to do.

My Daily medication and herbals/supplements:

Verapamil SR 1 1/2 240mg cap = 360 mg per day (taken in AM)
Complete A-Z multi vitamin 1 /per day (taken in AM)
Taurine 1 500 mg cap/per day (taken in AM)
Kudzu 2 613 mg cap/per day (1 in am 1 in pm)
Echinacea 1 760 mg cap/per day (taken in AM)
Scullcap 2 1275 mg cap/per day (1 hour before bed)
Zyrtec/cetrizine 1 10mg /per day (1 hour before bed)

As Needed Items:

Imitrex 6mg shot as needed
Oxygen 90% - 100% pure 15LPM - 25LPM flow rate as needed

The Following is a description of each of the items above.

Verapamil SR:
Is known as a Ca / calcium channel blocker
If you use the sustained-release (SR) tablets, the recommended dose of verapamil ranges from 180 mg to 480 mg daily with food.

It is important to take this medication regularly, exactly as prescribed by the doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue on with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Complete A-Z multi vitamin:
Balanced multivitamin/multi-mineral A-Z
Has 100% or more of the daily value of most vitamins and most minerals.

Vitamin details as follow with daily percentage values:

Vitamin A 70% - 29% as beta carotene
Vitamin C 150%
Vitamin D 100%
Vitamin E 100%
Vitamin K 31%
Vitamin B1 100%
Vitamin B2 100%
Vitamin B6 100%
Vitamin B12 100%
Niacin 100%
Folic Acid 125%
Biotin 10%
Pantothenic Acid 100%
Calcium 20%
Iron 100%
Iodine 100%
Phosphorus 11%
Magnesium 25%
Zinc 73%
Selenium 79%
Copper 45%
Manganese 115%
Chromium 2%
Potassium 2%
Boron 150 mcg Daily value not established
Nickel 5 mcg Daily value not established
Silicon 2 mcg Daily value not established
Tin 10 mcg Daily value not established
Vanadium 10 mcg Daily value not established
Luteint 250 mcg Daily value not established
Lycopene 300 mcg Daily value not established

Is a conditionally essential amino acid which is not utilized in protein syntheses, but is mainly found free in most tissues especially through out the nervous system. Taurine has been found to be important in the formation of biles salts, cell membrane stabilization and eye health. Taurine is also well known as a modulator of neurotransmitter activity and its relaxing affect on mood.

There is also evidence that taurine is beneficial for adult blood pressure and possibly, the alleviation of other cardiovascular ailments (in adults suffering essential hypertension, taurine supplementation resulted in measurable decreases in blood pressure).

In Japan, taurine is used to treat ischemic heart disease as well as certain heart arrhythmias. People who suffer from congestive heart failure are reported to have benefited from taurine therapy - in the amount of 3 to 5 grams per day - and taurine may also be helpful in the treatment of both hypertension and high cholesterol.

Taurine is involved in a number of crucial physiological processes. However, the role of taurine in these processes is not clearly understood and the influence of high taurine doses on these processes is uncertain. A substantial increase in the plasma concentration of growth hormone was reported in some epileptic patients during taurine tolerance testing (oral dose of 50 mg/kg bw/day), suggesting a potential to stimulate the hypothalamus and to modify neuroendocrine function. There is an indication that taurine (2 g/day) has some function in the maintenance and possibly in the induction of psoriasis. It may also be necessary to take into consideration that absorption of taurine from beverages may be more rapid than from foods.

Taurine is also used in some contact lens solutions.

Is an herbal; kudzu extract or kudzu root, also known as Pueraria montana, is native to Asia and was introduced in the U.S. in the late 1800s to control erosion. Since then, it has spread throughout the southeast and in other areas, crowding out many native plants. The plant's roots and extracts are currently sold commercially as an alternative medicine. It is promoted as supplement or treatment for a variety of ailments including alcoholism, headaches, diarrhea, intestinal obstruction, and stomach flu, hypertension and angina pectoris.

In the medical journal Headache, Dr. R. Andrew Sewell points out that kudzu root was described in a Chinese medical texts some 1800 years ago and its rhizome continues to be used as an ingredient in a variety of traditional medicines. Among its effects is an increase in cerebral blood flow in the brain.

Sewell of Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut and colleagues surveyed 235 cluster headache patients by email regarding their use of complementary and alternative remedies. Kudzu was mentioned in such a way as to limit its appearance as a subject of particular interest.

In all, 159 patients responded and 22 (14 percent) endorsed self-treatment with kudzu. Sixteen of this group -- 11 with episodic cluster headache and 5 with chronic cluster headache -- agreed to further evaluation.

With kudzu treatment, 73 percent of the episodic group reported a decrease in attack frequency and 36 percent had a decrease in attack length. Among those with chronic cluster headaches, 60 percent reported a decrease in frequency and 40 percent reported a decline in headache length.

Echinacea contains several chemicals that play a role in its therapeutic effects. These include polysaccharides, glycoproteins, alkamides, volatile oils, and flavonoids.

There are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used, Echinacea purpurea, is believed to be the most potent. Common Names—echinacea, purple coneflower, coneflower,
American coneflower

Archeological digs indicate that Native Americans have used echinacea for more than 400 years to treat infections, wounds and as a general "cure-all." Throughout history people have used echinacea to treat scarlet fever, syphilis, malaria, blood poisoning, and diphtheria.

Today, people use echinacea to shorten the duration of the common cold and flu and reduce symptoms, such as sore throat (pharyngitis), cough, and fever. Many herbalists also recommend echinacea to help boost the immune system and help the body fight infections.

Scullcap (Also known as Passion Flower):
Is a small perennial found in North America that grows small blue-purple paired flowers. Also known as Mad Dog Weed and Mayweed, scullcap was used by Native Americans as a sedative and diuretic. The above-ground part of the plant is used for it sedative properties in teas, tablets, capsules and liquid formulas. Scullcap was a popular nineteenth-century medicinal treatment for nervous disorders and epileptic seizures. As an antispasmodic, it is helpful in relieving cramps and muscle spasms, making it effective against conditions such as restless leg syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. The flavonoids present in scullcap act as a natural sedative and trigger the production of endorphins, which helps create a feeling of calm and relaxation.

Scullcap Also known as Passion flower has been used for centuries to treat insomnia, hysteria, restlessness and irritability. In the nineteenth century, it became a popular remedy for insomnia in North America and is still frequently prescribed in Europe to treat tension, restlessness and mild insomnia. It helps relax spasms and relieve muscle tension. The alkaloids and flavonoids present in passion flower appear to have a non-addictive sedative effect on the central nervous system.

Restless leg syndrome is a sleep disorder characterized by numbness, tingling, restlessness and leg discomfort during sleep, accompanied by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs in order to relieve these feelings. It is a neurological disorder whose causes are not well understood. Although restless leg syndrome is itself not dangerous, it can result in severe insomnia that can affect the quality of life for sufferers, causing mood swings and difficulty focusing on work. Symptoms can be somewhat alleviated by avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine at night, exercising regularly and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. In addition, herbal remedies such as passion flower, scullcap and valerian help promote sleep and relieve tension while calming the central nervous system, making them beneficial treatments for restless leg syndrome.

Brand Name: Zyrtec
Generic Name: cetirizine

Cetirizine is the fourth addition to a new generation of allergy medications called "non- sedating" antihistamines or histamine (H-1) receptor blockers. These new antihistamines are called non-sedating because they cause less sedation than their predecessors; however, cetirizine is more sedating than the other non-sedating antihistamines.

Antihistamines block the effects of histamines. Histamines cause symptoms of allergy when released by allergic reactions in the body. Antihistamines block the ability of histamine to promote the allergy symptoms.

Brand Name: Imitrex
Generic Name: Sumatriptan succinate
Imitrex/Sumatriptan, a fairly new (1991) migraine abortive medication available as
a self-administered injection, nasal inhaler or as a tablet.

Sumatriptan (trade names Imitrex, Imigran, Imigran recovery) is a triptan drug including a sulfonamide group for the treatment of migraine headaches or cluster headaches. It is marketed and manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

Sumatriptan is structurally similar to serotonin (5HT), and is a 5-HT (types 5-HT1D and 5-HT1B) agonist. The specific receptor subtypes it activates are present in the cerebral arteries. Dilation of these arteries is thought to be a major cause of headache pain, and activating these receptors causes vasoconstriction.

Triptans are a family of tryptamine based drugs used as abortive medication in the treatment of migraine and cluster headaches. They were first introduced in the 1990s. While effective at treating individual headaches, they are neither a preventative nor a cure.

In medicine, the term "sulfonamide" is sometimes used as a synonym for sulfa drug,
a derivative or variation of sulfanilamide.

Is the third most abundant element in the universe also known as O2 and is a gas.
Oxygen is produced industrially by fractional distillation of liquefied air, use of zeolites to remove carbon dioxide and nitrogen from air, electrolysis of water and other means.

Briefly inhaling 100 percent oxygen through a mask at a rate of 7 to 10 liters a minute provides dramatic relief for most who use it. The effects of this safe, inexpensive procedure can be felt within 15 minutes. The major drawback of oxygen is the need to carry an oxygen cylinder and regulator with you, which can make the treatment inconvenient and inaccessible at times. Small, portable units are available, but some people still find them impractical. Sometimes, oxygen may only delay rather than stop the attack, and pain may return.

**You can only get medical grade oxygen by prescription.

***If you do not have a prescription and a doctor is unwilling to prescribe it for
you, you can get welders oxygen from almost any welding local company. Many men who suffer from CH have walked into such places and gotten oxygen without any problems or questions; however for a woman with CH walking into one of these places and not knowing anything about welding, she may have some difficulties if asked why she needs the oxygen supplies. (Lets face it when it comes to something like this in our society men have it a little bit easier with this than women do.) If possible keep it simple and just say something like I am going to learn how to use a torch and hope it works.

****Failing the preferred options, you can also go the emergency oxygen route and get pre-filled tanks here without a prescription. I would recommend at least two tanks and make sure you get the 15LPM higher flow regulator. You will spend a few hundred dollars just for set up, tanks, masks etc. but it will be well worth it in the end.

Personal Note:
There are a few items that others use as CH aids that I don't use by choice or can't use, such as:

The main reason I don't use it is because for some reason it is a trigger for me, I learned this the hard way. So instead of this I use the zyrtec allergy medication I do have allergies and it does help them, BUT it also helps me get a good nights sleep without being awakened by a Nasty CH hit.

Another good reason for not using Melatonin is as follows:

Blood pressure medications and Melatonin--
Melatonin may reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications like
methoxamine and clonidine. In addition, medications in a class called calcium
channel blockers (such as nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem, amlodipine, nimodipine,
felodipine, nisoldipine, and bepridil) may decrease melatonin levels.

Use of beta-blockers (another class of high blood pressure medications that includes propranolol, acebutolol, atenolol, labetolol, metoprolol, pindolol, nadolol, sotalol, and timolol) may reduce melatonin production in the body.
Excerpt from:

Red Bull & Energy Drinks:
Red Bull or other Energy Drinks with Taurine and caffeine are used by many CH sufferers to kill a CH hit.

I prefer not to add anything I don't need into my diet such as some of the ingredients in Red Bull and other energy drinks.

Instead, I take a Taruine supplement daily (low dose) and I am a coffee drinker so
I add my own caffeine without any other additives other than cream and sugar.

Ingredients in Red Bull

Red Bull article I found on snopes...

Regular Release Verapamil vs. Sustained Release Verapamil (SR):
When I was on the regular verapamil I experienced a severe drop in blood pressure a few times, I already have an abnormally low blood pressure as a rule and have had this all my life. So, I asked my Doctor about this and he suggested the SR because he thought maybe my body was absorbing the regular release to fast. The switch to SR did the trick for me and I have been on it without incident for a few years.

Some of My Triggers of a CH hit are:

Changes in Air pressure: either by travel or weather changes.

Certain smells: Perfumes, hand lotions, some shampoos either for human or animal, Smells in salons such as permanent solutions, some hair sprays, incense, air fresheners, Fabreze, Paint, Mold, raw or when cooking onions, some cleansers, and heaven forbid if there is a Skunk smell in the neighborhood even driving through an area where ones been hit can be a trigger. Air quality at work, I'm noting this because when they are working on or haven't changes air filters in the Havac system for awhile I have had more trouble with CH hits at work.

Body temp too cold or to hot (Sudden changes in temp such as going from an 86 degree day to an air conditioned building or visa versa, too much time in the sun as well)

Cold wind or breeze on ear, (side of CH hits)

Coming down with a cold or flu or other illness

Allergy flare ups

Sneezing (yes, I've actually had sneezes cause a CH hit)


Sleeping on side of head that CH normally hits.

Dental work

Too much Cigarette smoke

Alcohol, any amount, any kind

Not being able to eat when necessary (Usually thanks to some moron at work)

Lack of Sleep


Tea (though this is not a constant, not sure why)


Soy Sauce (usually only if used in excess or when eaten a few times during the week.)

Some Nuts: peanuts, cashews (so far)

Foods with MSG (There are many; prepackaged meats, chips, crackers, and a variety of soups, a small amount is ok, just not everyday)

Dairy Products (usually only when eaten to much or often)


Yeast Breads (haven't had the time or patience to log them all)

Black Pepper, as in the spice


Other Hot pepper spices (haven't been able to pin down which one or if it's a mixture of a few.)

Symptoms I get before, during or after a CH hit:

Searing pain left side of head eye and temple area, feels like someone is taking a red hot or ice cold fireplace poker and digging around. (Obvious symptom of a CH hit)

Congestion; eyes, nasal, ears

Drooping eye lid

Urgent need to Urinate

Feeling hot or cold

Tingling, facial, limbs or all over body

Involuntary Clenching or squenching of facial muscles on side of CH hits (mouth and cheek area, not due to pain)

Painful to touch head, temple, ear area on side of CH hit

Painful to use cold clothes on head during CH hit, so I use hot clothes

Problems thinking

Problems speaking

Need to move, rock, pace or just plain fidgety

More painful to lay down

Tightening/clenching of upper body muscles, may be due to pain but there have been times I've noticed this before a CH hit.

I did this paper up mostly for my own reference and to help keep track of triggers etc. I am posting this here in the hopes that will be of help to some other CH sufferers.