Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I wish it was me.

Imagine, if you will, a headache worse than a migraine. A headache that there is no known cause of...and no known cure for. A headache that no pain medication can alleviate. A headache so incredibly, horribly painful that there are times you seriously consider suicide.

"The pain is so intense I want to scream, but I never do. I go down three flights of stairs where I can't be heard, and drop to my knees. I place my hands on the back of my neck, and lock my fingers together. I bind my head between my arms and squeeze as hard as I can in an attempt to crush my scull. I begin to roll around, banging my head on the floor, silently groaning. I stand up and begin to pace, pressing my left eye with full force of my palm. I often wonder how it is that my eye isn't damaged. I search for the telephone that has always been my weapon of choice for creating a diversion, and I beat my left temple with the hand piece. I create a rhythm as I strike my scull, cursing the demon with each blow. I reach a point of distraction from the cluster, and then I start the whole process over; roll and squeeze, crawl and bang, find the telephone."

My beloved, da Zigster, suffers from
  • cluster headaches
  • . And he's in the midst of a "cycle" right now. It's been about three weeks, so far. They'll end...eventually. It might be tomorrow. They might last another three weeks. Or, gawd help him...three months.

    It starts fast. Most usually in the middle of the night. It wakes him from a sound sleep. He gets pale. His left eye starts to water and sometimes gets droopy. His left nostril begins to run like a faucet. He sits, holding the left side of his head, breathing slowly and through his nose...out through his mouth. He doesn't say a word. Every muscle in his body looks tense. He sits up on the edge of the bed, frozen in his pain. Sometimes it lasts for five minutes. Sometimes it lasts for an hour or more. Then it leaves, just as quickly as it came. He'll fall back asleep...but he's usually awakened again...sometimes within 15 or 20 minutes...sometimes it lets him rest for an hour. Then it starts all over again...all through the night...and sometimes, like this particular episode...throughout the day.

    His "cycles" usually begin in the fall, winter or early spring...rarely in the summer. They can last anywhere from a week to a couple of months. Usually, he has an episode every year...once in a great while, it'll spare him and he'll go a year or a year and a half without experiencing any. Sometimes, the episodes aren't too bad...too intense. Other times, they're...excruciating.

    He bears them all...silently, wordlessly suffering.

    I wish it were me. I'm the biggest pussy in the world when it comes to pain...of any kind. But there are times when I feel like the pain would be better than this helplessness I feel whenever he starts an episode. As a wife, there's nothing I can do to help him. As a nurse, there's nothing I can do to help him.

    I wish there was.


    Post a Comment

    Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

    << Home