Jan. 15th, 2013

melanoman: (Default)
I'm in the waiting room of my GP, and have just been informed that I have monster eyes. The informant is about four or five years old, so I take this information as impeccably reliable. I have an ongoing condition called cluster headaches..

In the range of suffers of the condition I'm roughly in the middle. I have my clusters about 7-9 months apart, slightly less than twice a year. Each cluster is characterized by about one week I called the "outlier" week where the duration and timing is pretty random and generally toward the mild range. Then I get about three weeks of the "regular" period where I get about two to three hours of pain daily, always at the same time each day. Each cluster picks it's own time of day. Night time clusters mean interrupting the sleep cycle, since it's impossible to sleep during an event. Day time attacks usually mean a social price. I've learned its better to isolate during events rather than try to control my tone of voice. Finding a way to take a two hour break during the work day and then stay late to make up for it sucks. Sadly people are more likely to notice the time you weren't available than the fact that you are working more hours than anyone else. After the regular period comes the peak, where headaches come multiple times per day and every moment is either part of an attack, or waiting for one. Even though the peak generally last three days or so, by the end of the three days I'm generally certain this will last forever and its going to kill me this time. I can't even call this an irrational fear because in about 20% of cases that eventually happens and the person becomes a "chronic" case which essentially means that the cluster lasts forever with little or no remission between cycles. Chronic cases generally become suicidal. After the peak I get another week of outlier, then it goes away until the next time.

Seven months is perfectly long enough to let the hope set in that the pain will not come back. Or won't be so bad. Fuck hope.

So this is going to sound obvious, but it turns out that cluster headaches do not imbue the sufferer with an immunity all other forms of disease. I mention that because I picked up that flu-like thing that is going around during the regular period. Which means during the peak of the cluster I had the flu. So in addition to having a rusted iron caterpillar in my head that wouldn't stay damn still, I was drowning in snot and was running a fever.

In a normal cluster, my eyelid (almost always the left side) droops and gets puffy, and the eye gets a little red. With the combination, the condition spread to both eyes and is so severe that my eyes don't have whites, just reds. It doesn't look like bloodshot -- the red is pretty even throughout the eye. The edges are a little yellowy where the eye coating has swollen out of its normal space. The bright blue irises in the middle look really creepy.

I have monster eyes.

I'm into the outliers now. I just need to go another few days without telling anyone to go fuck themselves nor pointing out that they are blithering idiots who shouldn't be allowed to talk.


melanoman: (Default)

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