Hello…My name is John Fletcher and I have had chronic cluster headaches (suicide headaches) since 1973…I was 14…
Kind of strange that I can remember my first attack like it was yesterday and it was a 10 on the pain scale. So incredibly intense was the pain that I was certain I was dying and had ruptured a blood vessel in my brain behind my right eye. I had no idea then that I was destined to live with these horrible headaches on a daily basis for over 35 years.I had a three year remission in 1979 and it lasted till 1982 then right back to being chronic again however I also did have a couple of years of 7 month cycles. Doctors and Neurologists had no idea that it was Cluster Headaches that I was having and was actually told I had some form of “Super Migraines”. Many medications and all seemed to make them worse.
These are just some of the meds I have tried over the many years to stop the pain…Lithium, Ergots, Codeine, Prednisone (steroids), Verapamil, Topamax, Depakote, Triptans and the list goes on. I just got to the point early on because no one could give me a proper diagnoses after a year of many doctors and tests that I just realized that I was either going to have to live with these things or not. I chose to live and by no means has it been easy.
I had a successful career as a commercial fisherman, commercial diver and a 100 ton master of oceans captain for over 30 years. I went around 27 years without seeing another doctor and no medication. That was so hard to do but I think working on the ocean saved my life in a way by making me cope with this kind of incredible pain. So many years of pain from daily attacks that are just so incredibly painful that I have suffered severe depression for many, many years. Battling daily one attack at a time to get through each day.
In 1992 I diagnosed myself after reading a great deal about all the different primary and secondary headaches and CH was spot on down the line with all the classic symptoms of watery eye, extreme pain in my right eye, drooping eyelid, plugged up sinus on right side.5 to 12 attacks daily lasting 30 minutes to 2 hours average, almost every day year round with very few days of relief a year. The feeling of a knife being pounded in and out of my eye with extreme force is as best I can describe them. Rolling on the floor, banging my head into the wall or door knob, pulling out my hair, screaming and crying are the symptoms of a cluster headache on a level of a 10 on the pain scale. I was diagnosed several times since by neurologists stating that I had chronic cluster headaches.
In the beginning of 2011 I finally went online to find out about cluster headaches and what I could do to stop the pain as I had given up on traditional medications because nothing ever worked for me. I found some great support groups that were very knowledgeable on CH and I was at my wits end as I was getting up to a dozen attacks daily and most were all 10’s on the pain scale. I found a regimen using vitamin D3 that stopped my CH in three days after 37 years of chronic CH but it eventually wore off after a year and a half and I was right back to getting a dozen attacks a day and very powerful attacks that my oxygen would not touch in most cases.
I had been reading about “Busting” from www.clusterbusters.org. website for a few years and had always been very curious about it as the success rates for stopping the pain are astronomical at over 90% and I had always thought that would be my next attempt to stop the beast and end the pain. Treating cluster headaches with hallucinogenics is proving to be the best most consistently effective alternative treatment known and is being advocated at the annual “Headache on the Hill” in Washington DC.ClusterBusters Org., patient advocates and some of the most respected neurologists in the country are also advocating for funds to research new and promising alternative treatments for cluster and primary headaches such as hallucinogenics, vitamin D3 and others as well as traditional medications and treatments.
I started the treatments about Jan 1st 2014 and used 1.5 gram doses of Psilocybin mushrooms and did this dose every five days and did it six times before I went completely cluster headache free again but it has been three months since my last dose and I have been completely CH free! This is only the second treatment in 40 years that has helped me and only the second to get me to a complete CH free level.
I just can’t say enough about it and being CH free has completely changed my life. I now for three years have devoted my life to helping sufferers and trying to make a difference with this horrific disorder.I keep reading so many great success stories of folks that have used one of the different “Busting” methods and now I am one of those success stories!… To learn more about busting treatments for cluster headaches and to bring yourself up to date with headache advocacy please see www.clusterbusters.org.
This is my website… http://www.clusterheadachefoundation.com