Around six years ago, my wife started getting excruciating headaches for no apparent reason.
They seemed to be non-stop, and whatever she took for them, they never disappeared completely.
Six years later they still haven’t disappeared, and my wife, now out of work, disabled, and almost always in pain because of a condition diagnosed as Hemicrania Continua, is due to be admitted for surgery on Wednesday of this week, in a bid to alleviate her difficulties.
I’m hoping to blog about this over the next few days and weeks to let people know how she gets on, how our family gets on, and to bring her disabling condition – Hemicrania Continua – to the attention of a wider audience – that they may understand it more thoroughly, and hopefully help society become better disposed towards helping people who have it.
So what is Hemicrania Continua ?
Well the dry medical definition is that Hemicrania – or HC – is a rare form of “primary headache” – that is a headache for which no cause can be found – it is that it is. (and if that sounds as if it doesn’t make much sense then do please tell my wife about it !). It’s related to other forms of primary headache conditions such as Cluster Headache – CH . Cluster Headache is usually several extremely severe headaches coming rapidly one after another in a very short time. Although attacks can be very frequent, or perhaps not so frequent, there are periods of respite in between. Hemicrania is a usually a left sided constant bi-lateral headache – it’s down one side of the head only and may vary in intensity, but is usually ever present. It’s a disabling condition, many sufferers have to give up their jobs, and medication used to treat it can cause a large number of side-effects – some of them very unpleasant.
I could – and will – tell you more about HC later – but for the time being I’ll leave you with this recipe for Hemicrania Continua from Liz – a Hemicrania Continua sufferer who posts on the Ouch website – Ouch is the Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headache – and acts as an umbrella group for all rare headache conditions. Please do visit their site.
Here’s the recipe :
Recipe for Hemicrania Continua
Take some labour pain – increase the strength a little
Add: a burning sensation
a strong feeling of weakness
sensitivity to light and sound
on affected side
drooped and watery eye on affected side
Now pull the pain through the corner of your left eye until it goes right through your head so you can feel the pain of it coming out the other side.
Send stabs of strong sharp pain through the top of your head from time to time.
Boil well for at least 72 hours
Simmer for 12-24 hours
Boil again for 12-24 hours
Simmer again for a few hours
Boil again for 12 hours
Repeat this for the rest of your life occasionally swapping sides.
Oh by the way, I forgot to say, while you are doing this you must cook, clean and shop for yourself and go out to work.
Does that sound like fun ? No ? That’s right, it’s not !
Please check back here to see how my wife and our family get on.