Educating the world about pain

I began this post 11 months ago and have been stuck with where to take it. In honor of my husband, on this Valentine’s week, I try to finish my thoughts…

As he limped past the sliding metal door, he heard a creek. Professor X turned around, saw nothing, and continued on his way. Suddenly, a robotic, metal claw reached out of a small opening in the sliding door. It grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him through the door.

Inside, the light was dim. He noticed metal walls on both sides of a thin, long hallway. The body-less claw began to push him backwards. Back, back, back he stumbled until he was pressed to the far side of the hall. He heard the sound of metal sharpening metal.

And then he saw it.

A long, shiny, sharp ice pick emerged in the air. It was held by the claw and descending towards his face. Before he had time to blink, it had punctured his cornea. His eyeball burst with a pop. The pick slowly cut it’s way through the tissues and nerves of his eye socket. It began to enter his brain.

At this point, the metal claw had disappeared, and the ice pick was being driven by it’s own magical force. It moved slowly and methodically into Professor X. It knew it’s goal was the back of the brain. Helpless, Professor X grabbed his eye in agony and collapsed to the ground.

And then he heard a noise.

More specifically, a whine.

“Daddy! I need your help in the bathroom! Help daddy!” Marvel Girl’s voice echoed through the house.

As Professor X staggered through the metal hall, and opened the metal doors, he heard another sound.

“Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!” His alarm clock was going off. It was time to pick up The Flash from school.

Everyday life did not care that an ice pick was sticking out of his eye. Or that his brain was punctured. No one could physically see see the sources of pain. And although he took a Vicodin, steroids, pure high-flow Oxygen, and a self-inflicted Imitrex shot, nothing truly relieved him of the agony.

Exponentially more painful than migraines, some women have reported that cluster headaches are more awful than child birth. Occasionally, chronic sufferers have committed suicide as a means of escaping the pain. Although most cluster sufferers must endure this pain for 15-20 minute stretches, Professor X’s typical cluster lasts 12+ hours. Hours . Daily . For 9 months of the year. And he sleeps only a few hours each night due to his pain and treatments

And yet life goes on, with or without a chronic condition.

Tomorrow, he knows, the claw will drag him in again. And again. And again.

In spite of being in “survival” mode, Professor X is a great husband and wonderful father. We are so grateful to God for him, and daily pray for healing.

There are no known cures for cluster headaches, but there are still more treatments for Professor X to try. Please pray for relief for him. This has been a very difficult decade and he sometimes feels truly hopeless about what the future has in store.

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  1. This is terrible–I’m so sorry he’s suffering like this.

    I had cluster headaches for a time in my early 20’s. When I decided to get pregnant my neurologist said the headaches might go away because, for unknown reasons, the hormonal changes can have that effect. Luckily for me, that is what happened.

  2. Wow. I’ll keep him in my prayers. It must be hard to keep going.

  3. Poor husband! I get migraines anywhere from 3-4 times a month and know the pain from those. But they don’t last 12 hours. Praying for him!

  4. That is awful. 12+ hours, daily must be so unbearable. I am so sorry he is enduring this pain and suffering. I cannot even imagine. He is indeed in my thoughts and prayers to find some relief soon.

  5. Oh my. I don’t know what to say – this is so incredibly sad. I can’t even imagine. He will most certainly be in my prayers.

  6. We’ll keep praying, CC. And he is a such a warm, friendly guy, you’d never know he suffered from such a painful and chronic condition. Hugs through you, to him.

  7. I will pray for him. I can’t even imagine the pain.

  8. That must be a horrible burden to live with. I can’t say that I understand what he goes through, I can only imagine that it would be terrible. I wonder if I could function as a normal person.

    I hope that he finds something that will help.

  9. Wow, wow, wow … what a horrible thing to live with. I will definitely pray for him … and all of you. So difficult. A very well-written and informative post.

  10. I am so sorry….I have read about this but never knew anyone who suffered from them….I can only imagine the pain he goes through on a daily basis….sending prayers his way!


  11. That is a very courageous guy you got there.
    We knew a fellow who also suffered from severe chronic pain and he finally resorted to illegal means to reduce his suffering. We don’t condone what he did, but we understand why.
    But now his life is in shambles.
    It takes a truly brave man to still live life to the fullest amidst constant agony.

  12. Oh hon, I’m so sorry you guys are coping with this I can’t imagine. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. I KNOW his agony! I live in fear every day. I seem to have mine under control but with that comes side effects of the medication. I have trouble thinking of words to produce and finishing my sentences. Some times I even mix words up in a sentence. I’ll sound stupid to live pain free.

    I pray yout hubsband finds the right fix for him. It is not fun.

  14. While I do not suffer from Cluster Headaches, I do have PTC. Aka, Pseudo Tumor Cerebri. It’s terrible and I have endured more pain than ever. Sometimes the treatments work but the side effects can be just as bad.

    I hope he feels better or attains some relief soon. I’ll be sending good thoughts your way.

  15. I had a friend who suffered cluster headaches – ouch! I have had migraines and it would be so much worse to have it all happen repeatedly. Dang.

  16. Thank you for the kind comments on my blog. My daughter is 2.5. We have a great time with all of our projects! I am really looking forward to looking around your blog some more. I have book marked it. I like your weekly schedule. We also have recently started a schedule!

  17. Aww. How absolutely horrible. I cannot imagine living with such chronic pain.
    I have often heard that cluster headaches are FAR worse than migraines. I believe it.
    Prayers for your hubby.

  18. that is so horrible!! i have migranes but not that often and nothing compared to this!!! i will keep him in my prayers!!!

  19. How terrible. I can’t even imagine the pain…it sounds unbearable.
    Sorry he’s going through this – he will be in my prayers!

  20. oh you know what – my fiend’s husband has these – terrible!!!!! They live in china now and it is a bit better for him – but due to alternative medicine – have you tried this (I’m sure you have)

  21. I had no idea. I have had migraines before, so I have some idea of his pain. I hope you can find a treatment that works for him!

  22. I never had a headache until I got pregnant. Now I cannot get rid of them. I really liked this post. Thank you!

  23. Wow! That is so awful.
    You truly have my thoughts and prayers.

    The endurance of some people is really superhuman.

  24. oh my gosh… I don’t even know what to say. I have migraines in seasons… but it’s been a long time since I’ve had one. They don’t even sound like they come close to his poor head. Thank you for posting this. Prayers are being said friend!

  25. Oh my goodness, that must be just awful.

    I think my BIL has suffered something similar and has seen some specialists in the past about them and is doing somewhat better. Let me know if you want info and I will get it for you (of course we’re in TX).

    I’ll pray for help for his pain…

  26. I know EXACTLY how he feels! I suffered from cluster migraines for many many years, Thankfully the last attack was 5 years ago (after Mousie was born)but it was the worst. Even now, whenever I feel that sort of pain starting up behind my left eye I have a massive anxiety attack just wondering if this it the start of another cluster.

    I found Imigrin helpful for the actual migraine, and I used to take Sandomigran daily (up to 7 tablets a day) as a preventative measure. Sometimes a migraine would still break through and I’d just have to lay in a warm bath with a warm wheatpack on my head. And yes, the longest ones could last up to 12 hours.

    I suppose your husband has tried those treatments, but thought I would mention them just in case. Hope he finds something that work!

  27. He truly is super to continue to perform as a father and husband in such physical torment. He has my repsect and your family had my prayers.

  28. I am a bit late in visiting via the SWAK carnival, I am praying for your husband.

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