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    Posted February 21, 2013 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

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    Cluster Headaches Assert Dominance


    The  chronic cluster headaches that have plagued me since 1995 must not be  happy with all the attention over the last year being given to my  respiratory problems, a result of a non-specific infection which has  rendered my right lung a "dried up sponge" and useless. The clusters  over the last few days have asserted dominance over my system and  quality of life issue.

    The  number of dizzy spells coupled with anxiety attacks and heart attack  symptoms have been on the rise. The pain has intensified which racks my  brain. Sending out false signals as the clusters have attacked one lobe  of my brain after another, I have experienced tingles and slight  paralysis in varied parts of my limbs. The tightness and pain has  attacked my jaws and closed off the airway ratcheting up the labor in  breathing. I have fallen out of my computer chair more than once as I  become dizzy, disoriented, a sign of fluctuations of blood pressure from  normal to extreme lows.

    Trying  to count the number of times that I have been sent reeling and then  crashing unceremoniously to the ground over the last few days would be  futile. The plops to the floor or landing, hanging on to the counter or  table, have been numerous. Even when trying to relax in a hot bath, I  have been overcome with a sense of vertigo as the room spins around me.

    While  the breathing has been bad and has me panting moving from chair to  chair, the pain and false signals relayed from my brain in response to a  cluster attack are even worse. Those attacks affect and compound the  breathing condition. Those attacks strike at my mental stability as I  plunge into a dark hole of depression, wishing I could die and stop the  pain and discomfort.

    Living  with my unique cluster headaches is a herculean task at times. Trying  to adapt when the symptoms, the outcomes, the effects change minute by  minute is frustration to the nth degree.

    As  a winter storm approaches the Cornfield, I sit in Mark's Den wanting a  few minutes of respite. I try to carry on with life and do my daily  chores, but feel I am failing in keeping it together.

    I  must prostrate myself and accept that no matter my other conditions, it  is my cluster headaches that rule what life I have and hope to live.

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