Friday, 25 September 2009


For fear of boring anyone, or of being accused of fishing for sympathy, this will be the last mention of my cluster headaches, which are (I keep telling myself) surely on their way out by now. I did have an attack or two yesterday, but they were relatively brief and less intense than they have been, so I am somewhat hopeful. Only time will tell. Tick tock.

In any case, I have been intrigued when - during the last cluster over two years ago - I came across the use of sumatriptan as a palliative in my research. Intrigued because of what one might I suppose call a misspent youth (though it was - mostly - a lot of fun at the time) and an indulgence in those fungi which can tend to bend the mind rather. Sumatriptan, you see, is derived from a compound found in magic mushrooms, and many sufferers have reported that it is particularly effective both in combatting the headaches when they hit, and in delaying their onset, or in prolonging the time between episodes.

Now that the government, in its infinite wisdom as regards drugs, has declared the psilocybin mushroom to be illegal, it is very difficult to get hold of any. The organisation Cluster Busters has resources for procuring spore kits, but I fear that a mushroom farm would not go down too well in the flat, what with the kids around, and the almost total lack of any area in which to cultivate the little buggers, so it looks as if this will be one prospective medicine with which I will not be able to avail myself. On top of that, I'm not sure if I could actually handle taking mushrooms again. It was bad enough when I had nary a care in the world, but with the weight of the years upon me, and the burden of life's responsibilities, I am fairly sure that my brain would explode with the sheer cosmic-ness of it all.

I do wonder how many of the pointy caps my fellow cluster sufferers imbibe, because I'm damned sure you wouldn't want to be tripping with a skull-splitting headache, so I'm guessing 10-15 would probably suffice. I also wonder about tolerance levels, and whether that is a problem for those poor souls who are chronic sufferers (I'm talking several headaches a day, with perhaps a couple of hours in between, and EVERY SINGLE DAY of the year) meaning that they have to keep upping the dose, so could well end up dropping a couple of hundred just to stave off the pain. Not to mention the hassle of having to grow that many.

They do say that excessive consumption can actually bring the headaches on, which might perhaps explain why I have been afflicted with them. I am paying the price for that misspent youth, and taking it into misspent middle age.

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