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Supporters Survival Tips Part 2

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#1 Thu, 27/02/2014 - 18:50
Scott
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Supporters Survival Tips Part 2

So, what does a supporter DO while an attack is in progress? Here’s a few tips.

First of all, don’t panic! Stay as calm as you can. Stay within earshot if he/she wants to be alone. Do NOT be insulted if they ask you to leave. Do NOT follow them, if they leave the room! If you start getting upset, your loved one is going to be overwhelmed with guilt that they are scaring you. If you are losing it and can’t deal with your emotions, remember this: ALL ATTACKS END. He is NOT going to die because of cluster headaches. You WILL both survive this. BE STRONG. There really are no rules as to how a cluster sufferer copes with their pain. If it helps them to rock, pace, bang their heads, respect that. Just remember that NOTHING they do is directed at you. You have NOT caused their pain and they sometimes don’t realize their words or actions while under attack.

Sad to say, but this does happen: Your cluster sufferer may reach the end of their rope and feel completely hopeless. They may threaten or attempt suicide. This is a very real emergency, and please know that YOU can also call your local suicide prevention centre on their behalf. Cluster headaches are sometimes referred to as ‘suicide headaches’ and some folks do reach that point. Do the countdown: The average cluster attacks lasts no longer than 1.5 hours (sometimes less, sometimes more). Watch the clock. Time the attacks so that you know what your sufferer’s average is. A cluster attack quickly builds from a 0 - 7 on the Kip Scale, it may stay there for a while, but it can still go up to a 10 after a while. Like the old saying, when you think it can’t get any worse, it usually will. Then you will see it gradually decrease backwards down the scale until it drops off to nothing. So, pay attention to these crescendos and ebbs, and watch the clock. Tell yourself, ok, she’s gone 15 minutes now, only 45 more to go. Only 20 more minutes. 10 more minutes and it’s over. Your sufferer may even benefit from you counting it down and telling them. ASK them ahead of time!!!

Stress Release is so important: Living with cluster headaches can be very taxing, we all know that. But what do you do with all the emotions you have to bury? They have to surface at some point. Physical exercise is one of the best ways to blow off steam. Go for a workout. Go for a walk. Do sit-ups. Or, if you're not so inclined? Go to a movie, go hang out in some shops, go for coffee. But it’s VERY important that you make time for yourself. Best time to do that is right after an attack. Your loved one is probably going to be exhausted anyway, and hopefully, they can find some precious sleep. So, take an hour off. Give yourself time to de-stress and re-centre yourself. If YOU fall apart, you won’t be any help! 

 

 

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