Weʼre raising £10,000 to help clear bills for private medical consultancy visits for the treatment of severe cluster headaches and to fund further regular visits
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Over the the last three years my life has been somewhat of a rollercoaster to say the least. It all started in July of 2015 when I my Appendix ruptured and had to have an emergency laparoscopic appendectomy. Following the doctors good work in the surgery I tried to recover but came up against a few road blocks in the way of multiple stomach infections as a result of the appendicitis. This ran on and on for a few months and led to my immune system being in the trash which unfortunately culminated in the worst couple of years of my life...
In January 2016, I started to experience the worst headaches I have ever felt! I'm not talking a head ache where you can take a paracetamol or two and would be gone in a few hours. This was excruciating, pain on a level I didn't realise even existed. Sorry to be graphic but it's like someone is piercing my eye socket with a hot poker and casually moving it around for their enjoyment. This isn't the type of headache where you can lie down for a few hours, you pace in desperation to the point where you want to bang your head on the wall. So when this all started I didn't know what was happening and was convinced it was a precursor for the end. This amount of of pain couldn't be good. When these started they would last for an hour and a half or so at a time and would have 3 or four a day without any relief and I was in utter desperation! I sort the help of my local GP and the initially for the first few visits they put it down to sinus related headaches the first time then migraines and the stress. Each time I disagreed but I thought I would try out their diagnosis and the medication. The desperation was growing day by day and I didn't know what to do so I went back and begged the doctor to send me to the hospital to have me checked to which he agreed. I went to my local hospital and underwent all of the tests, ECG, CT, blood cultures etc. Luckily there was a neurologist on rotation who had seen these symptoms before he sat me down and put me on oxygen for 30 minutes which alleviated the headache. The doctor came back in said you have been experiencing something called a cluster headache.... I was none the wiser. He gave me an information sheet on OUCH - Organisation for Understanding of Cluster Headache and told me to read up and gave me prescription for sumatriptan and told me that unfortunately I would probably be dealing with this for the rest of my life and there was no guarantees that this medication would help as each person reacts differently. My heart sank into my stomach.... the rest of my life? How would I deal with this debilitating condition? Am I strong enough to get through this?
The Neurologist put in a referral to see someone in the NHS but couldn't specify how long I would be waiting. At that time I wasn't willing to accept the unknown, especially in the condition I was in. So I had no choice but to pay to see a private consultant to hopefully help me. Over the next few months I saw the consultant a number of times trying work out my treatment plan, in an attempt to get the clusters under control with medication. Throughout this time I wasn't in work at all and was amassing bills left right and centre. I felt helpless. The cluster headaches are bad enough and there is a reason they are called "suicide headaches" but with everything else it's taken me to some dark places over the last couple of years.I'm strong and have battled through each episode but it takes it's toll. I struggle with the pain and I am trying to lead a regular life but this is less than easy whilst trying to deal with these hellish headaches.
I want to live a normal life and I don't want to struggle in pain and be stressing about the bills ever growing. I don't know how I found myself on here but just needed to tell my story.
The money raised will be used to help clear my existing bills caused by ongoing struggle with cluster headaches and also to fund extra private visits to the neurologists to find an effective a treatment plan to manage my condition.
Thanks for any help you can give.
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AJ Forse started crowdfunding