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Hemicrania Continua | Onset


I wasn’t due to present until Tuesday, arriving a day early with my presentation in hand the only thing that could possibly go wrong was me. Being early I thought I’d sit in on a couple of the other talks before attending dinner later that evening.  Two very polished presentations later my appetite had deserted me.

Relatively new to the company my presentation would clearly need work to bring it up to a level comparable to the two I had just listened to.  I wasn’t overly concerned, I had the rest of the day and if necessary the evening to improve what I already had.

I was in my room by 3 pm thinking I would be done and dusted in time for dinner.  At 10 pm I felt anxious as I answered a call to my room and found myself apologising for not attending dinner.  My only concern was finalising a presentation that would hold up to scrutiny the following morning.

Several hours later I’d all but done.  I wasn’t due to give my talk until 11 am,  a good night’s sleep was all that I needed.  My mind still racing I laid back and waited for sleep to rescue me from my stressful day. It was during this time that I first noticed the early signs of a headache. A couple of paracetamol later I again laid back in the hope I ’d be soon asleep.

Roughly an hour had passed since I first tried to sleep, some 45 minutes since I’d taken the headache tablets.  My mind had stopped racing by now but the pain far from subsiding was growing in intensity.  More worryingly I was now experiencing additional pain that was giving me real cause for concern.

  • Discomfort with the right-hand side of my throat
  • Toothache occupied all of the thoughts associated with my right-side molars
  • A strong sensation of pressure behind my right eye
  • Most painful was the stabbing sensation in my head

It was now one in the morning and I was seriously thinking about calling for help.



  1. Frankie Brown
    Feb 14, 2018

    Hi Mark, first off thanks for your interesting article.
    My name is Frank, I have an unusual headache for more than 11 years daily and continous, without any free pain period. I have been visited by many doctors but only searching on wikipedia I found the most nearly diagnosy to my syntoms, the H.C. I’m not sure is a 100% H.C. but I’m quite scaried about what doctors will say about my problem ’cause I know is not common and can be easily confused with other pathologies (as it happened to me in the past). That is the principal reason why I’ve been wating so long for a specialistic consultant visit. At the moment I have had troubles for havin’ a normal life (including job,social life,relations) but a couple of months ago I became father of a wonderfull baby so I don’t want my son will grow up with a ill father. I’m sorry for my english (I’m not a native speaker) and for my frustrative comment but that’s how I’m feeling every day of my life.

    • mark
      Feb 14, 2018

      Hi Frank,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Have you ever been treated with Indomethacin? If you have not, I would recommend asking your doctor if you could try this as it may be able to help and if it does it may confirm HC.

      Indomethacin is used as a diagnostic to rule in or out HC, as it is the only effective pain treatment, but unfortunately with side effects.

      From Wikipedia: Complete response to therapeutic doses of indomethacin, although cases of hemicrania continua that do not resolve with indomethacin treatment have been documented.[3]

      Good luck.


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