21. Cluster headache
PERSON: old man.
DESCRIPTION: cluster headache since ten years; pain starting on the left side of the mouth, then including the cheek, the eye, and the head; mucous secretions from the mouth, from the left naris, and tears from the left eye; terrific pain for half an hour every 2-3 days; drugs almost useless, hospital (pain center) therapies unsatisfactory; intoxicated by too much cortisone; urgent request to try hypnosis before the surgical cut of his facial nerves.
APPROACH: brief sessions of 15-30 minutes because of the easy subject's fatigability in hypnosis.
RESULT: first session, then no pain for 4 days; third session, then no pain for 8 days; 4th session, then just one attack of 2 minutes during a 15 days period; 5th session, then 43 days without pain, then one anomalous attack lasting 3 days, then no pain for 38 days; 6th session, then another 27 days without pain; 7th session, then further 78 days with no pain (total of 143 days without symptoms), then a short episode of annoyance but painless and without consequences, then no pain for 107 days, then a brief signal of pain, then no pain for 164 days, then another brief, negligible annoyance.
UPDATE (3 years): average of a brief sign of trouble or pain every 150 days; no need of any drug; no need of further hypnosis; complete subject's satisfaction.
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