Better, Then Coffee


No, this isn’t about things that are better than coffee.  That’s a post for another day.  A fairly short post if I write it in the morning.  This is a long-overdue update on Jennifer (my sincere apologies for the radio silence this last week or two). 

How’s She Doing?

In short, Jen is doing much better.  For the first week after she came home from the hospital, she showed very slow but steady improvement.  The first signs of improvement involved moving from doses of oral painkillers at the prescribed intervals to less frequent doses.  She went from taking painkillers every four hours to taking them every six hours to maintain the same lower level of pain.  Then one day she went twelve whole hours between doses.  The next day, she didn’t take any painkillers at all.

While the pain dwindled, Jen’s other symptoms were slower to retreat.  She had a lot of dizziness and residual non-migraine pain in her head.  Still, over the course of the next several days, those symptoms started getting better too.

Just when Jen was starting to despair of ever feeling symptom-free, in stepped the magic beans.  After going in to the hospital for a crazy migraine, Jen got the double whammy of a headache from not drinking any more coffee.  After a couple weeks, I figured the lack of caffeine had pretty much evened itself out.  But this morning, she decided to drink a half cup of coffee (on the theory that caffeine had a positive effect in keeping past migraines at bay).

Lo and behold, the remaining symptoms almost disappeared!  All hail the magic beans!!  Well, at least they went away for a while.  Stay tuned for the long-term impact.

What’s the Deal with the Arteries?

Now a word on the underlying issues with Jen’s arteries.  While we’re miles from a definitive diagnosis, we have a promising lead.  Thanks to Jennifer’s mother delving into her childhood medical history and doing some savvy Google research, we were alerted to a rare disorder involving a congenital defect of the internal cranial arteries.  I’ve been in touch with three doctors who are the foremost experts in this syndrome (all of whom have been enormously helpful), and they think it’s the likely culprit behind the scary arterial issues.  The coming months will bring consultations with those and other doctors, but all of that will have to wait until after the baby is born.

Of course, we may be wrong about the underlying issues with Jennifer’s internal carotid arteries (or lack thereof), but we don’t have a better lead at the moment.  Again, stay tuned.

Thanks! (Because I Can’t Come Up with a Better Word)

Finally, a quick word of thanks for the many people who helped us (or offered to help) in the past few weeks.  I’m very grateful for the people who dropped everything and came to watch the kids for a few hours, all day, overnight (hello, Rebecca!), or for days at a time (hey, Mom and Dad!).  Thanks as well to the people who dropped off food, especially the group of women from Bakersfield, one of whom drove all the way down with the food and sat through hours of traffic!  Many thanks to our neighbors and friends who mowed the lawn, took out our trash, picked up my Mom from the airport, picked up our dog from the vet after his bladder surgery (don’t get me started) and helped in other practical ways.  And thanks to the great people from my new firm who showed so much concern for Jen and covered for me while I was out.

Hope to have more good news to share for my next update!


6 thoughts on “Better, Then Coffee

  1. So glad to hear some good news Shawn. Good on COFFEE!! Hey, you guys can use this to sell the brand of coffee she drank as a marketing ploy that coffee takes away migraines and all other pain related issues! Hurry up and buy stock in that brand. Was it Peet’s coffee? My coffee of choice!

    Please let us (the church) know when we can start bringing you guys dinners.
    You’re in our prayers.

    Love, Carri

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