Saturday, February 17, 2018


This blog post is part of a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to re-live our family's experiences in the last year of our daughter Hannah's life on earth, which spanned from February of 2008 to February of 2009. Many of you who read this blog followed our journey through the emails I wrote over the course of that year. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.

I have a vivid memory of standing in the pharmacy section at Walmart studying the dizzying array of colorful boxes on the shelves. Tylenol, Excedrin, Advil, Motrin … How could I know which one was the most effective?   I needed something that would help alleviate Hannah’s headaches.

She was back in school now, but really wasn't feeling much better.  She’d been waking up with severe head pain and and an upset stomach for the past few days. The headache would subside somewhat throughout the day, but never fully go away.  We had thought maybe the morning headaches and nausea were the result of sinus drainage overnight, so we were giving her antihistamines, but they didn't seem to be helping.  Maybe we were dealing with migraines. 

Standing there in the pharmacy section, my thoughts were also on our 12-year-old daughter, Bethany.  A few days before Hannah started waking up with these monstrous headaches, Bethany had been diagnosed with pneumonia.  Listless and fatigued, she didn't seem to be getting any better either.

As I perused the choices on the shelves, people bustling around me, time seemed to stand still for a moment as a deep fear gripped my heart … What if these headaches were more than just migraines?  I had a deeply disturbing feeling that something much more serious was going on.

But I had a busy Saturday ahead of me … Time to make a decision and get on my way!  Surely a name-brand medication would be better than the generic version.  I grabbed a bottle of Excedrin Migraine, paid for my purchase, and left the store.  But the feeling of foreboding stayed with me.

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