Thanks for joining us! Here's some of Jeff's story with hydrocephalus...
Jeff was born with aqueductal stenosis. Two weeks later he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and had brain surgery to put in a vp shunt. Since then he has had multiple brain and abdominal surgeries. And while western medicine has been super helpful and life-saving (thank you, surgeons!), it leaves a little to be desired in the quest for non-invasive tips and tricks for calming pain relief in between surgeries.
Since 2020, Jeff has had very real physical struggles, especially when he’s working. He deals with frequent severe headaches, fatigue, tics (involuntary body movements), vertigo, and vision issues. He had another hydrocephalus-related brain surgery in October 2021 (the fifth such surgery since Aug. 2013), which helped for a short time, but the difficulties have come back to the point that he has not worked full time since August 2021. His brain is now easily overwhelmed by situations that are “no big deal” for most of us. I (Catherine) had no idea how much my brain processed, regulated, and filtered for me until I watched Jeff struggle in the same situations. Mental tasks that increase Jeff’s physical symptoms include processing visual and auditory stimulation, balance, sudden changes in body position & temperature, problem solving, brainstorming, stress, driving, and I’m sure more that we don’t realize. For example, attending church is a very draining task for his brain: extra noise & sound stimulation during praise & worship, learning during Bible study time, and attempting conversations in a crowded lobby with a lot of background noise all cause significant mental & physical fatigue. After a morning of this, my brain may be a little tired and is revived by a meal, but Jeff is fully exhausted mentally & physically, and he frequently naps after church.
The same thing happens each day after only 5-6 hours at his job as a security guard for a private Christian school. He loves interacting with the amazing students, staff, and parents at the school, but in the last few months it has also become extremely draining. Each weekday he works in the morning, comes home in the early afternoon completely spent, naps on the couch for an hour or more, and then goes back to the school for a couple more hours until the after-school daycare is closed.
Prior to this season of life, Jeff was able to handle 8-10 hour workdays regularly, but in the Fall of 2020 the headaches, fatigue, and tics started to increase and now it’s a relentless daily issue. (Yes, we all had covid, but despite whatever impact it may have had, we can’t reverse any damage already done.) In addition to the good old fashioned “eat well, sleep well, stay hydrated” advice, we have tried countless other non-invasive therapies with very limited success; to name a few: chiropractic, LENS, prism glasses, CBD, homeopathic tinctures, noise-cancelling earbuds, essential oils, and more.
Jeff’s employer is wonderful and has been accommodating during this school year to allow Jeff to work part time, but long-term this arrangement may not be sustainable for either one of them. Unless God provides a miracle (any & all prayers are greatly appreciated!), Jeff won’t be able to work full time for the foreseeable future.
For several years, Jeff’s had a desire to minister to other families dealing with hydrocephalus, brain surgery, and headaches, but it wasn’t clear until recently how best to connect with the hydrocephalus community. Recently God has shown us the “work from home” way to accomplish this… social media! We’re looking forward to serving the hydrocephalus community (and others!) with hope, encouragement, and practical headache relief tools from our decades of experience.
Jeff has HYDROcephalus challenges, but still lives WITH HOPE, so we see this as not only a business, but also a ministry. Since we know that Jeff wouldn’t be here without God, we want everything we do to point back to Him! If you’d like to participate in this journey with us join us on social media and share your email with us so that you can join the conversation.
Jeff, Catherine, and their three beautiful kids (who continue to be patient, loving and gracious through the challenges with their Dad) live in Colorado Springs, CO.