Starting October 25 of 2011, "InfertilityMom," 39-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes, all due to vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office. The largest two strokes were brain stem and cerebellum bleeds. Jenni remained hospitalized until nearly Christmas and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care (please read more and watch short video). Jenni is now walking (with a cane or wheeled walker), has recovered much eye-sight, some hearing, partial use of her hands, cares for most of her own personal/toiletry needs, and is currently writing three books, maintains multiple blogs, and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Near the five-year recovery mark, Jenni has renewed her pre-stroke excitement about the unique Lilla Rose hair Flexi eight jewelry she sells and has finally regained enough hand/arm function to regularly use! (The biggest ongoing losses at the 4 1/2-year point of recovery are left-side nerve pain, inability to drive, loss of homeschool teaching capability, significant sound processing issues (often triggering nausea), and some profound physical ability limitations such as a limp, balance challenges, clumsy use of right hand and only large motor function in left hand.) Here is her resume.

Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equipts you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Jenni is clinging to God's grace through the entire experience. Here is her unfolding story, documented in her own words (typing with only her right hand), as she perceives it happening in real time, messy, honest and to the glory of God...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Checking In

Even though it is quite unhappy with life, has its hours and days where it won't work, amazingly, my computer continues to gasp for life. (I was sure it would have been totally inoperative by now!)

Since I've got some computer function tonight and my brain is fried where it comes to book writing, market research, proposal drafting, conference prep, and on overload from all things related to the book writing industry, I decided this would be a good time to give a random update.

Before I forget, I've got to let you know that you have just one day left to enter the drawing for a free Laura Story CD to be given away on my InfertilityMom blog on Monday morning. Hurry over to enter!

I adore this idea from Oregon Quilt Show about how to use pretty hankies!

After not being able to get on Facebook in a few weeks, I went back and realized people know I'm a butterfly girl! My Facebook wall was covered in various FB stories and pictures I'll share here. Since several were videos (like an adorable koala getting photobombed by a butterfly during a zoo promotional photo shoot) and I don't think there is a way to get non-You-tube videos off FB to post here, I won't be able to share those. They are appreciated though and made me smile.  Thanks friends!

Too much has happened in my personal world over the last few weeks to even know where to start with an update there. I guess the clearest overview statement would be to say God's growing our family up in Him, a devastatingly painful and joyfully fantastic experience all rolled into one! I'm exhausted and prayers are appreciated. God is good, all the time!

The Butterfly Nebula viewed by the Hubble Telescope. - Science Channel

Last Friday, I finally got the first 1/4 of my Harvesting Hope from Heartache manuscript is as finished as I can make it and off to Jill Jensen Amack for her fantastic editing services. I'm exhausted and happy!
I started this book in 2011, one week before my strokes. I committed to the third major restructure/rewrite of the entire project around Thanksgiving of 2016, and with the holidays, was finally able to give the project my full attention around mid January of 2017, still typing the entire piece with significant short term memory and word recall challenges and only one hand.
Four chapters down, twelve left to go. I'm praying for God's divine connections next month at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference that will lead to the right publisher and a contract to get this book into many hurting hands! I travel over on April 6.
If you are interested in learning more about my conference, please visit
Thanks for your prayers, support, and encouragement!

Too much has happened in my personal world over the last few weeks to even know where to start with an update there. I guess the clearest overview statement would be to say God's growing our family up in Him, a devastatingly painful and joyfully fantastic experience all rolled into one! I'm exhausted and prayers are appreciated. God is good, all the time!

I've had a pretty solid uptake in physical pain again, especially down my entire left leg. It's no fun. At the same time I've been working hard to break some bad habits, like impulsive spending as well as grumbling and complaining. My husband asked a couple nights ago why I've been tearing our bed apart so badly at night, and we realized its been  my excessive pain that I hadn't told him about. I need to somehow find the right balance between appropriate communication and complaining!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Computer Funeral Plans

My laptop is almost dead as I write this (Saturday, Feb.11) and prepare it to auto-post next week. By the time you read this, it may be no more. :( I'm backing up photos tonight. If I have those and my writing files, the rest will be sad to lose, butst "stuff". Praying next quarter's writing royalties could be enough to go a long way toward purchasing a new computer in May.

The primary issue seems to be the internal (not the easily re-orderable/replaceable external) battery.
Less than a week ago, as long as I left it plugged in all the time (total loss of all power within a split second of being unplugged from the wall), it could charge no higher than this much:

Today (Saturday) it's max charge level is only:

The trend does not seem very hopeful.

Once it goes out completely, I will not be able to blog, Facebook, email, or anything else for a bit as I borrow a computer to push through and finish my book!

Since this may be my last chance to post for a bit, I'll share a couple other things here.

First, a writing update.

I have been seriously dedicated to the re-write of my Harvesting Hope from Heartache
manuscript since Thanksgiving.

With the holidays in there, realistically, since the half way through the first week of the new year.

The initial chapters flew together quickly and so very well.

I have ended up adding significant amounts of new material I had not planned to include, requiring dozens of hours of new research on my part. As a result, I've been stalled at the "not quite 1/4 of my final draft" finished mark for about three weeks now.

I am SO EXCITED about all the new things I'm learning, how these early chapters now flow, but I am also physically/mentally exhausted (I'm often in bed for the night before our 11-year-old who has a 7:30/8 PM bedtime) and rather discouraged to feel like I'm rather spinning my wheels, not at all in book content, but in manuscript finishing progress.

My hubby and our youngest watching birds together.

Would you please pray with me to include every single word God wants me to share, but to also get this accomplished QUICKLY? My personal desire is to have a finished draft ready before I head to Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference in early April. At this rate, that is not a feasible expectation, but if God returns me to the speed I was seeing at the start of the year, it is still possible!

The other two people I keep keeping on for.
Now 17 and 14, both "seniors" of their campuses this year, high school and junior high.
An update on Mount Hermon, between a few gifts (THANK YOU), this past year's royalties still trickling in from Hannah's Hope (I'm very blessed to still be seeing any income from a 12-year-old title!), my money from my birthday and Christmas, and a partial scholarship directly from the conference, here's the breakdown:

My registration for the conference itself totals $1,285 this year, since I'm not going for the extra early pre-conference like I did last year. This amount is due in full by March 5.

I don't know how God is planning to provide this. I'm looking around at things I can ask my daughter to list on eBay (I'm InfertilityMom if you want to watch for my auctions) for me in the next week or two, to try to raise part of the needed funds there.

I currently only need $180 more in order to finish paying for conference registration. (If that comes through GoFundMe, I'll need a little over $200 there to pay their fees and still have the $180 to pay off the conference. If you wish to PayPalMe and select Friends & Family (without "PayPal Purchase Protection") rather than “Goods and Services,” I will receive 100% of your gift and not have any fees incurred).

This covers Thursday, April 6 dinner through Tuesday, April 11 breakfast, all meals, training, seminars, and lodging.

I will likely get a ride to go half way on April 3 and spend a few pre-conference writing days with my ride / co-author / conference buddy.  So the conference registration amount listed above will not cover my portion of gas or meals between April 3-6, or on the way home.

I will come home on April 11 or later, depending on ride provision. I can get at least half way home that day, even have a place to stay at the half way point if I need to spend another night or three there, but am still looking for a second leg ride home back over Donner pass.

Thank you for prayers for all of God's provisions in this matter!

The final thing I wanted to share could be its own post. If my computer corporates  I'll grab this and move it into another post at the end of the week. Just in case I don't get that chance...

Here's last Sunday's outfit.

Here's the necklace my parents gave me for Christmas:

The dress doesn't show the butterflies unless you get up close and in the right lighting. (Apparently a close up camera offers even better "lighting" than the naked eye!) A fun eBay find several months back! Thrift shopping makes me feel so amazed to spend pennies on the dollar just by buying gently used. :)

The shoes I bought new, also from eBay, over the summer, on a fantastic clearance.

See the "hidden purple butterflies" on the toes. Without the sparkles, they are even more hidden than on the dress!

Have I mention that I love butterflies?

Here I am last week, with our daughter's birds.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

StrokieGal on Facebook

My newest Facebook invite picture:
My "Bookie" bear, from my dear husband, is so soft, sweet, adorable.

Here's the instagram version I posted. I had fun playing with the filters and editing features, but think I like the top one better than this version:

These blog posts auto-cross-post at I would love to see you follow me there!

Here's the photo and started with.
I figured most of the edits on my own.

Thank you to my 14-year-old for the Instagram crash course.

Monday, February 13, 2017

He's 17. Let him brush his own teeth!

I stared at my husband blankly.

It's been YEARS since I've brushed our son's teeth!

Thank you to our 11-year-old for being my body parts model for this post!

Seeing the look of confusion on my face, he repeated, "You asked me to remind you to go get Joshua's keys."

Oh, that makes a whole lot more sense than, "Go brush Joshua's teeth."

Hearing Impairment

We've had several interesting conversations since my strokes!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Happy Day

I woke up a week ago Wednesday. From in the shower Rick asks, "How are you doing today?

"Good. It's a Kathy day," I replied.

"It's a happy day?"

"A Kathy day."

"A what?"

"Kathy is coming today."

"Oh, I was right then. It's a happy day."

Yes, he was so right. Every time Kathy comes it is a joy and a blessing.

After telling Kathy the story, we both took out our phones and marked February first as a recurrent holiday, our "Happy Day." We are already planning to go out to coffee or lunch or something to celebrate next year. :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I missed a dose and didn't melt down!

The strokes destroyed the emotional centers of my brain. The wires of emotional processing and coping skills were simply erased.

I now have PBA (wild emotional swing and emotional reactions that are often contrary to my actual feeling, like outright laughing at things that embarrass me, make me sad, or cause physical or emotional pain).
Thank you Neudexta for PBA emotion pictures.

I also have depression.

The way antidepressant medications work for a lot of people is they should take daily, but if they miss a dose or two, they can get back on track fairly easily. For me, if I miss my morning "magic pill," my whole family knows it by early afternoon. I'm irritable and cranky and get overwhelmed by the simplest moments of everyday living.

Yesterday, I missed my pill. I did not break down. No one even knew.

I really felt the need for it by this morning, so the brain's not all re-wired there yet, but I coped through an entire day without chemical aid and no one suffered for it.

I started at 20mg of my meds, needed to go up as high as 40mg before I achieved stability, then dropped back down to 20mg a couple years back. I've since gone to 10mg, then 5mg, and now alternate two days at just 2,5 (one quarter of the smallest pill available), then a booster day at 5, then back down to 2.5 for two more days, before another booster dose. Yesterday's was to have been that 5mg booster day.

After I finish this two week set up in my pill box, I think I'll try just doing 2.5 daily and see if I can sustain this dose for the long haul without my family suffering as a result of that decision.

I may always need a little chemical help to cope with what's been destroyed in my brain, and I'm OK with that. It's just tremendously encouraging to have missed one day and no suffered emotional fall out as a result!