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...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Winner Announcement



Congratulations to Katherine Gamble Rhodes, selected by random.org for winning of my September giveaway


Thank you again to ChefMomB, Bethany Schoeff, for sponsoring this month's prize package! (Bethany is an allergy-friendly chef, mother of three, actor/singer, independent consultant for Jamberry and Perfectly Posh. )


I plan to host one giveaway each month. (At this time, prizes may only be shipped to United States, including APO/FPO/DPO, mailing address.) If this helps with my traffic AND I can consistently get sponsors to donate gifts in the $10-25 (minimum, higher value is absolutely welcome!) range, I hope to make monthly giveaways a long-term feature of this blog. 

Two of these beauties available! (Pencils not included.)
In October, in celebration of my 5-year rebirthday, look for two coloring calendars for 2017 dates - one sponsored by my sweet husband, Rick Saake, and the other donated by my Strokie Pal Kendra!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sneezing


Last Sunday, I just felt off, a little more dizzy than my recent norm, my left hand was somewhat less able and responsive than it has typically become capable of managing. And then, that afternoon I met Fred, likely gave myself a concussion because I frequently felt a bit faint, found my emotions, especially quickly-flashing-up-anger, even more challenging to keep in check, then awoke at 2am throwing up the next morning.

I keep finding butterflies around my house I never got added when I did my Butterfly Frenzie picture round up!
I'll share all my latest here.

But in between the morning realizations of a less-cooperative body and the afternoon hit to the head, I had an amazingly exciting accomplishment!

Butterflies for my hair.

I sneezed and I MANAGED TO KEEP MY LIPS CLOSED!


Big deal???

Apron

Do you realized I have NEVER, NOT EVEN ONCE BEFORE, managed this tremendous feat since my strokes?


Usually, I sneeze and spray everywhere. Not from my nose. I spit! I cannot keep my lips together, no matter how hard I try.


Yes, I cover my nose if I feel a sneeze coming, but I also must cover my mouth, because the nose is actually less of a worry than the lips!


For the first time in nearly five years, I kept my lips together when I sneezed!

My bird doesn't think typing with one hand is challenging enough. She likes to walk across the keys while I'm trying to type!

It felt good. It felt satisfying.

We are being blessed with a new (to us) couch! Here's the first of three pieces, It will have a corner section and another wing that the mirror image of this. Both ends contain recliners. Exciting!
And I didn't even give the guy in the pew in front of me a shower!

Corner cleaned, awaiting the rest of the couch.
P.S. Today marks just one month from my 5-year Re-Birthday (Stroke-A-Versary).

Friday, September 23, 2016

Faithfulness (and further Concussion update)

I woke up throwing up in the night, early Monday morning, about 12 hours after my concussion.
Monday was BAD but I've progressively but improving each day since.
We had NASTY winds whipping yesterday. I think that stirred up my sinuses. Around midnight I woke up with such a headache I wrestled with the idea of waking Rick up and having him take me to ER, but decided it was sinus, because each time I would shift my head, I get about 2-seconds of a break in pain, before all the fluids shipped and the vice grip would squeeze again.
I took meds but by a quarter to 2, I was up throwing up. After about 6 rounds, Zofran kicked in enough for me to lay down again and I finally last saw the clock around 3.
Concussions, especially on top of pre-existing brain injury, are not a cake walk. Just saying.
I think I'm going to be parked in my recliner most of today. Praising God my kids are off school today!


I had already written and scheduled the following post before Sunday's head it. It was true then and even more true today, though I'm currently rather back in the Not even Able camp, not just these emotional blahs.


"Faithfulness"


This is the word on my heart this week. The concept is biblical, that to be entrusted with much, we first must show faithfulness with small things.


I've had so many years of NOT being able to do things, clean house well, care for the needs of my family.


I still don't do exceptionally well.  Everything still takes me much longer than it "should." I am in pain. I miss details. I'm not swift, mentally nor physically.


Still, as far as raw ability, I'm becoming more capable with each passing month.

I can use my Flexi clips again! (No this is not my hair. I'm certainly not this skilled again yet.)

And more lazy. More slothful.


Work hard on physical tasks? I don't want to.


Plain and simple.


Yes, I have some viable excuses, but the bottom line is I've found it rather nice to have various tasks done for me.


For years I just wanted to be able to clean a toilet again.


I am able now, but the novelty has worn off.


I don't like how much I don't like many of the things I've grieved not being able to do.


I'm praying for faithfulness, now that I can do more things, that I will consistently have the heart to do so.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On My Way


As you read this, I'm in the car, on my way to be evaluated for AlterG therapy.


Thank you for your prayers.


Thank you to any of you who have been able to contribute to our expenses in order to make this possible!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Concussion Update


Doctor confirmed whiplash and concussion today. Diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome. Starting AlterG therapy tomorrow and water aerobics have been OKed, since both are generally without risk of another head-injuring fall. Otherwise I'm on light activity restriction for the next 30 days. Because of the strokes, I have significantly "less tissue" in my brain, thus "more room for a bleed to develop," so had a CT this afternoon to rule out any additional concerns. All clear from those tests praising God!


As a fun side note, while I don't quite follow everything this "Mom" did (for instance, I don't sleep in headcovering since I'm already covered under my husband's roof), my low Lilla Rose bun and head covering did cushion some of the impact, especially over my already hard-hit brain stem, thus preventing significantly greater injury on Sunday!
Final call! Just a few hours left to enter the giveaway for the Hope bracelet and the Jamberry manicure! Don't forget to enter.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Concussion

This post wasn't scheduled to go live until Friday, but as I now have full-on concussion symptoms, I'm giving it to you in real time. Like I needed another brain injury, mild or otherwise?


Meet "Fred."
Fred
 I did, early Sunday afternoon.


I was sitting on my walker, using it as a (backwards) wheelchair. My 10-year-old was pushing. Then a wheel of Bubbles (walker) met Fred (random name I gave the pebble, in effort to reassure panicked son that he hadn't killed me).


Wheel hit rock. Wheel froze. Walker flipped backwards. Head hit blacktop with a sickening thud. Both elbows and lower back also impacted hard. 


(Amazingly, there is no damage to my new dress. I'm so thankful. as it is the very first time I have ever worn this dress!) Two of the three nurses who live on our street either witnessed my "graceful" splat or rushed outside to help me up when they heard my scream. That's one way to meet your neighbors!


My "Little Bear" feels horrid. This is so not his fault. I'm the one that suggested this particular game. Fred is the one who caused all the trouble!

Bear saying sorry in Sign Language.
Update One
Update Two

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I can do it!

I signed up as a Lilla Rose Stylist  (consultant) just a few months before my strokes. I had carried a small, pink, plastic clip through every move (and we moved at least every two years, all over the United States as well as multiple parts of Asia!) since I was eight, because it was the only barrette I had ever found that actually locked into my hair and stayed in place without slipping!


When I discovered nearly the identical style, but all "grown up" and refined, made of nearly unbreakable piano wire and an attached metal slide clip, available in 7 different sizes to handle every hair need from "tying" the end of a ponytail, to putting up large, elaborate updos for hair much longer and thicker than even my own, I was beyond excited!


I had initially signed up as a Stylist for just one year. During much of that time, I barely had partial use of just one hand, so I basically just gave up and figured this business was not to be for me.

Flexis are available in seven sizes from XXS (Mini) to XXL (Mega) and five sizes in between!
A few years later, I was astounded to realize I still had an active account and was continuing to receive occasional commission checks! As it turns out, once you make the initial business investment (as low as $50 and includes several starter clips!), as long as at least $29 of business is conducted through your account PER YEAR your consultant status stays active! This can be personal purchases, customer website orders, or a combination. Without even promoting nor trying, I was maintaining active status simply by having set up a Stylist website before the strokes, thus a customer or two placing an order each year, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself still in business and having fully repaid my initial investment plus some.


Fast forward to today, and I'm celebrating that I have regained enough hand function (much fine motor of the right side and most large motor skill in the left hand/arm, with even a little clumsy fine-motor ability) to be able to use these clips in my own hair fairly consistently once again! I even managed to keep all my hair up through an hour and a half of hard physical therapy this week, without it slipping nor falling even once!


I'm as excited by my personal victory of having the hand function to consistently use my Flexis again (still primarily one-handed, and even that hand is still not up to pre-stroke skill), as I was on the day I discovered Lilla Rose and these beautiful clips in the first place.


If you have been reading here long, you know what a blessing Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference was to me this Spring. My goal is to go again in 2017. I have a donation page, but I am also trying to raise funds through these amazing Flexi sales between now and the end of the year. If you would like to see these amazing product choices for yourself, please visit my page at LillaRose.biz/InnerBeauty! (If you are interested in hosting an online party, I can learn to do that for you too!)


According to the Lilla Rose style quiz, my personality type is strongly Romantic.


This is absolutely my personality type. I've always been a lace, pearls, cameos, butterflies, hearts, bows, feminine kind of gal!


A "Rose" loves a few quirky, whimsical kinds of things too. Like cute garden bug decorations for example/


But the strokes have certainly brought out my "Orchid" tendencies too, bright colors, surprising, exotic, muti-colors,


 My best friend. Susan (we are pictured together, below) is a great example of an Orchid.


An example of the difference is these styles is my always thinking butterflies were sweet (Romantic Rose), to my current obsession with BRIGHT butterflies (Exotic Orchid) and not being able to get enough of them!


I've always admired the sleek, tailored look of a Calla Lilly.


Even before the strokes was never "put together" enough to consistently pull this sophisticated look off.


The Sunflower, clean, simple, natural, minimalistic, has a certain charm I often want to imitate as well.


Instead of feeling sad over who I am not, I am really striving to glean the thing I like best about other's personalities and leave the rest without jealousy, enjoying who God created us each to be, the beauty and diversity. 


I think this picture captures that. My best friend and I are SO MUCH alike in so very many ways that matter, yet on the surface, so very different at first glance!


So here's my question for you. Of these four general personality preferences, what is your personal style? You can take this fun, quick quiz, or you can just tell me with groups of items pictured here most catches your eye. If you like more than one style, what is your strongest preference? Second most loved group of hair jewelry?



Please leave your answer in comments. I am truly curious!


I normally would wait another day to post another update, but I'm posting today, because if you are interested in this product, please don't miss this sale that ends at midnight (Pacific) tonight!

And yes, you can still earn those free U-Pins with a $60 purchase,
even combing with this amazing sale!

Also, don't miss this month's StrokeOfGrace giveaway for a Jamberry manicure and a Hope bracelet! Only 3 days left to enter.