Update: Stroke of Grace has become In Darkness Sing and has moved to JenniferSaake.com.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder, Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes via vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office, including brain stem and cerebellum bleeds, in Oct. 2011. Jenni remained hospitalized for nearly 2 months 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. At 5 years, 7 months God showed how He was writing her story from the beginning.

Jenni is currently writing more books and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Stroke of Grace became In Darkness Sing in early 2018 and has moved, along with all five of Jennifer's active blogs, to one location at JenniferSaake.com.

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 equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

7 Months

Today marks seven months since the strokes began and our lives were turned upside down. Time for another monthly progress report.

I really though I would be walking by now. I thought our kids would be home by now. I didn't think it would still be so hard by now.

The last couple night I've woken up in the night with my left side - hand, shoulder, arm. hip, leg, foot - hurting enough to wake me up. I'm guessing it is may be a change in weather but I don't know.

My shoulder, while still sore and "popping" many times per day, is getting stronger and less painful.

When I am fully awake, up and going, I tend to see singly now. This is a huge praise! When I first wake in the morning, as evening wear on and I am tired, if I am especially stressed or having an off day, and it will all be doubled again, though usually the images are close enough to usually overlap most of the time. Single images tend to be in front of me, while both sides tend to still be doubled, the left significantly more so and more consistently than the right.

My left hand and foot seem pretty stiff and somewhat swollen. I think they are still retaining fluid from last Tuesday's surgery. My left foot seems less purple, over all, the last few days.

My hearing is still questionable, though a comment yesterday encouraged me by saying it can take several weeks in adults for the ear and brain to relearn how to work together after tubes. I really was expecting an immediate fix, but I am hopeful that improvement may still come with time?

I seem to be clenching my left hand into a tight fist whenever I'm not making a conscious effort not to. I had to cut my nails short because they were digging into my hand and getting in the way of therapy. I am slow, but I have enough mobility to touch each finger to my thumb and make it through all the letters of the Sign Language alphabet on a daily basis.

I am also typing, double handedly, a bit again, though I much prefer to just hunt and peck with the right hand It is tedious and clumsy, but possible! I have never, motivationaly, gotten back on tracks with my writing again since I lost those couple of weeks of writing several weeks ago. I have worked on both books a bit since then, but there is no daily flow.

Handwriting (right hand) is sloppy and larger than it used to be but legible. It looks like a kindergartner's writing, but at least you can usually read it now.

I'm making progress on Kendra's quilt, but it is slow-going. I hope she can read the verses when I am done.

Not much has changed with walking. I have come close to taking a couple nasty fall recently (with the walker), so oven though I am practicing with a cane a couple times per week, the balance is still no where near consistent.

I have, gradually, more mobility in my neck, but not as much as I would need to check over my shoulder, like for backing while driving, by a long shot.

I have had about 40 pounds of weight gain in the past 5 months (since coming home from the hospital). I probably needed to gain about 10 after my hospital loss, but the other 30 is very discouraging, especially as the scales keep climbing. Gotta love poly-cystic ovaries (not)! I am hopeful that once I am walking, this trend will change, but I was 10 pounds heavier than this at my heaviest, so I am not holding my breath.

Emotionally, I was able to actually hold a conversation with my husband today! I came close to crying twice, was agitated, but didn;t sob and was able to actually talk, not scream. I did have to leave the room and stop talking at the end, so I have a way to go on working on emotional control, but one victory at a time and I am thankful. I told my husband, before he left for work, that I wasn't giving him the silent treatment vindictively, but it was the only way I could keep from crying and loosing control again. I don't know how the depression is doing, though early morning are often my darkest and this morning I wasn't nearly as obsessed with all the ugliness that I often am.

Lots of folks keep asking about our kids. After so many years of infertility, knowing the pain it can bring to hear of others' miracles, and because of my desire to keep them out of the public spotlight, I don't talk about them often on my blogs, unless I am directly asked. Short answer we are enjoying our time together very much. There are a few challenges and adjustments to being together, including yesterday's trip to Urgent Care for our daughter. Overall, it is a very good visit though. :) Our 6-year-old seems determined to also break something, using his big sister's crutches.

The left side of my mouth is still quite numb. This impacts chewing (as does jaw strength) and flavor as well as feeling. I also expected that this, too, would be noticeably resolving (or resolved) by now. Compared to the hospital, the numbness is now isolated to the left side, rather than being whole mouth and I no longer am constantly tasting a false blood flavor, so that it big picture improvement, it is just impossible to measure, day by day.

I still have to be careful about temperature as I can't swallow very quickly, so something that just feels warm in my mouth sits in the back of my mouth or throat and can really burn! I choke on my own saliva quite a bit and still have a couple of real chocking scares per week. I have learned to be especially careful taking a drink if anyone else is around or if I have recently been laughing, as both of these things make me more likely to choke. It's been a while since I squirted anything out my nose though and this was a regular occurrence for months, so this is good! These issues are greatly improved since the hospital, but again I can't see it daily.

It is nearly the end of May and snowing and sleeting outside! We were happy in shorts yesterday, so quite a surprise!

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
- Proverbs 16:9

1 comment:

  1. Praying for you! You may be frustrated with the progress on your book, but you are writing this blog, which is a victory in itself. In the months to come this blog will serve as a signpost and memorial for your recovery and God's faithfulness.