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...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Battle

I wrote this post Sunday night, so will post with an update of today's appointments soon:

I am battling this weekend. I feel the suffocating walls of depression threatening to close in, its ugly claws grasping at me in an attempt to pull my into the stale pit, the dark abyss.

To crying and screaming in private, I have added public exhibition (and as of Monday morning, also dark thoughts). Thank you to my friends who reached out to me and helped shoulder a bit of our journey today (Sunday).

Friday morning I felt such hopelessness that I desired to remain in bed and pull the covers up over my head, rather than to get up and face another day where my efforts seem unrewarded by circumstances.

Logically, I can see God is still in control. I can see satan's tactics and I'm not willing to give in to the game plans of the old snake!

Emotionally, I am tottering on the edge. I don't know how people cope with so many kinds of losses all at once. I wonder how we will get through this.

I know, in my head, it will be by the grace of God. My heart is at disconnect with rationality.

I would be very worried about my friend if I read a post like this and that's not what I am trying to do here. We have had a very hard, angry tearful day and that's the way it is. No, I'm not trying to scare anyone, I'm just trying to give a realistic picture of our lives and prayer needs right now. I mostly just need to share what's on my heart.

My family, though hurt by my raging spew of emotions, is wonderful to keep standing by me through the storm. I know their journey is different from my own, but I can't think any less painful and I am the one who gets most of the attention, sympathy and support. My heart hurts for the pain I cause to crush the hearts of those I love the most.

Reality is that giving up is not a choice and so we keep getting out of bed and facing each day as it comes, by God's grace. Rick starts another week at work, I go get a tube placed in my eardrum tomorrow (thankful and hopeful, but also a little scary), I go to occupation therapy, we seek to enjoy our time with the kids even though we know they are only here temporarily. Life goes on, screaming toward trying to find our new view of normal.

"So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)

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