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...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Two Brains

I started out the morning as a crying, screaming, emotional mess! Poor Rick! I do this several times a week, sometimes several times a day. My worst PMS didn't hold a candle to my current outbursts, my sweet Rick always the target for some reason I can't explain beyond the fact the I am the more emotionally transparent with him than I am with anyone else, so I feel safe and relaxed enough to fully let my guard down when I'm with him. Unfortunately for him, being comfortable enough to be totally real around him comes at a very high cost! Anyone would be overwhelmed after so many months of such brutal verbal onslaught. :( Most folks don't believe I can be so ugly, but let me tell you, it is the truth!

I described to Rick that I feel as if I have two brains, my rational "writing" and reasoning side and my out-of-control emotional one. I can usually think clearly, problem solve and make plans, but none of this matters (especially when I try to organize my thoughts enough to hold an intelligent conversation, trying to verbalize anything on my heart) when the emotional, and often irrational, side takes over, as it often does when I try to share my heart with anyone, especially my beloved groom. This is so overwhelming and painful to us both! Too often it feels that the emotional brain is winning.

On a totally different topic, I forgot to say that Wednesday my neurologist said something that really encouraged me. He said I was very driven and a go-getter and there was no reason to "kick my butt" like had had to do to try to motivate "most" other patients. I just had to record this before I forgot what he said. To any people in positions of power or care given, please never under-estimate the potential power of even your most casual words.

Verse of the day:
When I said, “My foot is slipping," your love, O Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Psalm 94:18-19

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