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, June 1, 2012

Anxiety Girl says Thanks!

See what my friend, Michelle, sent to brighten my Friday? Sweet surprise when the doorbell rang! :)

The timing was wonderful, as all day long I have felt slow and "stupid." As long as I'm not trying to talk with anyone, I feel pretty good in my own little world, but I have been very discouraged by the disobedience and non-responsiveness of my body and voice otherwise.

I much prefer writing over vocalizing, though I am glad to be getting a little bit of my singing voice back. For many months I could not get my tone to modulate at all. My voice is still scratchy and uncontrollable enough that my family gives me funny looks when I try to sing and it comes out terribly out of key, but at least I can hit a small range of various notes now, not just the scatchy monotone of a couple months ago.

My tongue has felt more numb and "burned" than what has been my daily normal, close to what I remember feeling, whole-mouth, in the hospital. The difference is that, thankfully, the sensations (or lack of sensation) is confined to the left side of my mouth and front of tongue now only, and while taste is still profoundly impacted, at least I am not constantly "tasting" blood anymore. It feels as if the areas of numbness are possibly receding a bit, but the intensity is quite strong. (Strange that you can feel pain and numbness at the same time.)

My oldest son son and husband are thrilled that enough sensation has been restore that I am sometimes ticklish now. :) Not strongly, but enough that the are happy to get some response from me some of the time.

I was looking at my non-driver's license picture (taken in January) and a rehab hospital picture (taken in December) and comparing these to what I now see in the mirror. The improvement in my eyes can only be described as miraculous. No, I still don't see perfectly, still have double vision to both sides and all over when I'm tired, but I think the neurological optomologist will be pretty astounded when I see him next Monday!

Jenni, December, 2011
It's been a pretty busy week with the kids still home (yeah!) for a visit, home schooling toward the end of the school year with a few goals still to push toward, and our 9-year-old's broken foot. Thank you, Latricia for the ride to the doctor today and for Abby and Summer giving up so much time to clean and organize our house and to help me come up with new exercize ideas since I am not going to therapy right now. Our church has taken such good care of us, with meals, frienships and special days like this! Thank you too, Kathy, for cleaning every Thursday for months on end! Rick sends his heartfelt thanks as well!

 Many of you have "liked" the picture I posted to Facebook earlier tonight. This is a perfect description of how I feel.
Not my comic. Thank you Funnies.
I have been thinking about this a lot. I guess fear is human nature when you have been through a traumatic event, "On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together [just after the death of Jesus whom they had pinned all their hopes upon], with the doors locked for fear of the Jews..." (John 20:19). 

Still, I don't like this response.  One of my doctors/therapists at the rehab hospital said that we (my family and I and, to a certain extent, anyone emotionally invested in my story) would likely tend to "catastrophize" after our experience because we had no longer lived an imaginary what if but the real "worst" had become reality in our lives.

I do know that I tend to be anxious and jump to the worst possible conclusions much too easily now. I know this isn't the abundant life-to-the-full God desires for me! So, for myself more than anyone else, I record these reminders:
 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. -Psalm 34:3
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. - Psalm 94:19
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. - Psalm 46:1-3
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? - Psalm 27:1
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. - Luke 12:5
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. - 1 John 4:18
He [the LORD] will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. - Isaiah 33:6
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” - Romans 8:15

 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. - Psalm 31:19
If there were just one thing, from this whole experience, that I would drive home if I could, it would be the reality (that I usually am good about keeping before myself now, but sometimes need reminders), that our earthly experience are only temporary, but it is eternity that needs to primarily consume our thoughts. I have absolutely no doubt where I will spend my Future. How about you?


  1. One risk factor for stroke is a heart disorder. Some heart problems such as coronary heart disease, irregular heartbeat, heart valve defects or enlarged heart chambers is a risk factor of stroke.


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.