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.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Surgery for My 40th Birthday

I am going to be having yet another surgery on Wednesday, on my 9-month anniversary since the first strokes. I had my first two stroke-related surgeries about 8 months ago, when we put stents in my vertebral artery (back of neck). This ear surgery will be my 5th surgery (two were called "surgeries" or "procedures" depending on who was talking, but one was in a surgery center and the other was in office - I was awake but sedated for both) since my Thanksgiving Day two emergency surgeries in the hospital, that briefly put my back in ICU. There are 3 other pretty significant issues I anticipate we may still be looking at sleeping-under-anesthesia surgery to address, and who knows what else may be isolated through the coming months.

Last surgery/"procedure"

 This week it all just hit me hard that it seems "unending". I am overwhelmed.

As for this surgery, the doctor tells me we won't even know if it helped for 8-12 weeks because my ear will be packed with self-dissolving material when I wake up from the surgery. There is mild nerve damage in both ear, that cannot be addressed with current medical ability, but we are trying to recover functionality of the nerve capability that is there (but not currently being realized) in the left ear, where I currently have mild to profound hearing loss, dependent on tonal range. This is micro surgery, involving the removal of my ear drum and requires me to stop blood thinners (taken probably for the rest of my life, to prevent my artery from clotting again) for one week. Please pray the health of my arteries, for skill for the doctor, wisdom to find and repair exactly whatever is going on in my middle ear, and good restoration of hearing. I would also appreciate a gentle and good recovery! Thank you for your prayers.

Oh, and Rick was right. The kids and I do have nasty colds or something viral. On Wednesday it felt like the worst cold I had had in my life, so I'm still not totally convinced that there was not a latex reaction involved from therapy as well. Even though there was notable improvement by Thursday, my kids came down with it pretty hard on Thursday and I felt pretty bad again yesterday (Friday), so it is hard to say. Nasty cold symptoms with tummy issues too. I think I'm feverish now, so I'm watching to see if I need to go in to the doctor Monday or Urgent Care over the weekend. I'm praying I feel better by ear surgery time next week!

Earlier this week my physical therapist gave me a new eye exercise to help my vision and overall balance. I have an unusually hard time making turns. He believes this is tied to my dual vision, especially peripherally. He asked me to do the new eye tasks at least twice each day, but warned me to keep a vomit bucket close at hand as my brain works at resetting this area. Lovely! While I am not nearly as nauseous or dizzy as I was early on (maybe I am just more used to the sensations now?), moving my head, as I need to for these eye-tracking activities, still sets my world to spinning out-of-control.

My 40th birthday is in 10 days. I have an assortment of very mixed emotions about this landmark. I typically have liked it when people make a fuss over my celebrations. I know everyone else tells me they are very thankful I am here to celebrate another year on earth. I know God must have a plan in all this. Honestly, I will probably feel pretty disappointed if my birthday comes and goes and no one really takes notice. On the other hand, I don't trust myself or my emotions and wonder how I will respond should anyone want to celebrate this day. I think that it would be a significant landmark under normal circumstances doesn't help. I feel like everyone who loves me is in a rather no-win situation. I'll be upset and hurt if the day goes by with little fanfare, but I don't know how I will react if anyone marks this passage of time either. Uggggggg.

I would like to beg for your prayers for my friend Lisa, her son Daniel, and their whole family. Our sons have taken classes together over the years. Danny and I share a birthday. When I turn 40, he will turn 16. Danny has gone missing and there is currently a search for him. I don't know other details, but God knows and sees all, from Danny's specific where-about to the brokenness of his family's hearts.
Please grab this picture and share! Maybe you know someone who will know something.
Psalm 139:7
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?


  1. Jenni,
    I'm praying God will bring you the encouragement you need right now. I know it must be very difficult to imagine what God has planned, or how he will bring about Romans 8:28 from this situation. I pray regularly for your healing and for your family. Will also lift up the Williams' family.

  2. Hi I'm Heather. I have a question about your blog, please email me when you get a chance. HeatherVonSJ(at)gmail(dot)com Thanks!!