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...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Surprise!

I have been very worried about how I would deal with my 40th birthday, Tuesday. I knew my 16-year-old nephew would be coming to town on Monday and would be staying with my parents (half a mile from us) for about a month. I thought flying.

Today I was totally surprised when I was taking a nap and woke up to find my nephew standing at the foot of my bed, along with my brother and sister-in-law! They had driven for a day and a half just to surprise me.

It is the first time I have seen my nephew since my strokes. My brother was flew down here in January. My sister-in-love was here in April, I'm told. Dan sees huge improvements in me since January. That's encouraging to hear!

I don't know all this week will hold. I've heard there are some kinds of plans for a cake and restaurant on Tuesday night. I have doctor's appointments or therapy every day this week except Tuesday. I already have appointments for the first couple of days of the following week too. My brother and sil are here until Wednesday, when they start driving home on a belated anniversary trip. My nephew actually is in town for a month or so.

Surgery recovery is going a little slower than I had hoped. My doctor had said a couple of times that this wasn't a painful surgery. I was pretty good the first two days, but Friday and Saturday were pretty painful. I am counting hours until my next allowable doses of pain medication today, though I did make it out the door, on my husband's arm, for church.

I told Rick, either last night or this morning, that if this is not a painful surgery, then I don't want to go through a painful one! I have been through more painful surgeries before, but this is so not a cake walk. My hearing is terribly muffeled and actually significantly worse than before surgery right now - I hope this will improve as packing dissolves!

At first I could not walk without aid at all. On Thursday I went back two steps to my very heavy walker I used when I first came home from the hospital. Late yesterday, I went back to a cane, with assistance. I may go back to my lightweight walker tomorrow morning for therapy. There is a U-Step (heavy walker) for use at therapy if I need it. I hope I will be walking with the cane for my birthday, though it may or may not be totally independently.

I will restart speech therapy next week. The story behind my therapist there is pretty miraculous. Maybe I'll share more details some day, but for now I'll just say that I'm actually excited about, and looking forward to, working with this therapist! New emotion and experience, for the first time in over 9 months. I  still don't think the actual therapy will be easy, but I'm excited about the person!

I still don't know how I feel about Tuesday's significance, but I have never been so surprised in my life. (Well, probably the night my husband proposed, but I knew that was coming, just didn't know when.) I feel so blessed that my family would go to such lengths for me. Maybe turning 40 won't be quite so bad?

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah, what a surprise she had yesterday. We have a date to go birthday shopping in the morning!

    ReplyDelete