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...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Therapy

It was an eventful day in therapy today.

In occupational therapy, I was fitted for a resting splint for my left arm, to wear whenI go to bed to try to keep my fingers and wrist from curling on themselves so much.

In physical therapy I was asked to take the wrist brace off (I've been wearing it daytime today, to test for irritation and skin tolerance and in hopes of preventing night time skin breakdown), but keep the stockinet (like an ace wrap, latex-free) on to give my brain more mental feedback that my arm actuaally exists.

He also tried ace wrapping my head (I wish I had pictures!) to see if that pressure gave me more mental feedback. We took the wrap off when we didn't see any improvement in my walking or balance.

I climbed a flight of stairs, both up and down, TWICE today (without the head wrap). I used no hand rails whatsoever, but it wasn't a graceful climb, by anyone's imagination, and I relieded heavily on the trunk support and coaching of my therapist. If I was faced with a similar climb in real life, I would absolutely need to pull myself up by the hand rails. Still, this is HUGE!

The only real negative today was when my therapist brought out a balloon, not realizing how reactive I can be to even air born latex. Even though he put it away right away when my mom and I both protested and he washed up, my eyes started burning within moments. My nose started dripping on the car ride home and I've already rubbed my nose raw and filled a trash can with tissues in less than 4 hours. Fortunately, no breathing issues today! I don't think my therapist will ever try latex around me again!

My hubby thinks I have caught a nasty summertime cold and the timing with the therapy appointment was just coincidental. I guess only time will tell.

After therapy, my mom drove me over to the surgery center to pre-register for next week's ear surgery. I filled out a bunch of forms (my signature is actually getting fairly readable), did an EKG, and gave several tubes of blood.

I also walked, outside, for the first time with a cane today. :) Not terribly steady yet, but walking with just the cane, none-the-less!

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