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.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Another Surprise :)

I have started with my new speech therapist. She's given me some great exercises for my mouth and facial muscles. One, my kids call "rubber face" as I take my hand and stretch my cheek muscles a certain way. She said I should have been receiving speechb therapy consistantly since my strokes, but she seemed amazed I am functioning as well as I am. In her words, a brain stem stroke is "really bad." Personality-wise I think this is a really great fit. Thank you Lord, for sending R.

Yesterday, some of my friends threw me a party. It wasn't a "surprise party" in the sense that I knew it was scheduled. It was a surprise in that my mom drove me to the park to find four picnic tables, beautifully set with lace table cloth, china tea cups, vases of flowers, and and the like. The buffet table was decorated with rose vines climbing georgeous tea trays of delicate delights. It looked like a bridal shower and I felt so loved.

At the end, they blessed me with a beautiful, hand-made prayer quilt made by a ministry at a local church and lovingly tied by many of our church and homeschool friends. <3 Even my daughter got to tie a  prayer knot several months ago, at one of the few Pioneer Club meetings she was able to go to. It is so special to me because so many different people, from different walks of my life, over such a long time, have all been involved, and of course all the prayers it represents.

Boy am I exhausted today. There is no one I would not have wanted to spend time with yesterday (Thank you all!), but I was glad they waited so many months to throw this party, as being around so many people, so many conversations, and so much sensory stimulation, was neurologically overwhelming and I can't imagine trying even a month or two ago! It was a very relaxed, low key setting, and we enjoyed resting in the shade of trees and the sipping iced tea and lemon-aid in the picnic shelter, while the kids ran off to play in the park within eye sight. I don't think there could have been a more ideal situation. I am very thankful. I am just sad that I'm not able to be the social butterfly I used to be. I, absolutely do better in a quiet one-on-one setting now. But the only way we find these things out is by trying!

And yes, there were tears before Rick got out the door this morning. :( I have resigned myself to the reality that, while I am capable of taking some steps around the house without it, I am just safer and more secure with at least a cane. I was worried Rick would be disappointed in me with this decision, and so the tears came rushing. He assured me that even if I were never past a wheel chair he would still love me and be proud, so that was a huge relief.

I feel like the first 9 months of all this were like prison. I am beginning to feel a little more "freedom" now, a semblance of a measure of normality in my life. There are many things that are not at all the same, and may never be. I am still a prisioner of my own body, but it seems someone has cracked a window open to let in abit of sonlight and fresh air. Today's verse, while written about Paul, captures some no this emergence, the related feelings, and the acts of family and friends in my gradually changing perspective:
He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs. - Acts 24:23

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