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...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Belated Thank Yous

I am so blessed by my friends. <3

A. shared last week:
Jenni, I immediately thought of you while reading this. "When you stand & share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you & your story will heal somebody else."-Iyanla Vanzant
Your my inspiration! Keep writing and fighting :)
L. posted to a contest I entered that I should win the prize (I didn't, oh well) because I am her "hero." My mom says the same thing.

M. faithfully sends me flowers, cards, and heaps of encouragement and love, even still.

My husband denies his wants to repeatedly provide to be sure my needs (and several wants too!) are met.

My parents help fill the gap left by my absence of driving ability.

Meals were abundant, far longer than I could have anticipated!

C. gives up nearly every Thursday to help keep on top of whatever I need done in our home. 

I could go on and on, especially in the hospital with the outpouring of cards, gifts and kindness in the months right after I got home from the hospital. Thank you, every one of you, especially those I was to ill to acknowledge at the time, for your sacrifice and blessings! Your words and acts of encouragement are such treasured gifts. I guess, in addition to a physical touch love language gal (something most of you live too far away to do anything about) I thrive on words of affirmation and encouragement. More than ever before, I'm learning to appreciate acts of service and gifts of loving grace as well! Actually, any expression of love feeds my heart.

My lifetime anticipated medical cost far accede 1 million dollars. I do not qualify for Social Security or other aid, partially because my recent work history has been writing and focusing on my children, so apparently that doesn't "count" for real employment. This is daunting and stressful to consider, but I keep reminding myself that God "owns the cattle on 1,000 hills" and promises to always supply our needs. We take it one day, sometimes one minute or one bill, at a time. If God sends encouragement when I especially need it, we must trust Him with the rest too.

I know I owe debts I can never repay to so many of you, for your kindness, generosity, faithful prayers, and encouraging words and/or deeds. Thank you for being pieces of God's provision in our lives. <3 I don't say it often enough, but I do realize a bit of how very blessed and loved I am. Thank you!

While Kendra is the only friend I know who really "gets" most of this journey (I am so thankful to have limited contact with her!), I feel so blessed that so many do everything in your power to help me carry the burden with whatever level of understanding and giftedness God gives you. Thank you!
2 Corinthians 9:10
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
P.S. So far I'm down 4 1/2 pounds on my diet, even from the lowest "starting weight" recorded at my fitness consult late last week, 163, about 10 pounds from my very highest, early last week, of just a fraction of a pound under 170. It's a small start, but it is a start. Seeing the scale move the opposite direction from what it has all these months, is such a relief and encouragement. Praise the Lord! The ability to walk (with a cane, but be mobile) has done wonders for my metabolism! I'm also stealing crock pot ideas from Kendra's food blog and have successfully prepared a couple of meals now (with a little help - thanks Mom!) so I think cooking for myself and having more say in ingredients also helps. If anyone has easy, low starch, dairy-free, sugar-free, high protein and fruit/veggies ideas that are also free of additives, chemicals, or processed foods, I'm looking!

So I don't forget, here what I've successfully made so far:

Salsa chicken - super easy, just poor a jar of good salsa of boneless, skinless chicken breast (I'm told thies work too) and bake at 350 until done (about 1 hour). Can also crock pot and/or add black beans and/or corn.

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
4-5 boneless chicken breasts (or thighs)
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 can garbanzo beans (We didn't have these and substituted "Shelly Beans" just fine.)
1 can tomato sauce
1 box (2 cups) natural chicken broth
1 can Rotel original (Thank Mom!)
1medium onion chopped (I used dehydrated flakes.)
2 cloves garlic minced (Refrigerated, minced, I used.)
A few dashes of Worstechire sauce
1 can or equivalent of frozen corn (We just put in a quarter cup or so, so we could get the flavor without making the dish too starchy.)
Handful shredded carrot
Handful shredded zucchini (I needed help with shredding)

Throw it all in crockpot on high for a few hours, shred chicken (again, I didn't even try this skill!) and throw it back in (I added more chicken broth at this point, because it was SO thick and stew-like). Serve with cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream (we skipped all these toppings). I ate 3 bowls! There were 7 of last night and the kids and I still have enough left over for generous lunch today.


1 comment:

  1. Praying for you today! Cooking, losing 4+ pounds, thanking others. I'm encouraged with your success!

    ReplyDelete