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 11, 2012

My Own Private 9/11

It is September, 11. I know of at least 3 people celebrating their birthdays today. Such on odd conflict of emotion - private celebration on a day of such public and national grief.

Before my strokes, I remember hearing of tragedies such as shootings, terrorist attacks, car accidents, and such and remember thinking, "Did they have any clue their lives were about to change so dramatically?"

Oddly enough, now I know, by personal experience. And the answer, in my case, was both yes and no.

All fall long I had had a strange inclination that God was preparing me for "something" coming. I had even repeated mentioned to my mom (and once to a WalMart cashier) that I felt an urgency to get my Christmas shopping finished in case I had to go into the hospital or something between then and Christmas. After the stroke my rehab doctor was so amazed God had given me this kind of extra-ordinary "heads-up" in preparation. (In light of all that has transpired over the past year, I can hardly believe holiday preparation was even on my radar as a significant need at this time last year!)

On the other hand, I was totally unprepared that I would go into an appointment on the morning of Oct. 25 and never walk out. If I had any inkling this was to be "the day" or that the impact would be nearly so profound, I never would have gone, wouldn't have even made the appointment! I was semi-prepared for something that might put life temporarily on hold, not a life-altering catastrophe that would change our lives forever.

Back to the 9/11 theme, in that moment our lives were drastically changed. I've rather envy those who the world knows of their suffering and can thus attempt to respond, not that anyone can really soften the blow, but it is a blessing when someone tries. My heart hurts for the countless more who endure their own private "9/11" scope losses every day, yet few know even know to care. I in no way wish to diminish the suffering or honor due to the courageous folk directly impacted by this Patriot's Day, 11 years ago today. I am only commemorating the day my own world changed forever too.
 Psalm 46:2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountain fall into the heart of the sea,
P.S. It's been a teary morning for some unknown reason, other than just the daily stress of living with brain injury. My poor hubby tried to make me smile this morning. Instead of giggling at his joke, I burst into tears instead. There is no logic to my reactions and when you try to apply logic cause-and-effect though processes, you cannot. I can't really even explain my confusing reactions to you, for I am confused by myself! *sigh*

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