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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stoke Resources

The main post today is my 11-Month Update.

Because this list has grown so large, I have moved my resource list to its own page as of July, 2013. Please visit blog-page_8.html for current version. Thank you. :)

As a personal resource, I just was wanted to start listing some other stoke, either personal stories or other websites and books (especially Christian-based and/or young stoke survivors) I'm coming across, as I had such a hard time finding them early-on and can maybe save someone else the time, effort and frustration of searching too. I expect this to be a continually growing list as I add in future links.

I'm being really brave here. I've been painfully camera shy, but I so wanted to see other's stroke pictures, so here are mine. (Added Nov., 2012 - I still hate the camera!

 Blogs and Personal Stories

He (God) comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (The Message)
How Jenni's strokes offered a window to Heaven. I have made several stroke friends through this blog and I ask you to please don't let anything I post discourage you if you are not there. I know I am blessed not to face some of your challenges (I can't imagine being non-verbal, especially for months or years, for example!), but even if we aren't on exactly the same course or speed of recovery (remember, timing is unique for each person - much of what I do today, I couldn't have dreamed possible six months ago!), there are likely some things in my recovery journey you may find yourself thankful to not be facing as well! I never want to hurt you by sharing my miracles. Please don't hesitate to share your progress (or frustrations at your areas of challenge) in my comments either!

Hope Heals - Katherine Wolf, brain stem stoke, April 21, 2008, age 26

Kate Adamson - double brainstem stroke, 1995, age 33 (includes information on her amazing book that I had read even before my own strokes, and hungrily re-read after)

Kendra's husband, Scott - Kendra's earliest days of recovery, starting April 15, 2012
Kendra in her own words - my dear friend, blessing and "stroke buddy," multiple brain stem and additional strokes, age 35

Maggie Youel - left hemisphere strokes, April 16, 2012, age 20
Here's a video of Maggie doing hand therapy.

The Simple Wife - Toben and Joanne Heim (mostly Toben) blog about family life after her January 11, 2011 stroke (I think age 39?).

My friend, Becky Gray. Her blog after a Jan 29, 2003, severe car accident causing traumatic brain injury and stroke during surgery (I think in her 20s?).

Hope Out Loud - car crash lead to near fatality and traumatic teen brain injury, but God is still praised.

car crash caused stroke, age 20, and electronic walking video

My Stroke of Luck  blog. "On March 14, 2011 I had a hemorrhagic stroke, just 2 weeks before my 49th birthday."- Jan Gomez Burkhar

The Stroke, blog post about how one 46-year-old woman slowly recognized the signs of her stroke even when the first hospital did not. Great explanation of stroke warning signs.

Dean's Stroke Musings

5 Years After Stroke, one man's story

18-year-old has a stroke from birth control pills, causing blood clot (radio interview)

Books, Movies, Media

My Pintrest stroke page is filled with more resources, stories and stroke-related thoughts. You might also find my therapy page to be a little bit helpful. My Facebook page is intended to be educational for the general public to be aware of strokes, but also contains a few personal stroke-related thoughts at times.

The Stroke of Grace (not mine, I just heard of this one and have yet to personally investigate), testimony of former NBA player Juaquin Hawkin (novel, 2012)

A Stroke of Grace: For Those Who Suffer and Those Who Care Strokes (again, not mine and I haven't read yet),David Loren McKenna and Patricia McKenna Seraydarian

A Stroke of Genius: Messages of Hope and Healing From a Thriving Stroke Survivor by Sandy Simon, Christiane Collins, Jean Goode and Sarah Laffe (I haven't read this one, but the title looks good.)

Stronger After Stoke: Your Roadmap to Recovery by Peter G. Levine. (I haven't had a chance to read this one either.)

Nathalie's Story by Nathalie Aubertin. I couldn't quite decide if I should list this with blogs and personal stories or books, as it really fits with both. Since the website is all about the book (I don't see an ongoing blog or anything like that), I am choosing to put it here. Nathalie states, "I had suffered a stroke at 15 years of age. As a result I am quadriplegic and speech impaired. I am now 39 years old. With the use of a mouth-stick I typed one letter at a time until the book was completed."

I was recommended to read My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by a couple of hospital therapists. Upon coming home, I looked the book/author up on the internet and found a YouTube of the lady describing how she had "found nervona" through her stroke. While an interesting an inspirational speaker, I decided this book isn't for me, even though I have never read it. For anyone looking for resources, I thought I should mention that, as it is a popular and highly recommended title.


Stroke Statistics

Stroke Warning Signs

Support Resources and Organizations

Stroke Warning Signs - know the signs of stroke and when/how to act to obtain help.

Stroke of Faith - "This Christ-centered blog is designed to serve stroke survivors, families and friends, through sharing experience and faith. My own stroke came on May 8, 1998. God provided medical professionals, friends, fellow believers, and strength to get me through some struggling recovery times." - Jeff Porter, stroke at age 39

StrokeNet - stroke message boards, chat and community, where I spend a lot of time.

National Stroke Association

Bellaflies -  pediatric stroke foundation

Defeating Stroke - Facebook group for stroke survivors 55-years-of-age and under.

Therapy and Adaptive / Independence Tools

Several of my posts include therapy and rehab videos of various stretches and post-stroke exercises that may be helpful to you.

iHOPE webinars are "ideal for anyone interested in learning about medical and lifestyle issues that affect people after a stroke. Webinars are pre-recorded while Ask the Experts Q&A sessions are live. All are available on demand for free after their debut." Topics include issues such as aphasia, atrial fibrillation, caregiver needs, depression and emotional issues, fatigue, bladder management, medications, nutrition, sex, spacisity, vision and more.

Stroke Nation (at home therapy ideas)

From Pintrest

The Listening Program (brain reorganization and development)

Piano Wizard - not specific to stroke, but wonderful for brain rehabilitation in general. Just watch!

 BrainHQ Brain training exercises via computer games, based on similar research to Luminosity, but recommended by my therapist as specific to brain recovery or rehabilitation. Why you should use BrainHQ.

All cotton Compression Socks (diabetic or other circulation issues)

Re-usable, washable, traditional look/feel Incontinence Underwear
The National Stroke Association reports, "Research shows that up to 80 percent of stroke survivors suffer from incontinence after a stroke. The good news is that using multiple approaches has been successful in treating as many as 70 percent. Watch our newest iHOPE webinar, BladderManagement After a Stroke..."

Magnetic Button Dress Shirts (great for hands that struggle to work traditional buttons) "MagnaReady"

Resources for Family and Caregivers

How To Cope When A Loved One Has A Stroke 

StrokeNet - stroke message boards, chat and community, including resources both for stroke survivors and caregivers

Stroke Survivor Blog Kathy Bonchery shares 5 1/2 years of journals of her care for Steve (now diseased), along with resources for "stroke survivors, stroke victims, caregivers and others might find peace, hope and encouragement."

Sexuality After Stroke

Care Giver Burnout very short video

Resources for Family Caregivers

Stroke Warning Signs - know the signs of stroke and when/how to act to obtain help.

 Other Helpful Links (not stroke specific)

Joni and Friends - Great Support and Encouragement for Any Form of Disability.

Still trying to figure out what's going on with my Trigeminal Nerve. TMJ we think, but the strokes messed up my ear, neck and shoulder too, so it's not just classic TMJ! Update: I am still dealing with significant TMJ jaw pain, though this has recently been linked (by my neurologist) as also having atypical trigeminal nerve involvement/pain.A friend suggested The Facial Pain Association for support.

neuropathic pain

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