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.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shoulder, Ears and More

Friday! I'll be so glad to have hubby home for the weekend! :)

Did I mention Rick killed a Black Widow in our bedroom this week? Rick, my hero for so many reasons. :)

I'm hearing of lots of friends getting divorced after the 20-year mark, many that I considered really solid marriages and never would have guessed they had more than average relational problems. It is terrifying as we just marked 20 years and this one has been so rough, but then I think of how when I was pregnant, I kept encountering losses at my exact stage of pregnancy or a week or two ahead. I realized satan kept bringing these losses (at this timing) into my life to feed my fears and steal my own joy and thanksgiving. I could feel sad (devastated) for these families, pray for them, and pray over my child with more fierceness, but just because they had lost their babies didn't mean I certainly would, nor did it protect me from similar loss if that was the journey God ordained me to walk. Worry didn't change a thing but my level of peace. I'm trying to keep this in perspective with marriage too. I am so thankful for the man God has chosen for me to share this life with. I only wish I had more than brokenness to offer him in return.

I heard back the official word on my shoulder. The diagnosis is rotator cuffe tendinitus, specifically of the Supraspinatus (my doctor's medical assistant couldn't read the word at first and called it "Super Asparagus") tendon, the largest component of the rotator cuffe (responsible for lifting the arm). It is still possible that this could lead to an outright tear of the cuffe and require surgery, but for now it should slowly heal just with time and rest, as long as no further injury occurs. (Less serious, though potentially more painful than an outright tear.) Easier said than done as I am doing regular therapy - I guess we can work on getting the shoulder better and ignore the rest of the arm (potentially loosing the limited, hard-fought-for gains we have made), or we can keep working on the arm and fail to give the shoulder time to heal (as we have tried for nearly 11 months)? *sigh*

Tuesday I baked fish and we opened a big bagged salad. Rick did pork chops on the grill Wednesday night. Last night I tried my hand at a fritata (thank for the idea, Kendra!) and I thought it would be a total cooking flop as I thought to pre-wilt the spinach but I didn't pre-cook the mushrooms and it was watery and took forever to cook as a result. Rick and I agreed that next time I should add some diced ham or hamburger meat or bacon or something. The texture was off, but it still tasted pretty good and I managed with Rick's help. :) Tonight I think Rick will grill again. I'm down over 5 pounds (12+ from my very highest.)

My counselor is still working to get insurance approval. Please make this a matter of continued prayer! God has been a Wonderful Counselor, indeed, and I have gained clarity and healed, emotionally, much, but I still want someone to talk to (in flesh), and pray with, about many areas. I know if I keep listening to the Lord, He will bring answers and provide wisdom in His timing, but I also believe He didn't design us to try to go it alone and I'm very eager to glean wisdom from another godly woman's perspective and be mentored through this! I don't expect her to have all the answers, and I may or may not fully agree with even the answers she gives, but I think it will help simply to know some else is trying to understand the ins and outs of this journey.

I do seem to be hearing some better, though I still miss a lot, mis-hear what is actually said, and have to ask folks to repeat themselves often. I think we are now dealing with more of the effects of nerve damage (to both ears) than the scar tissue blocking the mechanical function of the ear now. Nerve damage cannot be addressed with hearing aids, so this may be about as good as it gets. I'll see the ENT again next month. The first thing I want to do after I get permission to get the ear wet again is take a LONG, soaking bath. I am so tired of swimming and showering with Vaseline on a cotton ball, stuffed in my ear!

I know the internal packing is not 100% dissolved, for though the ear feels much less "stuffy" than just after surgery, it still pops and changes pressure and volume often. I was sitting in a small group yesterday, with about 3 different conversations going on, and I had the hardest time focusing on the single person I was talking to or hearing an individual voice through the din of chatter.

The kids and I are finishing up week 10 of school today. I think we have (mostly) found our rythem and it is going well.

I haven't had any sobbing, screaming major emotional meltdowns in nearly 3 weeks now. This is a record! I almost lost it last weekend, when I saw a couple of hand-written labels I had made pre-stroke and was terribly upset over my loss of "beautiful" handwriting (though I never used it like it and thought I wrote like a child then, if only I'd known how much better that was than my scribbles now!), BUT I was able to bite my lip, change the subject, and regain my composure without tears - praise the Lord! Our kids and my housekeeping failures have me on the brink  of tears again this afternoon, so I don't know that I will successfully make it through another weekend, but I wanted to celebrate the progress while there was something good to report so far.

Several folks comment on how much better I am looking lately. One friend even said yesterday that I looked like me again - that meant a lot to me! I guess "winter" will not last forever after all, though it sure has taken "spring" a very long time to start coming.

I could only use an electric razor at first. Rick got me one, at my request, for Christmas. I had only shaved once, with assistance, in rehab, laast fall. I have been using a regular razor again for several weeks (over a month? maybe close to two?) but though I have feeling on the left side, it is diminished and apparently I am not a good judge of pressure. This week my left shin is sporting major razor burn and several small scabs because I just don't feel how hard I am pushing the razor, I guess.

I can't think of much else to share. If anyone has any questions, ask away!
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:6-10

1 comment:

  1. Jenni,
    Thanks for the update. Hope you got my card with my updated info. Please keep me posted on how the counseling goes. I haven't had good luck with professional counseling only peer counseling. Both Christian based of course. You sound encouraged with blesses my heart.
    Michelle B.