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.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


What a busy week! [From late July and early August.]

On Tuesday morning we went out to my favorite doughnut shop for breakfast. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) After a chocolate chip doughnut bar for breakfast, we went across the street and spend gift cards and money my parents, hubby and kids had all given me that morning.

I walked (pushing a cart for stability) for the better part of two hours before I had to give in to a wheel chair! If you had seem try to push a shopping cart in the rehab hospital (watch out!), you would know just what an amazing birthday gift this was!

After spending all my gift cards, finding a purse that was both big enough to hold my handicapped placard and compact enough (with a long handle to slip on and off, over my head) to center on my body and not pull my center of gravity too out of whack, we went home and did a little schooling with the kids. (We were mostly planning to take the day off school, but I did a little reading with the kids in bed.) My sister-in-love did a little shopping too, and made sure our 9-year-old enjoyed her morning out big girl shopping with the ladies.

Then we went up to my parents' house and I laid down for a couple hours. I would have slept but our 6-year-old made sure that wasn't a possibility. On both Monday and Tuesday, there where lots of whispers and secret phone calls to Daddy at work, and general excitement and secrets obviously afoot. It was an exciting, electrified day. The best news for me where that there were no tears, even threatened ones, through the whole celebration! (That's a huge reason for thankfulness, in and of itself.)

On Tuesday night everyone got dressed up and I was driven to my favorite sushi restaurant where I was greeted by my hubby and a huge bouquet of mylar balloons and a beautiful pink lemonade cake, prepared by my mom, sister-in-love and daughter. All-you-can-eat sushi for a party of 10. :) I felt pretty spoiled! Thank you Rick and all of my family. <3

"Sweetheart Rolls" ordered by Rick at Sushi Pier 2.
 My brother and his family gave me lots of fun things, including a bicycle horn for my walker or cane. :) At the end of the meal, the wait staff brought me a candle-lighted plate oh green tea cheese cake and ginger ice cream, all decorated with whip cream and fancy syrups. The cake was actually really good. My sister-in-love is the ginger fan of the family, so she took care of the ice cream for me, since I didn't want more than a taste. 

The waiters and waitresses sang (loudly) and invited the whole restaurant to sing with them, so even if anyone had managed to miss the balloons dominating our table, they knew I was turning 40 after that! I was really red, but felt kind of like a princess too.

At the end of the day we enjoyed the cake we hadn't eaten at Sushi Pier. I was able to blow out all my candles, something I couldn't have dreamed of doing just a month or two ago. In the rehab hospital, I doubt I would have had the lung capacity to even blow out one. I also stood for family pictures. Here's a brief walk to celebrate the day.

(video to come, hopefully)
On Wednesday, I walked into therapy without a walker or cane. I had accidentally left it at the table when I started down the hall on Saturday. My therapist seemed pleased by the lack of a cane and really pushed me hard on vision and balance exercises as I'm still surprised by a pretty constant level of dizziness and sudden waves of excess dizziness, thus not terribly steady on my feet. Now that I'm vertical, he is having me "test drive" a brace for me left leg and foot for the next couple week to try and compensate for ankle and knee weakness and instability. If it helps as much as we hope, I will likely end up with a new one with a more customized fit for long-term needs.

(trying to figure out how to get brace picture up onto blog)

On Thursday, our daughter was given her doctor's blessing to be cast and support-free for the remainder of her healing of a broken foot. She is so eager to swim! My dear friend, Kathy, was quite amazed at my walking ability this Thursday over last (she last came the day after surgery, when I was using my heavy walker) or even the improvement over the week before when I wasn't just post-op. Praise God! I woke up pretty exhausted and shaky, that day, so I was using the cane for safety again` that afternoon and evening.

(pink cast picture)

Yesterday (Friday) I not feeling well at all, so I mostly used the cane all day. I had my first follow-up from ear surgery. The ENT expressed that everything had looked beautiful in my ear, save for a LOT (and he repeatedly emphasized that there was much more there than he had expected to find) of scar tissue he had removed. I seem to be healing up nicely, and with the treated packing inside my middle ear, hopefully we will avoid new scarring as well.

I still need to keep the ear totally dry when I shower and no submerging. He said he never will venture a guess on the success of surgery this soon after, but based on the extent of scar tissue he removed from my ear and the way the scarring was immobilizing the bones from conducting sound, he was making an exception in telling me that he fully expects I will have a notable improvement in my ability to hear after the internal packing all dissolves. The pain is pretty much cleared up now, unless I lay with my left ear pointed down.
My sister-in-love captured my birthday moon over our house. <3

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday. You look wonderful!