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...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bath Tub

I cleaned (surface, not a deep cleaning) my bath tub for the first time in a year, last night. Oh, the things I have always taken for grated that are such cause for celebration now!

It took about 15 minutes, my left leg was shaking terribly, and I though I would fall over the edge and land in the tub on my head. I tried to kneel instead, but that lasted maybe 10 seconds (if I'm generous with my timeline) and just hurt too much to tolerate, so it wasn't a viable option. I was huffing and puffing, only able to say one word between gasps, by the time I was done getting several months of dust rinsed down the drain, but I DID IT. So proud of myself. Such an exciting and huge accomplishment!

Because of my ear surgery, I have not been able take baths or get my ear wet for months. I have been SO looking forward to a bath without a gooey cotton ball plugging my ear. It has been something I have longed for and eager anticipated.

Unfortunately, the reality feel far short of imagined glory last night. I DID manage to get myself in and out of the tub without help (another first), but I think I got the water a bit too hot (blood flow issues). When I tried to tilt my head backwards to rinse my hair, this set my whole world to severely spinning again (it is good to have those occasional reminders of how things used to be every moment, and just how far I've come) and I immediately got so nauseous I thought I was coming down with my daughter's tummy flu.

I had to get out of the tub after only a 10-minute soak (yes,  it took longer to get the tub rinsed and ready than I got to spend in the water) and I'm still more off balance than my normal this morning, so I did a number on myself last night! I went to bed sick to my tummy and with my head absolutely pounding, but the pain is significantly down this morning.

I used to love pampering myself with long tub soaks, but I don;t think I';ll try another bath for a while now! At least I have permission to get my ear wet again. This will make showering and water therapy so much easier!

Rick took our daughter back to Urgent Care yesterday morning. She had hurt her foot on Wednesday and still couldn;t put weight on it by Saturday night. When she spent Saturday night and Sunday morning crying in pain (very unusual, she's a tough little girl!), even on tylenol, and throwing up for 3-5 minutes every 20 minutes or half hour, we were afraid  it was broken (she just got the other foot out of a cast a couple months ago)! We got x-rays and it is just a very bad sprain (no weight bearing, another check if she isn;t seeing improvement by Thursday), so she is back on crutches, but has no cast this time!

The throwing up wasn't just from pain, but also a nasty tummy bug. They put her on Zofran because she was getting so dehydrated and she made it through the night last night without throwing up. I am praying this doesn't sweep through the whole family! I so don't need to be throwing up like that again!

On to a new week packed with doctor appointments. Have I mentioned i'm getting tired of the battle yet?
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. - Ephesians 6:10-17

3 comments:

  1. Hi Jenni, Thank you for sharing. You and I had a similar experience yesterday. I cleaned our entire master bathroom. I started at 11am and finished about 5pm. I have to take frequent breaks so I understand your triumph with the bathtub. You might want to keep some Celestial Seasonings Grandma's Tummy Mint Tea around it has mints and fennel in it and calms the tummy when sipped. I've had a couple episodes this year where I couldn't keep anything down and was headed for trouble and that really helped -- it was the first liquid I could keep down in two instances. If you can't find it at an area store I know Amazon carries it for a decent price. If I come across some before my surgery I'll send it to you. Michelle B.

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    1. Michelle, I've been sipping on your Tummy Mint tea all day. Thank you! :)

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