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, December 28, 2012

Post Christmas Life

Christmas went well. It wasn't quite as big of a gathering as I had anticipated, so I enjoyed all who were gathered (and missed the "sister" who couldn't come). About the most stressful part of being away from home for a few days was the lack of grab bars in the restroom, but even that was doable, just not terribly easy. I had to explain to my nephew why I was staring at him during prayer (lip reading) and about short-term memory loss that significantly impacts how I play games (interesting when you can't remember from one round to the next what was played in the hand immediately before), but mostly there were just a few fairly minor adjustment and modifications made around changes and new needs. Thank you all for being so gracious and subtal in the changes! It all went much more smoothly than I anticipated. I am thankful! I was thrilled to be able to attend my kids' play in person on Sunday!!!

The one thing I was very most tense about (I'll let Kendra share on her blog if she wants) was a goal accomplished on Christmas morning!  Once I reads that news I felt the knot in my stomach (that I didn't even know had been there) release. I feel like I have had Christmas now. Way to go, Kendra! It is not a final thing yet (took me about a month to confidently feel I was actually getting the hang of it consistently and on command) but this was a HUGE landmark! So very excited, my friend!!!

My hubby also surprised me with a new Samsung tablet on Christmas morning. My speech therapist had shown me how handy these little gadgets can be and I mentioned my intrigue to Rick months ago. Apparently he's been looking for a good deal ever since. Poor guy - the first one he ordered for me got lost in delivery, so he had to order a used, refurbished one to replace it in time for Christmas. Now he's dealing with the whole insurance claim thing. Single-handed typing is SO much easier now. This makes a great therapy tool on so many levels (and would be an incredible gift even if I weren't needing adaptive or therapy equipment)! Thank you, Rick.

Our gift to him was that my parents took the kids and I to the Target a half hour from home last month, to our nearest location that still has a photo studio. We got pictures taken, as a surprise for Rick. My first professional photos since the stroke, so a landmark too. I have posted here before, how very much I despise having my picture taken now, so it was probably the most emotionally costly gift I could have given. I literally had several nightmares about giving this gift. But it went well, I think. 

Rick's got to Photoshop a few images before I get brave enough to post any (I've had horrid acne since the stroke and wouldn't be nearly confident enough to share the pictures as they are, for this reason alone), but I do hope to eventually share a few. It was fun being able to pull off this surprise and the photo lady asked to take a photo of our daughter's skirt to use as a photo frame background. So if anyone else did holiday pictures at a Target this year, and you were offered any pictures framed in grey plaid, that's my daughter's skirt (I think it went into a national database that any Target studio could use).

Speaking of Target, one of our friends got such a giggle out of my last Target story, that she sent two gift cards so my mom and I could go get lost play again. We did yesterday (play that is, nobody got lost this time ;) ) and found some great after-Christmas clearance deals! If you are reading this post, thank you, Laurie! :) We had a blast, mom got two pair of leggins (she sais I'm dragging her kicking and screaming into current fashion) for way less than you could normally pay for one pair, and I love my lacy new long top! I stocked up on clearance gift bags (I've never been so thankful for gift bags as I was this year, since I still can't use my hand well enough to traditionally wrap) and some clearance school items for the kids' upcoming changes too. It was a great way to spend my afternoon after counseling yesterday. I think retail therapy is definitely my favorite form of therapy. ;)

Yesterday was the anniversary of our first miscarriage.  Every other Dec. 27 (since 1994, when she died, except probably last year when I was still too unaware to notice the date), I have been teary. Yesterday passed without one tear. Yes, I still feel a little melancholy for the missed out years without Noel, sad for what might have been, sad for me, not for her. For the most part, I just envy her. She is in Heaven. I am more jealous than anything else. (If you don't understand why, here's what I've recently posted on this topic.) After years of recurrent grief triggers, this is a strange, new experience for me.
I'm only about less than 10 devotionals from being DONE with my current manuscript and being able to query publishers, but I have hit a motivation slump (not really "writer's block," just loss of focus) and done basically no new work on the book since October. Please pray for renewed motivation and inspiration to finish well. Harvesting Hope from Heartache - join me on Facebook. :)

We tried to go to water therapy this morning. The pool is closed for cleaning until the new year. We (and several other women suiting up in the locker room) had no idea our class had been canceled until we were already there. The exciting thing is that Mom and I hit the gym equipment instead and I was able (on the very lowest resistance levels, of course) to use all but one machine I tried. Getting in and out of those things was therapy in and of itself and I'm glad no one had a video camera handy to document the "creative" ways I sometimes resorted to, but I did it!!! I am sure feeling it now, but think we got a better (or at least different movements) work out than we usually do even in the water.

I only gained one pound during the holidays, so hopefully will get back on track fairly quickly there.

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus! ~2Tim 2:1 (I love the thought that grace IS found in Jesus!)

1 comment:

  1. You go girl. It is a great accomplishment to get on the exercise equipment alone. I've only gotten on the leg press machine without help once.

    Wish we had a target here. Awesome that you were able to shop though...to say nothing about pictures.

    I'm so glad you had a good Christmas. Ours was very quiet but good too. You are right though. I was very thankful to be home.