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...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Crossing the Ocean



I have been working to finish up my current devotional to start submitting a proposal, and have most recently been writing about hope. I have been thinking about anchors, and Peter walking on the water toward Jesus, Jesus walking on the water, turning water to wine, and much more. This picture seems to go right along with these current lines of thought. Maybe my next theme word focus (after restore) should be courage?

I am so very sore today. Monday was probably my highest pain level in over a year, especially my shoulder and neck. It all started out with a tight knot in the side of my neck as soon as I sat up in bed Monday morning. Our little guy (7) had a migraine and threw up several times that day, so we were quite the pair. I hate that he felt so rotten, but if he was going to have a day down in bed, Monday was a perfect day for him to sleep much of the day away and I could mostly rest! He was back to his normal mischeif by yesterday, to my great relief.

I was still hurting yesterday, but not nearly as much as the day before. I had therapy (gym) yesterday morning and wasn't sure how that would go, but it went surprisingly better than I thought, just being careful that I still did exercise with my upper body, but without any weight. Yesterday morning I realized that therapy wouldn't have even been possible on Monday, so I was praising God for His mercy to allow me to even try yesterday, as scheduled! 

When a friend reminder me, "Let them know so they don't exhaust you too badly today. I'm sorry yesterday was so hellish. Just remember, for us Christians these trials are the only hell we will endure. And before we know it we'll hear well done good and faithful servant," and cautioned me to take it easy yesterday morning, I replied, "It is self-paced today (at the gym) so I probably in more danger of pushing myself harder than if I had supervision, but I'll try to be good. Thanks for the spiritual reminders too!"

Today I had regular therapy (at the rehab center, with a therapist) and did lots of leg work. On top of the weight machines for my lower body yesterday, and all of the work today, my legs are actually more sore than my shoulder, for once! They are shaking and quivering and the tops of my upper legs especially are so sore!

We retook a therapy evaluation test that we haven't done in 6 or 8 weeks or so ago. My score were unchanged from last time. There has been obvious improvement in my body over these weeks (like swimming!), but on paper I have pretty much "maxed out" my scores (12 out of 24, I think) unless/until I start walking smoothly, fluidly, "normally," so any further improvement, short of perfection, won't show with this particular test. On paper, it seems I have plateaued and am not gaining additional benefit from therapy. Unfortunately, this is the test the insurance company sight when making decisions about my care and coverage.

I am fighting another cold. So far not a bad one, just mostly making more really tired and sleeping a lot of extra hours. A few sniffle, a mild sore throat, a bit of a cough, and a really horse voice that fades in and out. As long as it doesn't go bacterial (like the ones in November and December both did) this one isn't so all-consuming so far. 

I'm wondering if this doesn't account for some of my elevated pain levels though? I have an area on my RIGHT (better) arm that seem scarred from a blood draw a few months ago (looks like a faded bruise, but just won't clear up, about 3-4 inches long and an inch wide) that hasn't even bothered me for weeks now, and today is quite sore. When my daughter came up behind me and tried to scratch my back, I yelled in pain when she started on my left shoulder. These along with my elevated stroke type pains and a return to poor circulation (purple or white) in my left foot, makes me wonder if the cold virus comes into play here.

On probably an unrelated note, for about a week I've noticed an exceptional amount of trouble walking on our (hard linoleum) kitchen floor. While I've had an easier time on carpet than smooth flooring for months, I'm not quite sure why this change now? If I take a few steps into the kitchen in sock feet, it feels rather like a skating rink. It is such a relief to get back onto carpet!

I am excited to say that I do have an appointment with an endocrinologist to start investigating my thyroid in two more weeks. I will be so glad to figure out some answers there! They had a cancellation, so plugged me into an appointment over two weeks earlier than I expected to be seen. Thank  you for praying!


I have a video of my walking and talking this week, so hopefully I can figure out how to upload and post that soon.
Isaiah 57:18
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him,

2 comments:

  1. That is a bummer about therapy, but wonderful that you are doing so well.

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