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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Doctors Wonder

What to write about? The thing biggest on my mind is that today is Kendra's 9-month mark. Emotionally, that's a big landmark!

I saw my neurologist yesterday. (I go back in 3 more months.) He said that every time he sees me I have made visible improvement and that my speech is clearer. I told him, "Not bad for someone who should be dead, right?" He laughed and said I was certainly "playing on house money" now. (Don't get that figure of speech? Maybe it's a Nevada / gambling state thing, because I totally understood that he was agreeing that any degree of living I experience now is on borrowed time, all grace! I simply shouldn't be here. My continued recovery shocks all the "experts.")

I don't know what to say about counseling. My gal is WONDERFUL and such an answer to prayer! Our lives have been too crazy to be fiction for probably 5 years now (well, our whole 20+ years of marriage, really, but some absolutely unbelievable things in more recent years, even aside from the strokes). Last week was the first time I was able to walk R. through the whole timeline of these past few years leading up to the strokes. She kept stopping me to clarify and confirm what I was saying. At the end of the hour she just was shaking her head and exclaimed, "Wow! Now I understand a little better!"

She had heard various references to my immediately pre-stroke years and how certain past experiences colored my current thought processes and recovery journey, but she hadn't heard it all as one continual timeline, as I perceive events. I guess any one of a number of events and circumstances should have landed me in her office, and she seemed genuinely amazed and overwhelmed by so much in such a tight time frame. She's made several comments to the effect that she is rather in awe of how I am doing. All I can say is that any credit is due to God!!!

The funny thing is, that after going to her for all these months, I think R. just today figured out that I am actually a published author. :) (Lots of people talk of writing books, but few really ever do.) I got to walk her through my whole story of how I became published. Talking about writing is something I'm passionate about, so that was fun! I'm going to try to remember to take her a copy of my book one of these weeks. I also need to refocus my effort and attention on finishing the last bit of the current manuscript I'm working on and start the process of querying publishers!

I'm physically really tired these days. Crawling into bed before 8 PM and dragging myself back out of the covers after 8 AM. But while I'm up. life is usually very full and busy. I think I've been home a combined total of about 5 hours since I woke up this morning (and am headed back to bed as soon as I finish this post). Two appointments tomorrow, water therapy Friday, and somewhere in the mix we need to fit in school for the younger two (still home with me for the rest of the school year).

Our oldest started public school last week and is still feeling the stress of adjustment (thank you for prior and ongoing prayers) but is doing well, all things considered. I am doing, emotionally, better than expected with this change. It helps so much knowing that he will be home again at the end of each day, so in many ways our eight months of prior separation make a change that would have otherwise been absolutely devastating for me before, quite bearable now. It has been hardest on the younger two who have had their big brother with them pretty much 24/7, since birth, and now aren't seeing him at all, during daylight hours. Rick, as the only driver in the family, is feeling the strain of schedule juggling too. We covet your ongoing prayer as we all have our lives pretty dramatically shaken up with this change!

I guess that's about it at the moment. I'll try to hit more of the physical report (no significant changes on any pain levels or areas of functionality) at my 15-month update in another 10 days.
Psalm 80:7
Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.


  1. Praise God you have never lost your ability to write and put your thoughts on paper!! Praise God that your dr is seeing visible improvements at every visit - yes, God is GOOD!

  2. God is incredible!

    I am so encouraged by your writing.

    I am sorry for not commenting more. I do read your blog frequently but my phone does not like letting me comment.


  3. Yesterday went better than I had hoped. Today was another story....

  4. Jenni - I'm so glad God graciously kept you and you are still a joyous part of our lives. I'm so glad that you found a really good counselor. Good professional counselors are hard to find. I haven't found one that I've been able to relate to but the Lord has given me Godly understanding women in my church who I can talk with and use as sounding boards and find support. While we all have different difficult situations in our lives we encourage each other always and pray for understanding of each others situaton. AND...the situations discussed aren't floating around the church as gossip so the women have shown themselves to be trustworthy. I've been in so many churches where anything discussed has become fodder for gossip. One church I was in the church secretary would tell all when people would call the church office or go to the pastor for counseling. So happy to be in a great church with Godly women that I hope to attend more now that I'm slowly getting back on my feet. I'll send snail mail soon. Hugs to you.