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...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Relational Challenges

I've thought of a couple of things to add to last night's random post.

I think yesterday was my first totally snot-free day. For something that started out so mildly, this was some nasty and long-lasting cold! I can't get buy on any less than 10-11 hours of sleep per 24 right now. 13-14 is even better! It did mess up my hearing pretty badly again (I would guess by the mucus or pressure backing up the left ustation tube again), leaving me with even less hearing in that left ear.

Last Friday night I tried to wear regular, very flat, slightly dressier shoes for the first time in many months. The experiment was a dismal disaster. I didn't realize how many muscles we use simply to keep a shoe on a foot, at least until I no longer had control of said muscles. I kept walking out of the shoe, tripping because it turned sideways, with the toes still in, but the sole 90 degrees off to the side of my foot, and my heal right on the floor. A few times I found myself actually kicking the shoe off, up into the air with steps.

My foot  and leg ached and I was exhausted after the short walk from the car to our restaurant table, then back again. I guess tight, high tennis shoes are still my only option. That was the least of my clothing disasters for the evening, but I am not quite ready to share more yet, so I will have to save the rest of the story for my book, if I'm brave enough by then. Let's just say it was an interesting evening!

I actually held a conversation with my husband without tears last night! Yes, this is terribly blog-worthy news because it is so long in coming. We still have a long way to go, relationally, and I still have such a very long way to grow and mature and re-learn all that was lost in how to interact in this most precious relationship. But I am celebrating this one victory. I can not adequately convey how very stressful and frustrating the ongoing inability to control my most basic emotions has been wearing on us!

It is still the strangest thing that I basically cannot cry in most situations, but find it about impossible to not cry around when I'm alone with the man I love. I just don't understand either of these reactions, other than to think something emotionally imprinted on my newly re-wiring brain, clear back in the hospital to trigger these ongoing reactions that I am still fighting today? I kind of get the not crying most times thing, because I got so used to constant pain in the hospital, that I became emotionally calloused to it all, rather indifferent to all the poking, prodding and loss of dignity. My best guess is that I feel safest around Rick and finally let down my guard enough that I crumble when he's near, but even if that is the case, it is still terribly frustrating!

Please keep praying for both of us in this. My sweet husband is so very stressed, exhausted and worn thin after nearly 16 months of this. Rick is amazing! I wish my actions even hinted at how I felt about him.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.- 1 Corinthians 1:4-7


  1. Goodness..I won't even attempt to walk in regular shoes.

    Wonderful that you had a conversation without tears. My hubby makes me break down faster than anyone. Sometimes he does it just with a look.

  2. Praying for your relationship with Rick. Sam and I have been through a lot in the last couple years as well.