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, February 13, 2013

So Tired!

It doesn't matter how much I sleep lately, this cold really kicked me in the pants and I cannot function! A couple nights ago I could barely stay awake until 7:30! I'm sleeping in past 8, pretty much every morning and still far from ready to crawl out of the covers when I do finally wake up enough to function. It is different from the 20-some years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, because then sleep was never restorative then, but that doesn't change the fact that I just can't get rested now.

We are all better enough from our colds, that we tried to go to the gym again yesterday morning, after a couple weeks away. My parents and I only did half of normal, but I was so worn out that we stopped for fast food on the way home (I couldn't imagine trying to make sandwiches when we got home) and I went to bed and slept nearly 3 hours, when we got in the door! I was supposed to have a counseling appointment yesterday, but it would have been impossible, so I'm very thankful that it already got canceled on Monday. I was still dragging when I am back got back up yesterday afternoon and basically had to just instruct the kids, then leave them on their own to hope to get any school work done. We had boxed Mac and Cheese for dinner with a little tuna mixed in, because that's about how creative I felt.

I'm thinking a small part of the current fatigue may be mental, in addition to physical. I am trying a new phase with The Listening Program and I am playing games on both brain HQ and Luminosity this week, trying to choose which program will best meet my needs. (I'm currently leaning toward Brain HQ, though both look good and I am open to input.) Interestingly, all these brain training programs fall under the umbrella of "speech therapy."

If I play the mental games very long, I do get a dull headache on the left side of my brain, so I know we are doing something to re-wire and build new connections there! On Brain HQ, I was playing some games and felt like I was going really fast and quite accurate. It was frustrating to find I was only scoring 1 or 2 stars, out of 5, in the 20-somethingth percentile. :( I did feel better when, on one (out of a LOT of low scores) I kept getting 5 stars and scoring around the 98% average of all player scores. Must have been working a part of my brain that wasn't really impacted by the strokes??? There is one game that I am so sure of my answers, but am told I answer exactly backwards pretty much EVERY time.

Today I have my endocrinology appointment where we will hopefully be able to start tracking down several answers (thyroid maybe?). Haven't yet decided what to do tomorrow to make Valentine's Day fun for our kids. My hubby and I are having our date on Friday, and celebrating our 20 and 1/2 year anniversary at the same time. :) (Rick, I just found out it is National Jell-o Week? Shall I make some to commemorate my first major cooking flop?)

Here's a funny I saw last night on Facebook:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. - Philippians 1:9-11

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