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...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Busy Week!

It is March, and time marches on. Next month Kendra hits her one-year mark!

The past several days I have been pretty quiet. Even my email pals will attest to my "funk" for about a week, when I hardly would answer emails at all.

For some reason (hormones?) the 16-month mark hit me particularly hard. I can't even say exactly why, as it isn't a particularly notable landmark. I think the realization of it all just overwhelms me sometimes, that I am to remain in this world, without being of it, and without even being "normal" (whatever that is) while I'm here.

Recovery has dramatically slowed and there are few areas of notable progress now (though I did well on my first attempt on a slow treadmill at therapy this week). We have dropped occupational therapy due to ongoing lack of advancement there. I guess the reality that I have likely about maxed out is hitting hard. I met a lady 10-years post-stroke this week and she is only a little better off than I am right now. Pain levels are becoming progressively more intense too, so I think that attributed to my cocooning myself, relationally.


I had a bone density study yesterday. The literature said it was a "painless" test. Because of my strokes I am ataxic and absolutely cannot hold still, so after 3 tries to get a readable (not great, but semi-usable) arm x-ray, the tech decided to Velcro my left leg in place to take my hip picture. I was only held still about 2 minutes, but it was excruciating! I really hadn't noticed a ton of pain in my leg before (foot yes, but leg much milder than upper body), but I discovered yesterday this is only because I am constantly moving my leg a little. Holding it totally still is torture! CPS (see introduction, above) is going to be very high on my priority list next time I talk with my neurologist!

I am still waiting for news about if insurance will cover my endocrinology testing or not (the difference between continuing with this doctor or not). I have been praying, asking God to clearly open or close doors in this area. Yesterday, before I had my bone scans, I gave some vials of blood first (Only 4 pokes! Sadly, the vein that finally decided to give was the one attempt on my sore side. Oh well.) at an office upstairs in the same building, from my doctor. One of the nurses and a tech from my doctor's office were actually the ones called upstairs to get my blood samples, just before my scheduled scans. The nurse got to know me and my story, so when I went down a floor and had to talk with someone about all those scheduled tests I am still trying to get information about, guess who I got to talk to? Whatever answer comes back, I now feel I have been listened to, treated with attention, and have done absolutely everything in my power to resolve issues. I might be disappointed with the end results, but I can have peace.  

For a week with only one scheduled doctor's appointment at the start of the week, it has turned out to be plenty hectic! When looking at my schedule last week, I wasn't factoring in any non-doctor appointments (like counseling,  a couple of times at therapy, that long blood draw, my hubby being out of town for several days, all the responsibilities of getting a child to and from school way across town, without being able to drive (Thanks Mom and Dad to the rescue!), a parent/teacher meeting to attend, etc.) 

As it turned out, I was only home with my kids two (mostly) full days all week! And, save being a "single mom," this was a "lighter" than normal week! It is hard to get school accomplished with the younger two this way, but thankfully my Dad takes my lesson plans and carries on for me whenever I have to be gone to all these appointments. Both my kids tried to pull some stunts over on Grandpa this week, but found out deception sometimes works for a while, but ultimately isn't worth the price!

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul - 1 Peter 2:11 (KJV)

2 comments:

  1. That is a great description...in this world but not of it!

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  2. Congrats Kendra on getting to the one year mark. I pray for you as well.

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