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, July 26, 2013

21 Months

ooops - I typed this all up yesterday afternoon and forgot to hit the "post" button!

 
I must not be so traumatized anymore. Several times today I have been surprised by the date and realizing it is another landmark. I didn't even think about the fact that this anniversary was even imminent until I noticed the date last night. Normally it would be at the forefront of my mind for many days prior and all day the day of.

It's a slow process, but my heart is healing, slowly yet steadily healing. I recently tried cutting back on my antidepressants (well, I didn't try, I just forgot to take a dose, then when I realized it was already too late to make up) and thought all would be well, because I really am feeling SO MUCH more stable, but after just one missed dose I was a basket case by that evening, so my doctor said that was a good way to learn just how much my brain chemistry is still in need of help! Since I've truly seen what a profound difference they make for me since brain injury, I will continue on them and also continue all the healing God wants to send as well!


I went back to my ENT today. Hearing testing does show slight improvement compared with a year ago, prior to surgery, but not very much. The doctor had hoped to see much more profound impact from the surgery. He did scope down my nose and the back of my throat again (YUCK! Twice is two times too many!) and agreed with my recent oral video scope that my left vocal chord is pretty significantly shriveled but, mechanically, is working surprisingly well. There are a couple of surgical interventions we can try to improve that left chord, but I'm not interested right now. Possibly something I will be ready to readdress in the future. I hope (dependent on what we can find out about insurance this week) to be having another minor in-office surgery on my left ear, again next week, in hopes of alleviating some of a pain issue, reducing pressure and possibly slightly restoring a bit more of my hearing (and maybe balance too?).



There are a ton of annoying adds there, but an article entitled How Not To Say The Wrong Things offers some great advice, worth all the scrolling and add ignoring to get the good thought offered there. So logical, so simple, so practical, but I never thought of it quite like this before. I am going to try drawing circles the next time a friend is in crisis, being more aware of to whom I am offering or seeking my own comfort.

My birthday is next week. I'm doing a lot of contemplation over where I was a year ago, what changes and progress we have seen, where losses are becoming accepted and incorporated and what new goals I hope to attain in the newly birthed future under these current limitations.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient. They will not be overdue a single day. - Habakkuk 2:3 (Out of context, but still words that encourage me.)

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