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.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

22 Months

I'm on my new computer. Still working out learning a new system, but mostly up and running. :) Thank you, Rick. You do so very much for me!

Today I presented two, identical, back-to-back, one-hour workshops. Only 1 person came (well, 2, if you count the one second session lady who said she was there for resource gathering rather than personal need), but I think it was a productive first hour, and better one person that is open to allowing you to speak into her life, than 100 who are physically there, but not being impacted.

We had prayed that God would bring exactly who He was calling to each workshop this morning, so while the overall lack of conference turn out and my specific workshop attendance were humbling and disappointing on one level, I think the one-on-one interaction was a great way for me to break back into public speaking. I learned a couple of valuable lessons about myself and presentation this morning (specifically how a couple of thing have changed for me and need to be taken into account since the strokes, things I never could have learned without just doing a "first" to gather post-stroke experience). I felt like today was the first step in the next chapter of my life and was quite blessed both by the one lady I got to really talk with and by the conference organizer as well.

Tomorrow morning will mark 22 months since this all started. In the early weeks, even the early months, I couldn't have imagined reaching even 6 month or one year, not to begin to conceive of nearly two years now! So many changes in these past two years! And yet, I feel like I am me again, where-as, I initially thought of my pre-stroke and post-stroke selves as to entirely different people with different lives, different experiences. I referred to the woman who lived my pre-stroke years as "her," but now I am embracing the fact that I am still me and that while everything has changed, nothing really changes who I am, God's purpose in my life since the day of my creation.

Physically, even emotionally, mentally, and most assuredly spiritually, I continue to grow. I've made enough progress that I have asked both the friend who has been coming over weekly (for well over a year now!) to help me clean house, and my emotional counselor, to drop visits down to every other week now. I know I am still making progress, but the huge gains have significantly slowed, so there is little new to specifically report. Instead, if you are looking for a current update, I recapped it all fairly well a  few weeks ago.

Oh, I know the pretty big deal thing I haven't shared her yet! Double vision update! Over my right shoulder, I have been able to fully turn my head and be able to pull the twin images behind me together for a moment twice now! I still can't turn my head nearly as far to my left, and what I do see starts doubling fairly immediately to my left side, so trying to see behind me is still pretty impossible that way, but that I have been able to get my head turned so far to the right AND to achieve single vision a few times is more than incredible! This makes me hope driving might really be possible again some day?

My balance seems to be much better this week, so maybe me water instructor was right in thinking we were seeing a profound physical impact from all the emotions of the schooling changes for the kids? This week, my balance was enough improved that she could easily identify which moves still make me really dizzy and off balance, things I hadn't even identified for myself yet (I'm so used to being dizzy, I rarely even realize unless it gets REALLY bad any more) and develop some working coping strategies for more safely making related movements that don't set me world spinning nearly as much!

My shoulder is still more sore than it had been before this flair up, but has tamed down a LOT since when I last posted. My hip is also really tamed down. Thank you for the prayers!

I was facing some pretty nasty ear pain on my ear that was recently worked on, but it seems to be doing better now too. Today, we had to climb in  elevation enough on the car ride home from the conference that my mom commented that her ears her just popped. Soon afterwards my right ear popped (my left has a tube imbedded in the ear drum, so there is no need or ability to "pop" with pressure changes now) and my left jaw popped at the same time. Weirdness. I wish someone could figure out this crazy interplay of facial pain, hearing loss, mouth numbness, and jaw pain! Today was one more reason for me to think some sort of nerve involvement is impacting it all.

I went to visit J.'s teacher in the rehab hospital on Friday. She feels so is making little progress and is discouraged by the tediously slow process, but she looks great compared to what I was expecting! Please keep L in your prayers, yes for continued physical recovery, but even more for the emotional and spiritual battles she is facing and those yet before her!

I don't have my fun library of graphics built on this computer yet, so sorry today's post is so non-descript. :( In lue of my normal Bible verse, I leave you with this devotional that I played with the concepts as part of my talks today: Building An Ebeneezer (Thank you, Lisa! This is such a good line of thought!)



  1. I'm still holding out hope...I still can't walk unaided, and I still think of the pre stroke me and the post stroke me...you give me hope!