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...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Personal Victory

There is a television show that will be coming out this fall. I can't tell you the name or even if I would like the show or not (probably not), but this one commercial totally cracks me up, every single time! It has Michael J. Fox and his character displays his real-life disability (MS?) and goes to serve his family dinner, with slow, deliberate, ataxic (tremor-ry, shaking) movements. While he only has the serving spoon slowly stretched about half way out to the first plate, his wife snatches it from his hand and quips something like, "This isn't the time for a personal victory. Your family is starving here!"

Let me be clear that if someone selfishly discounted my efforts like that, I would be hurt! I think the reason the commercial tickles my funny bone though (apart from my PBA very odd sense of humor) is that it highlight how ludicrous it seems to struggle with every "simple" activity, all the while trying to function in an able-bodied world. Who thinks twice about serving a dish with a spoon? I have not served dinner to my family in nearly two years now...

All this to share another personal victory this morning! I put steam rollers in my own hair! I don't know that I did a great job, but it is a first for me since the strokes! My mom has done it for me. My daughter has done it for me. But I have never done it, not one curler I don't think, for myself! I haven't had enough function of my left hand to hold anything at head level, much-less manipulate rollers! This morning I did my whole head! This used to be pretty much a daily task, pre-stroke, and even with waist-length hair I could manage my whole head in 5 minutes. Today took over half an hour to get the rollers into shoulder-length locks, but I did it myself. We'll find out the results when I take the rollers out after this post.

Quote: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” ― C.S. Lewis
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me. - from Psalm 23


  1. Rollers! That is amazing. I was excited to bend over from standing and pick up a quarter I dropped. It really is the little things!

  2. I am so proud of you, and happy for you.

  3. Good for you! It is the little things! Every bit of progress is a victory