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.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Problem of Pain

Facebook - But really I love bears. <3
I almost feel as if I am "fighting something" these past few weeks. I'm unusually tired (still nothing like full blown ME/CFS days, just unusual for me compared to prior months) and just feel slow and dull and sometimes downright stupid these last couple of weeks. I have things to do, meals to prepare, a house to clean, a book to write, emails to answer, phone calls to place and return. I feel terribly unmotivated to actually do any of it, especially the phone calls that are so terribly draining (due to mental strain, conversational fatigue, hearing loss, and still a little bit of speech struggle). I am so VERY thankful to my mom who does all our laundry care and Rick who does everything he can possibly think of to help me out.

I guess, when I really take the time to think about it, the answer is probably pain. I feel I'm in a catch-22, because if I talk about what hurts, how much it hurts, I am putting more mental focus there than I want to be. The pain wears me out, but talking about it doesn't help, so why wear others out with it too? I don't want to be thought of as a complainer. And many I would tell live with their own forms of pain already, so why add mine to their concerns. Making them aware of each day's status doesn't help anyone, so why bother.

This is me today. I feel like I must be forgetting something important!

Or maybe I already am seen as a complainer. I do mention pain a little. But what I mention and how often I say anything is so very downplayed from the mental gymnastics I battle just to manage moment by moment, that I wonder how I'm preceived by my loved ones? I wonder if they have a clue to what extent these symptoms drain me???

This week has been especially bad. Tuesday night, all my poor hubby had to do was come to bed and when he got in, the movement of the mattress was all I needed to audibly cry out in extra pain. :( Of course then there are the questions of "Why didn't you tell me?" I ask, in return, "What's the point? Why bother?" Telling doesn't change anything. This was me on Tuesday night:

My face isn't in as acute pain today, but the whole thing is still pretty touchy ever snce I had a simple ear exam on Monday afternoon. I had no idea that a little otoscope, with no extra looking / touching / digging / or other procedures, could trigger sch a nasty pain attack! (My recovery has gone well from my 3rd ear surgery, by the way, and the ENT was pleased with the visible healing of all but the nerve itself.) For my own information, I'm posting a more detailed version of the above picture because I want the reference informatio such as names of nerves. For what it's worth, my specific kind of TN is type 2, or ATN.

This morning my shoulder was acting up, the CPS pain, like a TN attack, but in my left arm and shoulder and neck and upper back. So I was one mass of pain from above my ear, through the ear, across theside of my face, down the jaw, then right on down my neck, through the shoulder and down to almost mid back on the left. I noticed these last couple days that even my right (less stroked) hand (especially thumb and forfinger) and even arm are getting rather sore and stiff too. :( Maybe I can just chalk all the extra pain up to weather changes as fall comes upon us??? I'm still quite sore now, but nothing like a few hours there this morning. I'm no longer feeling like I'm going to throw up from the pain. It's still coming in waves of sharper pain, but they each last only a few minutes now.

I tried to take a nap (a couple of times, actually) this morning. I haven't been able to sleep today because the pain was too great. When I gave up this second time I noticed that, while not doubled, my vision was pretty blurry again for several minutes. When I couldn't just shake it off, I went to the mirror and studied my eyes to be sure one wasn't crossing again. I had my good hand on the emergency beeper around my neck and was ready to push it in an instant if things didn't look right in the mirror.

Everything looked OK from the outside, so I went through all the "FAST" stroke evaluation steps (except, thankfully not needed to do T for time to call 911!) and realizing my existing deficits with face, arms and speech, didn't find anything new or concerning there either. I guess I am just having an "tagged photo" few days.

Sorry today's thought aren't more uplifting. Writing is my outlet. I don't even think very many people actually read this (thank you to anyone who does carve that time out of your lives) but I just needed to say it all today. Thanks for listening!
Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. - Job 7:11
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; - Job 13:15a


  1. You are by far not a complainer! We have something to complain about for sure!

  2. Vent all you want, I totally understand. I love you.

  3. I'm sorry you have so much pain. It is worth mentioning as people then know to pray and know what you're going through. Hugs (cyber ones that don't hurt)

  4. You are not a complainer. If it hurts, it hurts. We can pray better if we know how you are faring.