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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Counting the Costs

I've been thinking about the silly parts of financial cost of stroke that I've never heard anyone talk about. These are things that certainly wouldn't be tallied up when it comes to medical expense estimations, but a reality none-the-less, directly because of the strokes.

For example, by not being able to carry a purse with my left hand or on my left shoulder, and having my right hand already full with the cane, and needing to carry things like my handicapped parking placard (long and skinny, very odd size) while keeping overall weight quite low and centered against my body due to balance issues, it took me MONTHS (probably well over a year) and over $200 (more than a dozen different purse and fanny pack type options) to find the one $10 WalMart purse that fit all my needs (long handle slings over my torso, bag is wide enough to carry what I need, small and accessible enough to use easily, and can be centered on my body well)! If I had known to just start there, we would have saved time, money and frustration, but the purse was something I never considered as an after stroke issue! I'm thankful that we finally did find a workable (and much more adorable than several I tried!) option. :)

And shoes! Don't get me started there! Suffice it to say that I gave away two full brown bags of shoes after my strokes. I have enough workable ones now, in enough colors and styles to pretty well outfit me for any needs, but it has been a slow growing of that collection and many trials and errors along the way so that even many of my post-stroke purchases there are non-useable for various unseen reasons (usually that I kick them right off my feet or can't walk in them for more than a few minutes). If I get an AFO (one of my old physical therapists says he wants a chance to try to work with me again, if hopes of avoiding that outcome), we would have to start all over with shoes again then. (Kendra, do you still have your boot link handy? The ones that work with your AFO? I still need to get that added to our resource list if you do.)

Therapy equipment and various adaptive devices. So much has been needed, but as my needs have (thankfully) changed, some sits collecting dust now, while others are still in use but seem like there should have been better uses for the money. Glad to no longer be so dependent on some items, but still, much of that cost was over-the-counter, out-of-pocket, as each need was addressed, so is rather mind-boggling to start to add up. Crazy to think something that was so vital for a season can't even be put to good use now!

Then there are the little lifestyle weird things like when my son rips his pants. It used to be that I would just mend them. Now, I give to my mom to see if she can fix or get a ride to the thrift store and just buy a replacement.

Or loosing my driver's license. To originally loose it then get it reinstated, left the state about $130 richer. I get to go through all of this all over again thanks to some paperwork issues that mean I again have to relinquish my license sometime this month! Hopefully I won't have to pay to turn it in this time as I will try to get them to re-validate my state identification card from last time so won't have to pay for a new one of those.

Convenience foods and take out. I'm managing about three (sometimes 4) solid main dishes I manage to prepare most weeks. This includes sticking pre-made casseroles from the freezer in the oven, dumping together a crock pot, thawing or preparing meat for Rick to put on the grill once he gets home from work, or what have you. The rest usually falls to Rick. For him this means stocking the pantry with convenience things I might manage well and picking up dinner on the way home pretty often. Stroke certainly impact food budgets!

New meaning to the statement, "I can't afford to get sick!" No one warned us that a stroke would be so expensive on so very many, every day and unforeseen levels. OK, God, it surprises us, but not you. Thank you for carrying us these past two years and thank you for your planned provision for each step of this journey. If we take time to focus on the individual, it gets overwhelming, downright scary pretty quickly, so please keep us focused on you, so that we can tell of the marvelous ways you meet our every need.

Thanks for your prayers about my kidney stones. So far, I'm just really run down feeling, likely from the antibiotics this past week, and I can't really eat, but surprising little pain, just a twinge here and there and often a rather mild low back ache, thus far. I'm sniffy and congested again this morning, so while I'm finally free of that last cold (lasted about a month or so), I may be fighting a new one but am fighting hard to try to keep this one at bay! Still not sure what is going to happen about foot surgery planned for later this month???

I usually can't cry now, even when I need to (sure wasn't true that first year when I was a blubbering mess pretty much ALL. THE. TIME!) but I woke up teary this morning, it is chilly and overcast (usually weather I love) and I just feel gloomy and tearful this morning for no good reason. But without Rick in the room, the tears simply WILL NOT turn back on to offer me a little release. How I wish I could still express valid emotions sanely! *sigh*

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 
Psalm 50:10
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

1 comment:

  1. I realized how expensive it is to be handicapped....especially young and handicapped....I guess young people aren't supposed to be handicapped and have kids.