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...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Countdown




Just 9 days left until we celebrate Christmas. One day before my mom's birthday. Five days until our oldest son turns 14. (Yes, she tried to talk him in to coming out to play 4 days earlier than he did, but I guess he wanted his very own date!) I was pregnant with 4 of our 6 children (all three than survived to live birth, and Noel) on this date over various Decembers these past 19 years. Mary was, quite possibly, not terribly pregnant (at least not ready to imminently deliver) on this date over 2,000 years ago! (Scholars say Jesus was likely born in the springtime and our celebration date now was set to correlate with pagan winter holiday dates.) It seems, in our house, that December is an appropriate month to anticipate babies, The Baby.
  
 
I've been thinking on "life interrupted" recently, how our plans and God's don't always align. Consider Mary, a devote young lady, who suddenly was faced with aligning to God's will and putting her very life on the line, being disbelieved and discredited by family and friends, or rejecting God's seemingly-preposterous plan but keeping her own reputation, security and plans. Or Joseph, equally pious in careful lifestyle choices, willing to believe the highly unlikely words of an angel and sully his own name to offer protection to his beloved who now carried another's child. When I was in labor, I can just picture hospital after hospital trying to turn Rick away from giving me a place to deliver a child...wouldn't have gone over well with us, I can only imagine how Mary and Joseph must have questioned God's provision for His Son!
 
 
If you enjoy pondering all these details, I couldn't find documentation to verify the details here, though the underlying concept in very Biblical, I just don't know how accurate the cultural details in this article may be. (Anyone with supporting documentation???) But fact or just illustration, you will likely appreciate this take on Jesus, the Lamb.
 
 
So, my own most recent season of life interruption seems to, thankfully, be drawing toward conclusion. Yesterday I was physically out of bed for the first full day since surgery a week and a half ago. This meant rather upright in a recliner rather than flat in bed, but I count that as progress, especially since I pretty much managed to maintain bladder control all day. Sunday I was still in bed, but managed to get our gifts wrapped for my family to put under the tree for me (I don't wrap anymore, with only one fully usable hand, so gift boxes and bags are my friends now!)
 
 
Today I'm up and dressed, still pretty much in the recliner, but hoping to get this very last pile of Christmas clutter off the living room floor. My parents have slowly and steadily been sorting and carrying for me, but I would really like to be finished putting it out before it is time to put it all away. Tip to the wise: Don't go and have a kidney stone emergency the same day you just unpacked all your Christmas decor but haven't gotten it taken care of yet! I had a luncheon I had been invited to this morning and could have probably pushed myself to try to attend (with bladder control garments) but I think that really would have been pushing things and I would likely be paying for the choice for the next several days. But I am actually hungry, for the first time since this all started, today.
 
 
My bleeding has significantly slowed and abdominal pain comes and goes in waves now, more often gone than here now! This was really not at all what I expected from recovery of such a "simple" surgery, but I'm thankful that it is just about over with now. Between stroke paralysis, unnatural pain perception, being on blood thinners, and just that my body seems to be a slow healer anyway, my husband says he isn't at all surprised. Glad this all didn't happen a week later, mixed with birthdays and Christmas!
 
 
Oh, I forgot to mark the 14th, the day I came home from the hospital, two years ago. :)
 
 
I got through an emotional conversation (not bad, just not perfectly harmonious on ever level) with Rick without a singe tear last night! I was shaking an agitated, but never cried! This is big progress!!! Thank you for praying!
 

Watch! My Christmas Gift to You. :)
Romans 11:33-36 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways~ For who has knows the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things.”
 

 

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