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.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Yet More Tears

I have not felt great the past several days, I think both depression-wise and physical too. Hard to figure out even how to describe it to myself. I've been needing to post a blog update but haven't felt up to doing my jumping goal and don't know what to even say in a blog post. I feel drained an un-inspired at the moment.

Kathy was here to clean house (and visit!) on Thursday. I'm guessing she was pretty startled to see the physical decline since she was here last, just two weeks before. I honestly don't know if I just still am struggling to recover from kidney stones, if I am fighting off something, if I'm seeing why the doctors and therapists tend to say your best window for recovery is within the first 6 months to two years (and wonder if this is some weird regression that the therapist knew was likely coming, but no one really warned me about or at least that I didn't listen???), if this is payback for a few months away from the gym (I know my core muscles are all turned to mush and I'm slouching a lot these days), or some of all of the above. I just know that when I saw my neurologist on Monday, he started the appointment with my medical records before him and talked to me long and detailed about the specifics of my kidney stones, my ongoing recovery, the after effects, then looked me in the eye and said, firmly, "If I can offer you any piece of advice, it would be that whatever you do,  DON'T GET SICK because that will mess EVERYTHING up!"

I'm sleeping 10-12 hours each night AND 2-3 hours pretty much every afternoon, basically just to have the energy to mostly sit upright in a recliner. If I skimp on the length of my nap, I can't stay awake for my seven-year-old to read to me for half an hour after school! It feels much like the exhaustion of an ME/CFSIDS relapse, with the exception of a brief burst of renewed energy upon waking each morning and afternoon, whereas ME never allowed me any restorative sleep.

I also have had a particularly low tolerance for sound, noise, pain, light, and other such neuro stimulation. I'm also much more off balance the last couple weeks. First I thought it was due to my left ear being more painful, but now that pain is less intense and dizziness is still quite stepped up. Food quality seems quite important to my overall quality of energy right now too.

One of my doctors is ordering a specialty "MR study" (I'm guessing this includes and MRI and MRA, but even my regular neurologist is unclear about all that will done as my own sub-specialists is the only doctor in town that orders this specific protocol) sometime within the next few months.


I'm excited for them, but a little freaked out that my parents (my transportation) will be out of state for a few weeks for a missions trip. This, in conjunction with the whole driving question, really got me stressed and upset. I had a good cry, hugging my teddy bear hard, back in our bedroom tonight (again, without Rick - I think I record almost every time I cry, because crying not around Rick is still such a rare event and the need for tears has been building and un-satisfy-able for days!) and after a half hour of crying and praying, I feel SO much less stressed, emotionally cleared!

I did want to share an encouraging update on the church music situation. Leadership is really working with us and seeing what might be done from their end. They are still going to be trying different things and in the end, we have all agreed that they must do what they need to do to meet the community needs that God is calling them to address and we must do whatever God directs us as best for our family, but this past Sunday, when I took a preventative dose of pain medication before we went and their volume was much toned down was SO much better for me! The band has ordered some new equipment that we all pray might help the future situation too. I nearly cried in the church parking lot before we ever went in this week because I was so dreading facing this facet of the morning, then in turned out to be the best music time they have offered in many months. Praise God!!!

Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record? Psalm 56:8


  1. Tears do help....just wish I didn't cry at the drop of a hat. In that, we are opposites. I'm a hot mess.