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, February 3, 2014

Pep Talk

You guys did it! Your votes made me a finalist in my category at WEGO Health!! Thank you! Out of about 770 health activists (at the time I filled out my profile, probably more added after that), we ranked within the top 3 of all new-this-year to activism nominees. Final award selection announced on the evening of March 20. :) But this was a really great surprise in my inbox today and it is all because of your votes. Thank you!

My mom has been seeing it for a few weeks now, but I was hoping it was just a little bump in the road and would pass. This morning I was so down (was really low a couple weeks ago, then did a little better for a few days, not feel myself slip-sliding again) that I finally had to admit to myself that depression is trying to overtake me again.

I recently figured out that even when I first started antidepressant last year, I misread the instructions and was only taking half of what was prescribed. When that wasn't helping and my doctor doubled my dose (still frequently referencing my "such a low dose"), I was still only taking half of what was prescribed, so really now at what my original start dose was to have been. That actually made a profound difference for quite a while, but while I would rather be moving downward in dosing again, I'm realizing this current level just might need a little bump upward. I'll talk to my counselor next week and get her input.

So I had a funny/weird dream last week that I was back in my jr. high band room (why did I grow up but none of my classmates?) and trying to explain brain injury to my 7th grade best friend. Then the conductor invited me up to come talk to the whole band (I'm sure this part was a take-off on my real life experience of explaining stroke to my son's second grade classroom last week). I demonstrated to the band students in my dream how much I had to relearn on the flute. That was about the sum of it, but very realistic!


Speaking of flute, I had a hard talking to with myself this morning. Basically I told myself to "Get over it! Bemoaning what I no longer have does nothing to bring it back!" I was pretty harsh and firm. Now, please, don't you go talking to me like that, or I'll likely crumble, but sometimes I can get away with a little kick in the pant to myself and need to shake myself out of a pity party. Maybe I just needed that re-evaluation. We'll see what the next days bring, if I still need to think about upping my drugs or not. I know that depression is not something that can just be snapped out of, I'm just hoping an attitude adjustment, in addition to my current meds, I can pull through this without further medication. Here's what the flute lecture yielded (and about 10-15 more minutes not on tape, I can't go longer than that yet either, Kendra.):

Flute, day 14
So my nail applications really seem to be holding up well. The right side (applied by my left, more greatly stroked hand) were a concern at first because I couldn't seem to get the vinyl trimmed down to match my natural nail length nor could I seem to apply enough pressure to bond them solidly to the nails. Eventually, switching from scissors to nail clippers (tricky to navigate with my left hand, but I eventually managed), allowed me trip properly trim and shape the appliques so they didn't snag out beyond my natural nails. I think this "cold" application method would work a little better for my needs, in the future, as far as getting the bond I need. :) Now that I have the nails trimmed up better, the right hand (that does double duty for me in housework) is showing the slightest bit of wear at the tips (to be expected) but is holding up really well. You created a new fan, Kendra. These seem to protect and stabilize my nails, look pretty, and, though it takes time, I can do Jamberries by myself! :)
As of today:
Right hand.
Left hand
I attempted a pot pie for tonight's dinner. Everything in it came out of a can, a box, a bag, the fridge, pantry or freezer. I would rather it have been truly homemade, but baby steps, I guess. I decided I could forego the holes to be cut into the top crust, since I managed to rip quite a few into it as I put it together. Here it is just before going into the oven:
Someday I will make something that doesn't look like preschool artwork, but for now trying to concentrate on the victory that I did it myself! Sure hope it taste good.

Jumping, day 79 of 100
Please keep two friends in your prayers. Jonnie, one of the gals who recently had brain surgery, has been having a bad spinal headache and leaking spinal fluid for a couple days now. She is on new medication to address the leak, but may be looking at travel for an emergency secondary surgery to address this issue later this week if thing do not resolve on their own.
My second friend, my dear Bible study partner, who has blessed me by telling me I can hold her daughter when she's born, is currently in the hospital, about two months early, with serious contractions. Having spent much of my adult life working with families through pregnancy/infant loss and seeing the realities of a NICU about as first hand as one can without living the journey myself, I am not at all happy with this current reality. Please pray!

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.


  1. praying for your friends, and for you. congrats on being a finalist, love you.

  2. Your pot pie looks good to me!

  3. Jenni - what great news about being a finalist at WEGO health.

    I enjoyed reading your other news - help being obtained with the meds and also your accomplishments with "pot pie" and working at that flute with such lovely fingernails, too.

    You continue to inspire me and encourage me!
    Love, Lynn