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...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

RollerCoaster of Highs and Lows

After my best day since the strokes, last week, I'm afraid the next couple of days were pretty hard as I crashed down to reality from that high. By Sunday night, I cried for about 4 hours straight and still had several misty moments on Monday too. The tears started while watching the movie "UP" (so cute, and always used to get me crying, but I haven't watched since the strokes, I guess - by the way, you would think I would have been prepared that a movie named UP would have a lot of heights in it, but my stomach still dropped out on me several times with this post-stroke heights fear). It is an encouraging sign that I actually was able to tear at something that would have made me cry before the strokes, but it was so frustrating that once those tears started, they not only would not stop but just grew more and more intense. :(

One thing I didn't even realize I was overly anxious about until I heard it come tumbling out of my mouth Sunday night, is that I had to get another CT, with an IV and contrast, early this past Tuesday morning. I had been pretty OK with the idea until it was discovered last Friday that the contrast would cause problems with one of my medications and could land me in kidney failure. Suddenly, a routine test turned into a flurry of phone calls, paper-work craziness, fasting blood work, and some days without one of my meds that leave me feeling a little head-achy and off kilter.

Of course, since I was already worked up anyway, there was much more to my implosion that came spurting out of my mouth, the church music situation, decisions Rick and I need to make, general frustration over things in our lives that will never be the same as before, expectations and disappointments we are trying to realistically work through, and on and on. I guess the medical side of things was just the underlying issue that most caught us off guard.

The test itself went pretty well Tuesday morning (other than multiple IV attempts that chewed up my arms pretty well and took longer than my half-hour scan) and preliminary results indicate that I have no need to even come in again and get the more detailed results until my next scheduled appointment in July! I'm re-scheduled (had been originally planned for last Friday) for a contrast MRI next Thursday, so only one more to get through in the near future. Hopefully this one won't be a PTSD trigger! Today I need to call my doctor's office back about what blood work I need to have between now and then, again after that test, when and how I deal with medication in the meantime, and when I should restart it.

I'm trying to cut back on computer hours and working hard to make my family, home and current book bigger priorities in my life. I think Kathy, Rick and my Mom have all really been pointing me in the right direction as far as caring for our house better. My mom and I are working on meal planning together (a huge source of daily stress for me) and my counselor has given me some good tips for trying to manage it all better too. I feel like we are moving forward again. If you don't see me here as much, it is because I'm working hard on reclaiming some off-line areas in  my life.

Do NOT let ANY unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but ONLY what is HELPFUL for BUILDING others UP according to THEIR NEEDS that it may BENEFIT THOSE who listen. EPH 4:29  (Thanks, Carissa, for your emphasis)


  1. Oh sweet friend, the challenges we face! They seem so small to most but are mountains that look impossible to us!

  2. Praying for you, and truly understanding. I love you.