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...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Some Days the Losses Feel Profound!

I haven't checked in since Wednesday. Not much has happened, really, but emotionally it seems there is so very much to tell that I hope I come close to remembering it all!

 
Tuesday night, I was in bed by 8 and slept until past 9 the next morning. Gradually I have had a little more energy each day and haven't even taken a nap since Thursday (even though I still need pretty long hours in bed each night).


Mom and Dad are still out of state, so even though I'm handling that really very well, that just feels weird to know they are not just down the street. I hope they are having a blast at their Super Bowl party, right up there in the heart of Sea Hawks territory, today! (I haven't killed your plant yet, Mom!) From the practical side, I'm missing Mom's wheels and more aware than ever that I can't just hop in the car and run an errand when I want to.

Jonesport, Maine

Thursday, Kathy was here (thank you, friend!) and both made my kitchen sparkle again and helped fold several loads worth of laundry. I woke up encouraged that morning because I had a good dream night on Wednesday night!


Friday I woke up from my second really good night in a row. Thank you for praying! Later that morning, my fried Katie drove me up to be a guest in my son's second grade class for a few hours. I had a blast with the kids and remember why I loved teaching so much. I hope the teacher was OK with the way I pretty much took over her class while it was my turn to share. Maybe once we get back to the gym on a regular basis, I can go volunteer in our son's class once a month or so. I know I couldn't do this on a daily basis or for an extended period of time even for a single day, but it was like rediscovering a part of who I am.


Friday night was pretty rough again, trying to make up for a couple low-key dream night in a row, I guess. Saturday I admitted to a friend that this whole retrying to return to flute playing is pretty emotional and I'm kind of loosing heart. When I first tried, over a year ago, I couldn't even get enough breath support to blow a sound through just the mouthpiece and didn't have the arm strength to hold up an assembled flute. So in contrast to that very depressing first attempt, when I was sure that ever playing again could never happen, just being able to get sound out of it, to support its weight, feels like big progress now.

 

However, pre-stroke,I was quite proficient . I had perfect pitch. I challenged up to, then held, first chair, for parts of all 3 years of formal band (we homeschooled all 4 years of high school, so I was no longer in band but played for my church on a nearly weekly basis), was in marching band, also played pichalo, lots of solos, and this was big part of my pre-stroke identity. I could fly up and down the scales and now I'm back on page 3 of my very first flute book. I can sort of finger about 3 real notes (5 training fingerings, but two aren't real notes), but I squack and sound HORRID. Makes me want to cry and honestly. I haven't even had the heart to try again in a few days now. I hoped to give it another try today, but still haven't been up to the challenge yet. Maybe tomorrow I will finally be able to transition my thoughts from "all I have lost" to what "I am determined to regain" again.


Last night, Rick prayed with me about the dream issue as we went to bed. It wasn't my best night ever, but FAR from my worst! This morning, Rick woke up with such a bad migraine he wasn't able to drive us to church, so we have had a quiet, lazy day at home today.


Less than 2 weeks (a little over a week, actually now) until my parents get home! :)


Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
 

4 comments:

  1. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, love you.

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  2. Ya just gotta keep going on this flute thing! I took mine to therapy today and speech, occupTional, and physical therapy are all excited to use it as a tool.

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  3. I agree. In time one note will become two and two will become three and so on. You may think you sound horrid, but to God it sounds beautiful. It's the sound of his precious daughter showing the determination and inner strength he gave you. He loves you,

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