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.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Week in Review

For my family...
If you have been following this blog very long, you are aware of my recent WEGO Heath Activist nomination. Here is a celebration video I recorded yesterday morning. :)
I had my MRI yesterday. Only 3 pokes to get the IV started! He got the vein each try, but after all that potassium and so many collapsed veins in the hospital, twice my veins just couldn't withstand the IV push and one outright "popped" (nice swollen bruise growing on the back of my hand, though not nearly as bad as I expected it would be when I felt it explode) while the second simply collapsed after getting it started. By the third try, Steven just put a little catheter in right from the get-go so the vein would withstand the contrast injection. Glad there are no more plans for pokes for a bit now.

For my strokie friends and other who get claustrophobic with these tests, I wanted to pass along my coping technique. Do you have other ideas to share? I just close my eyes before they ever move the tube, keep them closed the whole time, they pray/meditate in the tube, breath deeply of the cool air blowing in your face, and imagine yourself in a (noisy!) big, wide open field of wild flowers!

I got a really bad migraine on just the left side of my head, that started while I was in the (LOUD) tube (before they ever started my IV or injected dye), but thankfully it was quite short-lived, maybe 2 hours from start to finish. My cheeks also flushed really red and hot while I was in the super magnet (I think only post IV, but I could not swear to that) and stayed that way the rest of the day, so I wonder if I might have experienced a very slight reaction to the iodine injection as I don't ever recall experiencing anything like this with contrast before. I'll try to remember to mention this to my doctor.
So yes, I really am asking for shares! (OK, I'll take lots of hugs too, if you insist.) If you could please pass around this blog address and help people find me, I'm really working hard to expand my audience before I start presenting book proposals to publishes again, so it would help me a ton if you click on the blue "Join This Site" button (Google Friend Connect) on the right side bar, to the top, just under the "Flyby Promotions" logo. Thanks! You might even win these earrings (pictured below) if you join my membership drive contest this week. :)
Before the MRI, my dear Kathy came over to help with the house all morning and into the afternoon again. We made great progress and reclaimed two areas of the house that have been virtually untouched (other than to keep piling greater collections of "stuff" there) since my strokes. That felt SO good!!!
For Kathy. ;)
Another thing that felt really good this week was a small victory in my impulse spending department, where I actually took the time to talk through a desired purchase with Rick before whipping out a credit card or pushing "confirm order" in my shopping cart. In the end we did decide, together, that this was a wise and worthwhile purchase and it all worked out even better than I had originally anticipated, but I'm rather giddy over the simple fact that I didn't rush into this decision without talking it through with my husband first. Baby step for me, but it is a step. Thank you, Lord!

Mom and I made it to the gym for the second time this week (after 4 months not) and I am tired and sore but glad we did it. This instructor does a lot more balance work than the Monday instructor (much harder for me to attempt and many things I simply cannot do), so I'm glad we have a class with each lady as I get a much bigger brain challenge on Friday but still work my muscles on Mondays, but let my brain de-stress a little more then too.

I still "pocket" food in the sides of my mouth. Not quite as badly as I used to, and I typically manage to "sweep" my tongue or figure more effectively and discreetly than I did at first. Today I ate a salad for lunch (and was reflecting on how very amazing that simple act is for me, since this was the last food I was cleared to eat by speech therapy who deals with all mouth and vocal issues, including swallowing and controlling choking) and swept my tongue around my teeth only to discover an entire cashew half, un-chewed and pocketed in my right (less stroke impacted) cheek. Wow! I never even felt that sitting there, and this was my "good" side of my mouth!!!

I did manage to plan (with my mom's input) and cook 4 (well, as of tonight, it will be 4 and tonight's is in the oven right now) out of 5 simple dinners this week. The fifth, Rick had to suggest, but I managed to take it out of the package, dump in a bowl and microwave what he bought. No fast food this week, not once! I think this is a record for our family since we fully took over providing our own meals again. (And, once again, huge thanks to everyone who pitched in to feed my family that first year; work, church, family, friends, even a few relative strangers!) I even already have food items and a meal plan for most of next week already! Weekends are rather casual, fend-for-yourself days around here with typically at least one meal out over the weekend (was rather this way even before my strokes), so we are looking at the potential of two weeks in a row of true self-sufficiency!

1 Peter 1:13
[ Be Holy ] Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.


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