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, March 13, 2014

Announcements


I posted to Facebook yesterday, "I think the cure makes me feel worse than the original illnesses did! I am so very exhausted (like a bad ME/CFS flair week) and my balance is unusually horrid, but thankfully no disastrous falls so far! These symptoms didn't start until after I was taking my antibiotic, but at least the congestion is doing MUCH better and my cough nearly totally gone now!"

This thing is really taking the starch out of me, but my sniffles are getting much better!

Oh, Kendra, I finally found what we've been looking for:
So easy! And in my mind I would think, logically, the more skin I have, the more I should be able to claim this title! :)
Even with the extra dizziness, imbalance and fatigue, I'm excited to share 2 new post-stroke "firsts" with you from Tuesday (when the strange, extra symptoms were just first starting to come on, but not full blown yet).

The first thing I did was to strip all the sheets off my bed, by myself, without falling over in the process (big deal, because even just pulling up the sheets and blankets to try to make my bed in the mornings is such a herculean task that it usually doesn't happen!) and rolled from the head of the bed to the foot to "burp" (push excess air out of) our waterbed! This is the first time I have had the strength, mobility and stability to make that roll. Not bad for someone who could not even turn off her back or roll over in bed at all for many months. (Maybe that counts as too different achievements, but since the sheets were already half pulled out when I started, I didn't really count that as a major first. The bed "burping" was indeed though!) If what I call "unusually dizzy" now is when I actually first accomplished this goal, that gives a little perspective as to how unbearably dizzy I used to be, when even the slightest turn of my head would make me want to throw up. Praise God for the healing He continues to bring in this area!

The second, still pretty unbelievable to me, is that, while the whole bed project took well over 2 hours, and I was sweating up a storm by the end, I managed to totally change our sheets by myself as well. Maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you have never tried to change waterbed sheets, it involves a LOT of physical strength and dexterity, was a challenge even before the strokes. The most physically demanding part involves bending over each corner of the bed and reaching down to lug up that awkward, heavy corner of this giant sack of water, with one hand, while quickly maneuvering a fabric pocket at that corner of she sheet, down under the edge of the mattress to hold it in place. (Why do we still have a waterbed, if they can be so much trouble then? The comfort for sleeping, especially for me since the strokes is your answer!) I have attempted this corner thing over and over, but my left (primary stroked) arm simply did not have the strength nor dexterity to accomplish either part of this task.

On Tuesday I had the time and determination and had regained enough strength and function that I was not giving up until I finally conquered changing my own sheets. I must have reworked those silly corners of the bed dozens of times before they stayed put. I tried sitting on the floor, reaching up and over the edge of the bed, kneeling on the floor, so I was pretty stable but taller, sitting on the edge of the bed, you name it. My side of the bed, where I lifter the corners with my right hand and worked the sheet with my left was much more successful than Rick's side of the bed because that whole lifting/strength thing is still not quite there (my side is still staying put, both Rick's corner popped out as soon as he got in bed that night so he had to get up and redo them before he could sleep). But well after 2 1/2 hours, I could stand back, look at the bed with fresh pillow case changes and all, say "I did that!" then take a shower and crawl into that bed. The water bed hasn't felt SO good on my sore, strained, exhausted back muscles as it did that night! But I did have to get up and take pain meds yesterday morning!


Besides my bed, the rest of my poor house looks like it has been sick this week too. You know that law of physics about everything naturally going from order to disorder? Let me tell you, that law is very predictable and results are often lightening-fast! I'm so very thankful that Kathy will be here to help reverse my "house flu" today!



I would so love to invite you over to one of my other blogs, Harvesting Hope from Heartache, today, to join my friend Diane and I as we laugh her new blog series on the names of God today. Today's is very personal to me, so I'm thrilled to get to share it as she kicks off her newest project this morning!
The Lord is My Banner.

6 comments:

  1. Thanku for sharing Jenni as I am also a fellow brain stroke, hemorhhage, surgery and post ccm person. I still have those days too, where it is like all my symptoms return! I am contstantly exhausted and know what u r going through. My biggest challanges are fatigue and my weak legs. God Bless your journey, love reading this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. My strokes, hemorrhages from my malformation were in 2010. Although i have improved a lot, I have a lot of challanging days. You are inspiring, thanku again for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. You got that right! It has often taken her mom and I and all our strength to accomplish that feat. Way to go, Jenni! Kathy

      Delete
  4. Another inspiring post, bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I admire your determination. You are such an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete