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...

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Winner Is...

The winner of my membership drive earring give away is new subscriber, Rayray Cartucci. Rayray, please give me some way to contact you (does anyone know how to flag her or get in touch directly through Google - I thought I did but now can't figure out how!) or get it touch with me by this Thursday night so I may get your mailing address. Otherwise I will draw a new winner on Friday morning. :) Thank you all for stepping in to help raise my blog numbers my nearly 20 new subscriptions over this past week! If you missed my giveaway drawing, I would still be blessed in you click on the little blue, Google friend connect, "Add this Site" button and join my membership rolls (high numbers will look better to potential publishers when they visit this page) toward the top of my right hand side bar.


Three incredible posts I have read this past week are Lost & Found: What Brain Injury Survivors Want You to Know, Why Jesus Wept, and Looking Forward, Joanne's thoughts just over 3 years post-stroke. Also A Dangerous Assumption About God's Will and 5 Churchy Phrases... were also really good.


So I learned two things about my body, today at the gym. One, I slouch. I knew this to be true when I sit, due to lack of muscles that give me good posture, but my gym instructor was noting that I even walk a little hunched over and was giving me suggestions to strengthen and elongate my spine. The other is that I still don't have much control over my left foot. I often struggle just to get it to touch down on the bottom of the pool, in conjunction with my right foot. Today, I was forcing and frequently getting a touch, when M. pointed out that it usually touched town quite sideways, toes turned way out from my body. She had me stop working my arms so I could really concentrate on just my footing when I worked my legs. Later she had me concentrate on exactly where I was putting my body, without looking. That was HARD and slow, but I eventually got a few repetitions correct! :) We also did some balance work (not pretty!) and some arm work (it is amazing how much more control over and precision of my arm, I have under the water compared to just raising it barely above the surface!) today.

 
Speaking of the gym, I am so very excited that my mom and I get to go out to lunch with my brain injury pool buddy, G., a week from Friday, after class. It is just such a blessing, such a unique level of mutual understanding, a very special bond, from someone else who "lives here" and cheers me on each week. This is the same friend who encourages me with how well I am doing with swimming and using both arms now. I told her the incentive of not drowning gives me more motivation to use that arm than anything else I do with it! ;) I also got a sweet email from another post-stroke lady in the class (several years ahead of me, and you would never guess today what she has been through) when Mom and I were out for several months with our kidney stones and surgeries.
 
 
I'm making really good progress on my next book right now, thanks to several friends and challenges, including an incredible offer from a long-time editing friend, Jill. Thank you for your prayers. I can not adequately express how much these are so important and meaningful to me!
 
 
I'm really loving writing and research. Right now I'm quite taken in the similarities and differences between "kindness" and "goodness" in the fruit of the Spirit. I'm so eager and excited to share what I'm learning. I would think that all this research would be quite good for the brain too. I'm feeling quite forgetful these days (like forgetting to tell my husband things for days on end, or knowing what I want to say, then totally forgetting my point before I can even get one sentence out) so I'm praying this mental activity might also sharpen my short term memory. It is quite interesting, trying to type when I can't recall specific words or the concepts I've been pondering.
 
 
I have a calendar (thank Michelle!) based on Barbara Johnson's book, Daily Splashes of Joy. I loved one of the little quotes this week, "The soul would have no rainbows if the eyes had no tears."
 
We didn't win the recumbent bicycle I asked you to enter to try to win on my behalf last month. If God wants me to have a trike, I know He will provide. Just keeping you updated. :) 
 
 

4 comments:

  1. Hey,I just messaged you back on google but if you didn't get it...here is my email addy.
    rachelcartucci@gmail.com

    I am totally excited. I wanted those earrings so bad...they are really pretty!!!! THANK YOU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So thrilled for you, Rachel. Will mail as soon as I can get a ride to the post office. :)

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Love you too, prayer warrior, beloved friend! <3

      Delete