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...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lies, Broken Promises, Scrapes and Bruises


What are some lies you tell yourself? Promises to yourself you seem to perpetually break?


For me it has been a struggle since long before my strokes to keep up with email and keep my inbox cleaned out. Not long before the strokes I had my email account really cleaned up well (after letting it get really out of hand for a while), then I had the strokes. For months my eyes were much too useless to even attempt to read emails.  As I slowly ventured back into the online world, my email was so overwhelming to me that I felt pretty helpless and overwhelmed by it and eventually just deleted everything in my inbox and started fresh (so if you wrote me between late 2011 and mid/late 2012, I likely never read your note - sorry!).


I believe I have successfully cleaned out my inbox once since then. I spent an entire day working on cleaning it out again when my husband bought me this computer (a year or so ago already, I think?) but after the new computer finished syncing with all my old files, it repopulated my inbox with in excess of 9999 (that's as high as it counts, then after that just says 9999+) emails, thus invalidating an entire day's effort.


After that I became discouraged, lazy maybe, and just sort of gave up. Add to that the fact that I have only very recently re-figured out that it is even possible to delete emails without opening and reading every single one and maybe it will make more sense when I say that I have been cleaning up my email accounts this week and it is a MAJOR UNDERTAKING! I have spend hours and hours, very large chunks of time, every day since Saturday, going through email titles, one by one, because I don't want to miss anything important and moving them either to appropriate folders or mostly deleting. In my primary account, I am finally up to early October of last year and still have well over 9999 files to go! Based on how many I am adding to my trash folder per month (since late 2012), I am guessing I started with around or over 30,000 messages.

 
I'll get there, I just really want to keep this assurance to myself that I'm not going to let things get out of hand like this again! Once I am done with this purge (no wonder my email has been so slow and glitchy!), I really, really need to learn to keep my inbox cleaned out on a daily, or at least weekly, basis!


 
Remember that fall I took last Friday? By Saturday morning I couldn't put any weight on my foot at all, so I spent the day up in the recliner with my ankle on ice. Sunday I was able to go to church, spending the day in my wheelchair. Monday I was able to get around the house with my heavy-duty walker. Yesterday the swelling was finally down enough to get my foot jammed into my boots and I was able to get out and do a couple errands with my mom and my cane, but had to elevate my feet again as soon as I got home, then was pretty well down in my chair for the rest of the day. Today things are still rather tender and I hobble much more than my stroke normal, but I think I am walking rather well. I'll be putting my boots back on here in a bit to go with my mom to pick our youngest up from school.


This is like TMI for some readers, but one of the things we did yesterday was really a BIG deal for me, bra measuring and fitting. I found a style with front closure that has a twist and slide mechanism I can handle myself, rather than the traditional hood and eye fastener. It also has a racer-back design so the straps stay up even with my sublexed shoulder. If any of my strokie lady friends need details, my StrokieGal@gmail.com account is actually all clean and orderly, so I would be happy to pass along my newfound information if you contact me privately with your questions. The sweet gal who helped me could tell how much of a life-changing victory it is for me to now have properly fitter undergarments I can do all by myself. This landmark was just shy of 2 1/2 years in the making!

 

I am doing much better than I was over the weekend, but am still sporting some pretty good scrapes, bruises and sore muscles from the fall! I didn't take any pictures until this afternoon and enough swelling/bruising has gone down now that these pictures really don't do my injuries justice, but here are a couple fairly visible reminders of my biggest fall yet. My right arm is bruised from shoulder to elbow and right knee managed to acquire pretty good road rash even through jeans. My arm just looks super "dirty" like I haven't washed it, but feels like it should look all green and purple and really nasty! Have I mentioned how TERRIBLY thankful I am that I didn't hit my head, that no bones were broken and that the ankle that could still bear weight was my right (less stroked) ankle, since I have already learned to do so much with that leg to compensate when the other won't cooperate and I would have been in BAD shape if it were the right foot that went totally out of commission as I doubt I would be able to do much just with the very weak left!


Not doing any crawling until this sore heals enough to stop splitting open and I can stand to kneel. Also won't be back to water aerobics until my ankle gets a little stronger! My balance still seems kind of wonky too. Since being overly tired seemed to start this whole mess, I don't want to push myself to get back to everything too soon. It feels like, if it is not one thing, it is another, trying to sidetrack me from ongoing therapy and recovery. Grrr. (Glenda, I miss you at the pool!)

 
 

2 comments:

  1. I love you, and am so proud of everything you accomplish. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Putting a bra on after a stroke when you can only use one hand is so tricky! Especially one that does up at the back with a hook and eye. The OT showed me a way of doing it and I almost strangled myself! So finally, through much perseverence and frustration that they were invented in the first place i devised my own way of doing it myself. But a front closure one sounds wonderful.

    I hope and pray that you will recover soon from your fall and thankful too that it didn't cause more damage.

    ReplyDelete