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. Jenni remained hospitalized until 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. 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 equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

31 Months.

Tomorrow will be 2 years, 7 months. I'm posting a day early due to the Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to all who serve, served, those lost, and to all of your family members!


Today I got a trike! We just went and paid for it. It is in my parents' garage for the weekend and we plan for my son and hubby to get it to bring it home on Monday. It is custom built (think chopper, only with bicycle parts), motorized (to my surprise, no peddles) and a mostly burgundy with a little red and silver on the frame. It looks kind of old and a little beat up, but runs great! It goes pretty fast and will take me a while to learn to ride even just on low, but braking will be great therapy as the hand pull break is only on my weaker, left, most-stroked hand. Just sitting up straight (it isn't low like your Kendra, because I couldn't get myself up and down to get in and out, it is upright like a regular bike) on the seat is going to build muscles and be great stroke therapy! No pictures yet, but once I get it home I will post.
 


 
Trying to manage about 21 medical and therapy appointments (between my daughter and me, at LEAST 4 therapy appointments each week, 2 apiece, plus several other appointments) as well as a bunch of phone calls, a couple of functions, a few school-related events, and doing my part in helping prepare two family members for international travel, all within the few weeks while my parents (regular drivers) are out of town has been very taxing brain/mental therapy, but I think I am actually doing a pretty good job managing it all with lots of lists and files and my computer and tablet. I couldn't even have fathomed this last summer. Thank you all for the large team of fill in drivers who have so generously stepped in!!! I think I only have two appointments yet to cover in the next few weeks. You guys are AMAZING!


A couple of things I have been thinking about lately. The first is the handicapped bathroom stall, Kendra. Three times in the last few weeks I've walked into public restrooms to find several regular stalls wide open but all handicapped units taken. Now I am no longer often in a chair (for longer trips, yes, but I am mobile enough to walk a bit without one), but I am still quite dependent on grab bars next to a toilet even if I don't require so much room now, and that typically only comes in the big bathrooms. I understand that some illnesses are invisible and some people I would never guess to need handicapped equipped restrooms actually do, I understand what it is like to be a mom of young children and need to be able to still supervise them even in the restroom, I know that the large stalls are the only places that have diaper changing stations. I understand all these factors. But it is frustrating when a very healthy looking 12-year-old comes literally skipping out of the only stall I can use just because she wanted more space! And it is also really nasty when someone has been "hovering" over a potty, gets it all wet because they don't want to sit, then doesn't even bother to wipe up the mess. News flash: I HAVE to sit there. Hovering is not an option! If you don't wipe up after yourself, I have to. :( OK, rabbit trail over...

 

The other thing I've been thinking about is hand writing. Transcribing much of our daughter's homework for several weeks of a broken wrist, has actually proven to be the best hand therapy. I would actually say my writing even look good now, almost pre-stroke quality. This is HUGE, just since the start of the new year, really the last few weeks. When I wrote thank you notes in January, my 8-year-old's note were still neater than mine. When I started transcribing homework in April, my handwriting was only slightly more readable than our daughter's non-dominant hand. Last week, I wrote out two checks and three short notes and felt they were al really nice. But then I tried to sign my name to a group card after 45 minutes of water therapy and could hardly even read my own writing! So fatigue is a HUGE factor in my fine motor abilities now, it would seem.


It has been a rather encouraging week. Several friends from water therapy said my recent gains are really visible and they just can't believe my improvements. My water therapy teacher marveled at the brain's power to heal and said she never would have believed I would have ever come so far. My mother-in-law has commented on my "sharpness" a couple of times lately, when I came up with workable solutions to problems before anyone else could. A stranger saw me walking with a cane and wanted to know if I was recovering from back surgery. That question used to always be if I had been in a recent auto accident, but it has been quite a while now since anyone asked that (unless they see me walking with my daughter, her two casts and her wheelchair)! I visited with a friend in the hospital today and actually put my cane down and was able to help with lifting her to sit upright in bed (OK, she fell back into the soft bed once) and she commented on how strong I've become. (She had visited me in the hospital and remembers when I couldn't sit up on my own either!) And I could even manage my trike this afternoon on a test drive, when my goal in picking it up today had been not even to move the thing yet, but just work on learning to sit upright on the seat today!

 
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." - 1 John 3:16

3 comments:

  1. So glad you were able to get the trike. Praying for all of your appointments. I love you.

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  2. 1- I can't wait to see pics of the bike
    2-potties....don't get me started...

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  3. Visiting from Kendra's blog - Hi to you both! :)

    I'm thankful for your recovery and that you have kept the faith through this all. I know only from reading Kendra's blog what you're going through.

    The picture about God working in the desert reminded me of something my husband once said while preaching. "If there was only sunshine, our lives would be a desert." I know we need rain, and I accept that, but when I watch dear sisters suffer as you and Kendra have, I have to admit, I still don't understand the Lord's ways at times. So, I choose to believe that He is working in our lives in ways we don't see or understand.

    May you continue to heal and grow and bless others with your courage along this road. And may you always find an open potty. :)

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