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.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Advice from One Chiropractor to Another

Sometimes the kindest thing a person can do is NOT treat you even if you are begging for help and think them uncaring at the time! "Sometimes the best medical care is no care at all. Not rendering a therapy of any type seems to be against everything we were taught. It is our human nature to render something substantial to help. The inner salesperson kicks into mode whether subconsciously or not and without avaricious intent to render a substantial service.
This physician’s most enlightening moment of their life will be to say NO this type of medical treatment is not for you and to refer out to another medical specialist. Not only will the patient and family embrace you, but the whole community will know and respect you for your decision.
We as clinical physicians are so wrapped up in schools and seminars, which teach us to treat and how to treat. This article intends to have the treating physician rendering spinal manipulative therapy to make a decision whether to treat, treat with a co-physician of another complimenting diagnostic or treatment procedure, or just refer out without any treatment for another medical specialty treatment or opinion.
In the many years of my clinical and consulting career, I have come across and reviewed multitudes of cases where the treating physician has deviated from the proper standard of medical care. Even in my clinical career I make a choice whether to accept a patient, co-treat, or refer out all together.
This, however, does not mean to underestimate or insult my colleagues of all medical specialties that render medical spinal manipulation, but only to truly draw attention to the contraindications of spinal manipulation. This has been a huge delinquency in the medical community, which has lead to too many malpractice cases that were reported and could have been most certainly avoided."  - Contraindications and Proper Applications of Spinal Manipulation, Experts.com

The article goes on to say, "It is my opinion and the consensus of the medical community, that all people should not be “adjusted”, that is receiving spinal manipulation, despite what they may or may not have been taught in chiropractic schools and at seminars. [emphasis added] It seems that so many chiropractors try so hard to fit each patient and/or their condition into some type of treatment plan. There are so many cases where spinal manipulation is contraindicated; the “absolutely don’t touch” policy should be enacted immediately. Let me make it clear, that you sometimes even should refrain from active ranges of motion...after the consultation you might even refer out."
 "The proper medical protocols and correct proper standard of care must be followed for the well being of the patient. A violation of this can lead to a malpractice suit in causation of injuries by you."

And, "In the course of human history spinal and joint manipulation has been delivered by parents, spouses, medical physiciansosteopath physiatrists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, sport trainers and just plain layman. They just innately felt that this was the correct treatment to render. This therapy has been actively practiced for thousands and thousands of years of lying on of the hands to the spine to relieve pain and restriction..." 

"It is so important, and is the proper standard of chiropractic care, to gather past medical records and/or to conference with past treating physicians whether chiropractors or medical doctors. It is imperative not to depend only on what the patient tells you whatever the patient’s occupation.

"Now armed with all this precautionary armor, the practitioner of the requested service of spinal manipulation care can either accept this case or not. Please, the comprehensive consultation and examination, the gathering of past medical records and information of past traumas along with conferencing with other past or present medical providers is essential before accepting a case for chiropractic care.

"So, stop, think and listen... If your going to accept this patient have them sign an informed consent form... We must protect ourselves but most importantly not harm anyone..."

"Over the many years in this profession we have been to haphazard just giving informal chiropractic adjustments. We should know better than to be like a sports trainer or fellow athlete performing a maneuver looking for cracks. We know that the joint will make an audible release whether it is moved back in place or not. Actually this separates the great busy practitioner from the on who doesn’t get good results. Just making noises does not correct subluxations. It could actually harm the patient. The reason we have that doctor title is to have the knowledge to differentiate between when to treat and when not to treat. It is imperative to conduct ourselves at all times as if this and any case will be presented in a professional malpractice case. A professional liability malpractice case could be brought against you for causation of injuries or as simple as a deviation of the proper standard of current chiropractic care or both..."

"You should treat spinal and pelvic manipulation as if it was a surgical procedure and never anything less..."

"The medical spinal manipulation can be chiropractic, osteopathic or rendered by other medical or non-medical persons all potentially ending in disastrous results. A definitive diagnosis and prognosis must be reached prior to treatment thru a comprehensive history and examination. There is a systematic medical protocol that must be adhered. This may even lead to radiological or imaging studies (MRI) prior to spinal manipulative treatment. Most important in this discovery procedure, is to determine if the patient is a candidate for SMT. Their symptoms may not be coming from spinal or pelvic misalignments. Their spinal and or pelvic structures may not be in good structural condition to accept a manipulation procedure. There can be so many co-morbidity factors such as congenital abnormalities, prior accidents, family histories and or cardiovascular susceptibilities that could end in death or stroke. These all must be ruled out prior to any treatment..."

Under "Standard of Care," there are 12 big key issues highlighted on what a chiropractor should or should not consider with every single adjustment (Chiropractic "Dirty Dozen"). A couple that jumped off the page at me (because the are from the "shoulds" and were NOT done in my case) are "Perform at least four vertebral artery insufficiency test, especially for females, smokers, steroid or birth control and blood thinner medications." and "Check for congenital abnormalities or space occupying lesions, yes, this can take time, dig deep and be a good detective and easily refer for radiological and or diagnostic imaging studies." His last point is, REMEMBER, "“WHAT CAN DO GOOD, CAN DO HARM!” ACTIVATOR AND/ OR OTHER MECHANICAL SMT TOOLS CAN DO HARM TO A CONTRAINDICATED PATIENT. [My presumption is that SMT stands for "Spinal Manipulation Therapy" given the context in which this abbreviation is used throughout the article.]

If only my doctor had followed this advice!

See what The American Heart Association now says about manipulation-caused stroke. And this article states, "Cervical artery dissection is responsible for 8 to 25 % of stroke cases in public under the age of 45." So avoid neck manipulation and it would be great to see this numbers drop dramatically!

Canadian Neurologists Warn against Neck Manipulation

Brain Injury Fatigue: "There are two types of fatigue: physical fatigue and mental fatigue. "Physical" refers to doing some sort of physical labor such as mowing the lawn or working in a flower garden. Just after a head injury, physical fatigue may be troublesome. For example, if you're relearning to walk, the amount of effort it requires to relearn to coordinate the muscles and build up strength is going to be substantial. For most people, physical fatigue tends to go away after 6 months. What surprises people with a head injury is the mental fatigue. For example, you could spend all day in your yard pulling out weeds and not feel tired from it, but an hour of balancing the checkbook will leave you exhausted. This is mental fatigue, and tends to go on for long periods of time. Let's use another analogy. Think of owning a car that you can only fill with half a tank of gas. You can now only go half as far as you used to. When you run out of gas, the engine stops. With mental fatigue, it's as if the brain runs out of chemicals and just shuts down." [At nearly 3 years, I'm still fighting the mental as well as the physical!]

Arterial view of neck rotation via chiro-trust.org
AHA Neck Manipulation As A Cause of Stroke

One man's story of being in the 10% who survive Locked In Syndrome for more than 4 months.

Not "advertising" nor condoning the medical practitioners nor solution presented at the end of this video, but really appreciate the explanations of how injury may be obtained.

As pointed out by Donna Freeman from the League of Chiropractic National Safety, chiropractors will state that VAD (vertebral artery dissection) is "400x more likely to happen in someone who suffered a "whiplash" so then why are chiropractors adjusting them 2-3 x a week..??????? Would this not then be a patient who is contraindicated to receive treatment then????"
picture from Chiro-Trust.org

picture from chiro-trust.org

 Donna Freeman also discovered this little nugget for me. Dr. David Cassidy PC is quoted in many trials as an expert example against chiropractic strokes etc..yet he admits in this video that he..that HE..himself.. is guilty of causing a stroke in a patient!!!!



  1. In the many years of my medical and consulting profession, I've come throughout and reviewed multitudes of instances where the treating physician has deviated from the right normal of medical care. Even in my medical career I make a alternative whether to just accept a affected person, co-treat, or refer out all together.


  2. As both a patient and medical professional, we have to ask ourselves when treatment is necessary. However, when do we do that? What does that look like? The ethical line needs to be drawn between when it is necessary and when treatment may only benefit somewhat or not at all and, in cases like this, be damaging or near fatal.

    Jacqueline Hodges @ Dr Koziol

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