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.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Reviews and Random Thoughts

I keep thinking of things I should include in this blog and I have so many random little thoughts collected over the last few weeks, I'll never manage to get them all down anyway, but I figured I should start their own thread just for this collection. I'll even break my own rule of not editing once I have posted live (to keep a  true record of where I'm at in posting ability in any given season) and warn you now that I plan to continue editing in more thought as I remember them over the next few days.

And of course, now that I'm here, I'm drawing a total blank on all I had to say...

I'll start with Facebook and share some stories and updates from the week:

I recently posted this picture.

While actually quite valid, I wasn't prepared for the ripple impact of sharing that portion of my reality. So let me balance this by saying, "So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, The Message

Or as I shared on another group a day or two earlier, "Last night I laid in bed in so much pain that I just wanted to die, then it hit me that (thankfully) I was no longer seeking to die as much as I just wanted to "stop living" for a few minutes, find an escape, a reprieve, from physical pain. That distinction is HUGE and shows me how intensely God keeps working on my heart." And "I so felt the "I would rather be dead than live like this" thing for a LONG time after my strokes. While not in physical agony, kind of gave me a new perspective of Jesus' choice to leave the perfection and glory of Heaven to willingly live like this, in all the sin and yuck of this world, just because He loves me! http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/p/never-give-up.html "

Speaking of pain, I found Epsom salt lotion a couple months ago. I'm really impressed with this product! Putting it on, you feel nothing special, it just feels like putting lotion on. Then, a couple hours later, you realize it really has been turning your pain volume down! It's basically just like taking an epsom salt soak, but without the bath part, wonderful if you are short on time, need relief at a place that's hard to soak, or have mobility issues, like me, making the tub a challenge!

A selection of adaptation tools I have been wanting to share with you are all available through Miles Kimball (and I use personally, affiliate link - Free Shipping on orders over $39 use code 122627 - updated 9/17/14), but you might want to check eBay, Amazon or other retailers too. :)

Easy-Twist Jar Opener (About $5)

Similar products on Amazon.

Ring Pull (Around $5)

Hands-Free Baggy Rack (About $7)

Free-Standing Card Holders (Around $9)
Our extended family plays a lot of kinds of card games. This makes the difference of me participating or not.

Suction-Grip Tub Bar (Around $10)

Telescopic Tub and Tile Scrubber
I can clean my tub without falling!

One MK product I did not find helpful was this Walker Tray that did not set sturdily enough across my walker, but I did use the Wheelchair /Walker Organizer literally to pieces (not really commentary on product quality, though maybe it could have been made more sturdily, but on the fact that I used it so long and hard)!I also found this Kegel Exerciser to be good in helping regain bladder control. If I had found it sooner, I would have gotten great use out of this Terry Bib with Velcro Closure too! I haven't tried it yet, but soon plan to order this 14-day Pill Holder. This Pedal Exerciser also looks like a really affordable way to work or leg and/or arm therapy here at home! (links coming, I just ran out of steam to look them all up)

Something I found randomly online that I have not tried (at $58), but looks neat, is the Single Hand Cook from Yanko Design. Wow! Looks like it can help with just about anything but washing dishes! I've heard of one-handed cutting boards before, but this is beyond anything else I've seen. If I still didn't have any use of my left arm, I would be giving it serious consideration!

Two other products I am looking to get are a hands-free can opener (I've already burned through two brands, so open to suggestions) and a cane with a built-in seat, I've seen both disk and hammock styles now. I'm still looking...

I'm into the idea of essential oils (at least the few I can tolerate scent-wise) and though I've never ingested, I know I will want to find this article of caution again in the future.

The Ministry Of Intercessory Prayer is supposed to be available for fee eBook download sometime next week (maybe tomorrow), so I'm posting the link here so I can keep checking for the freebie (on Amazon too). Sounds like a good book. Other eBooks (and freebies) are found here.

I was thinking through how to describe everyday life and everyday frustrations now. I've got to start by saying I CAN DO some much now and I am so very, terribly grateful!!! Sharing the challenges does not negate the victories, just trying to give you a realistic glimpse into my life still...

Yesterday I folded 5 blankets. I did a good job. It just took me half an hour to accomplish the task.

Yesterday, Kathy came after 6 weeks away. My house was READY for some TLC! We think every 4 weeks or so my be about right for cleaning help now. Every other week seems more than I absolutely need now but 6 weeks was a little longer than I could manage well on my own. When she started coming the house would be TRASHED upon each weekly visit. And not only regular cleaning, we've also been able to accomplish some wonderfully helpful reorganizing chores together. Kathy, our lives would look SO very different if God had not chosen to place you into our home over these last few years. Thank you could never express my heart for your bountiful friendship! <3

I had two pictures off the wall from when we took family pictures. Either one I had to stand in an awkwardly balance-compromised position to rehang. One, I got up by myself to Kathy's astonished comment of' "You sure couldn't have managed THAT not so long ago!" The second was a little more of a stretch and after multiple attempts and nearly dropping the picture, I yielded to Kathy's willing aid before shattering the glass. She hang it in one graceful step. So I'm not "there" yet, by a long-shot, but I'm gaining. :)

I used to sing ALL. THE. TIME., pre-strokes. God is slowly returning music to my heart, but my voice often does not follow what I hear in my head. Compared to the croaky monotone I had for so many months, my singing voice has come back very well, but it hit me pretty hard the other day when I was trying to work with our daughter for a music competition, that I still have FAR to go! She was struggling to hit a specific note. In my head I could totally "hear" the exact note she needed to produce, but from my throat I could not even get close to what I wanted her to emulate, if my life depended on it. It wasn't that it was high nor "hard" just required a precision I fully lack!

I know I had about three other "daily life" frustration examples from the last couple of days to share with you to give you an "all in a day" view of post-stroke life, but I will have to come back when I think of them, for I'm coming up absolutely blank right now! Any other strokies have "normal" frustration" stories to share in the comments?

By special request, ;) before there were minions in my life (I love minions, just in case you didn't know!)...
there was...

Hamster on a Piano! LOL
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Eph 2:8
Remember when I posted this picture in my last post?
I like this one so much better!


  1. I'm gonna get that jar opener!

    1. Kendra, I was totally thinking of you with that Heaven is Handicapped Accessible cartoon! <3 Amen!!!

  2. So looking forward to the day I can cast all my stuff away and run through those pearly gates :) Thank you for your lovely post Jenni x

  3. I have those card holders. We play a lot of card games and board games that also have cards. My son bought them for me and they're great.