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, September 25, 2014

35 Months

2 years, 11 months ago, today, I had my first two strokes. (Also see More Thoughts at 35 Months once you finish this post.)

My favorite new quote. "Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods." - CS Lewis
With a friend's help, and legs shaking, I got a ton done in my rose garden yesterday, straightened the garage (Kathy did most of that, but I helped a little), and still had the energy to make a meal to take to a friend this morning, go to Bible study with my mom, and help in our youngest son's classroom this afternoon! I'm pretty tired, but surprisingly not dead on my feet. Tomorrow morning is water therapy and I think I'll make it. TAKE THAT "never walk again" doctors. And with chronic illness for nearly 2 1/2 decades BEFORE the strokes (90% in remission and holding), this is totally NEW territory for me. Wow God!
Gardening in progress.
Here's what I posted to my chronic illness group's praise/thankfulness list yesterday:
Today was a Kathy day. My garden (about a dozen rose bushes, with a literal swamp and all the accompanying water-loving plants like willows and cat tails and more kinds of weeds than I can name!) running right through the middle of it all, has been mostly weeded today and all but three bushes pruned! There were dozens of volunteer trees growing in there, several higher than I am tall, and we got them ALL out! We even reorganize the garage a bit, making it much safer and more spacious for me to get through! I don't know how I would manage if God hadn't put this woman, her dear sisterhood, listening ear, kind counsel and utter physical ability in my life!

After about 8-10 man hours of labor (mine and Kathy's, over a couple of weeks),
See the "Saake Swamp" on the left? That was a solid forest of weeds, cat tails, willow bushes, aspen volunteers!

As my friend Maureen put it, "Life is different, but it is good - yes?" Yes. I never, ever, thought I would get to the point of believing this again, but yes!

Jennifer Saake, almost 35 months post-stroke. (Sorry it is a bit blurry!)
I'm trying to figure out exactly how to observe the landmark of next month. I am thinking I very much want to hold a pink and teal, butterfly-themed, re-birthday party. I first got the idea of turning "observation" into "celebration" via Joni Erikson Tada's story of how they have crab cakes each year to observe the day she nearly drowned in a diving accident that severed her spinal cord, but a crab pinched her sister's toe and caused her to turn around and spot Joni's motionless body floating face-down in the water, in time to pull her out! The "re-birthday" part comes from a term some of my strokie friends use to describe their stroke-a-verseries, a term that at first was rather upsetting to me, but I have fully embraced for a while now. My party idea would be much like a regular birthday party, cake and all, to celebrate God's grace through the journey and mark this drastically life-altering day. My mom's on board to make my cake, now I need to run the idea by my hubby...

Today, I'm thankful that I got to sit at my new (to-me) bistro table in my rose garden for about 5 minutes this morning and watch wild horses eating our lawn just yards away!

1 comment:

  1. I'm not quite to the point of celebrating Apr 15. Hmm... Everyone dreads that day already. I have two reasons.