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...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Early Friday Afternoon

We think we are getting closer to solving the mystery with my mom. The hospitalist came to talk to her again this morning. Dad and I were each off at our own therapies, so we weren't with them, but Mom seemed quite clear and sharp as she relayed the message to me via telephone late this morning.


He talked with her a lot about her memory issues and our concerns there. He again probed the topic of any recent hits to the head, apparently quite extensively. He had asked (while Dad and I were both there) about this concern yesterday, and the only thing any of us can come up with was a fairly significant (brief loss of consciousness, broken glasses, blackened eyes) event 20-25 years ago.

He asked enough of the correct questions today that Mom recalled a couple of weeks back, she and I had been out together, she hit her heard somehow related to the car. It had seemed quite minor at the time, so none of us remembered the details, but I do remember her comment at the time, "That's going to leave a bruise!" It never did leave more than a very faint, light brown mark, just under her hairline, though it hurt enough she asked Dad and I each to check it several times over the next few days. It seemed like such a minor and insignificant event at the time...

After digging to remember and combing dates both here on this blog and on my Facebook status updates, we are pretty sure the event was on September 18 and my beautiful bistro table (unloading it from the car where it got stuck then hit her head as it un-wedged) is to blame. As my husband says, "That's one expensive bistro table now then!" My $25 bargain is now worth many thousand!


So that's the latest theory anyway. Brain bruising triggering isolated seizure activity. We still may be in for many more changes of opinion over the next few weeks, but that is the current direction test results and symptoms all seem to be pointing today.

Dad's sore and exhausted. His shoulder is a mess. I won't be surprised if he is the next out of commission and needs surgery once thing settle down with Mom. :( It is hard seeing a glimpse of my journey from the caretaker's side and seeing a bit of what my own sweet hubby has lived through, while also witnessing the current realities for my dear Daddy. 

I am still feeling amazingly calm and peaceful and was even able to feel much more "present" and interactive with my kids last night. But my body is telling me this is all impacting me, as I only lasted about 40 minutes in the pool today (my regular exercise is at least 60, often closer to 90 minutes) and what I could do was much lesser quality than I'm now used to. I'm also staggering more and have seriously contemplated the home use of a cane again for a while. The tendon on the back of my left ankle started throwing real fits when I tried to go down a long flight of stairs at the hospital on Tuesday (I missed the elevator and didn't realize it until I was well past and didn't want to backtrack) evening and is still not quieting down. Guess I will need to get that addressed if it doesn't begin to resolve soon.

Mom and I are both so looking forward to tomorrow, me for my party, her for seeing her grand-kids!


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