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...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

French Braid!

Last night, more than 3 years post-stroke, was another first. I actually FRENCH BRAIDED my hair for the first time! It took nearly an hour, I had to take dozens of rest breaks as my left arm kept screaming in pain from being held at the back of my head, and it was a rather one-handed, lopsided effort (the right did pretty much all the fine motor weaving of hair while the left just held things), but for an arm that was never going to be able to do pretty much anything, I pretty proud of my left side!

I managed to get the crown of my head done and mostly down the back, only to find I had tangled the ends up horribly using my creative new single-handed styling method. It took 20 minutes of painstaking patience with an anti-tangle comb to work through those knots!

I am trying to post my best attempts at hair selfies (hard to photograph the back of one's own head!) but guess I will need to edit them in later if I can get my cell phone talking to my computer again. (First world problems!) Pictures posted at http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2015/01/great-lengths.html instead.

I was shocked, stunned, overwhelmed by this accomplishment and just had to share! I've been doing two regular side braids on my hair each night for bed and for most swimming, for a while now. The single braid at the back of my head has remained more challenging than I could master until just a few weeks ago. Last night I got it in my head that it would feel so much better to sleep on a single french braid again (and it did!) and so I was up until well past 10 to make that happen. Can you tell I'm a little bit excited!
 

3 comments:

  1. Oh Jenni....I'm dreaming of that! Job well done!

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  2. Joining with you in your joy, Jenni :-)

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  3. Wow, that's amazing! Well done! I love reading about people's progress after strokes. You have come so far.

    Still praying for you, Jenni

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