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, April 25, 2014

2 1/2 Years

2 1/2 years today, since this whole stroke journey started, since I walked into a chiropractic office under my own power and left by gurney/ambulance! I recently saw a friend start her stroke-a-versary post with the statement, "Six years ago today, I should have died. Six years ago today, I lived!" I'm still trying to process, embrace this duel relatity of what "should" have happened (according to doctors) and what DID (by the will of God). It's coming along, but I'm not totally there yet.

This isn't going to be a terribly newsy post today, as I have offered a few fairly detailed posts about physically and emotionally where I am over the last few weeks and don't emotionally have it "in me" to go there again right now. I've been in a lot of pain this week, including new tooth pain on my less-stroked chewing side and the alkies tendon of the left foot I sprained a few weeks back. Last night was a pretty good night (thank you, Lord!) but before that there were lots of nightmares and sleep issues. We are still working with our daughter's school and doctors to handle her unique needs in double casts and a wheel chair. It was with her second break (this past Monday) that I really saw an incredible uptake in pain levels and downturn in sleep quality, so I know stress is playing a roll here. I'm trying to focus my heart today on things true, noble, pure, right, excellent, praiseworthy...

If you have a Facebook account, you are welcome to follow Stroke Of Grace there, as I mirror most post made at http://StrokeOfGrace.blogspot.com/ also post at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stroke-of-Grace-by-Jennifer-Saake/339888582731687 . It would also really encourage me today to see my friend count at http://StrokeOfGrace.blogspot.com/ pass and stay over 50 today (we are at 48 where we have been stalled out for weeks), so if you haven't publically followed this blog yet, please take a moment to click on the friend connect widget over on your right hand sidebar. My goal had been to get over 100 followers when I did my give-away last month. We got up to 49, then lost one person a few days later. I am really working hard to build my readership numbers before taking my book proposal to a publisher and would so appreciate your help!

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. - Psalm 113:3
 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Worry, Excape, Weekend



Our daughter is now in two casts and a wheelchair! Details on my InfertilityMom blog. I know my hospital psychologist warned me about "catastrophsizing" or always expecting the worst now, but it does seem that an awful lot really does go wrong in our lives, not just my expectation of worst-case outcomes. I'm so very thankful that God's in control and has the final word here!

 
 
I think I will go back and edit this link into my Why I Blog explanation. Can You Explain Your Hope encapsulates why I am so passionate about sharing (over-sharing?) details of my story, than any other article I have read! After you read the article, be sure to take a couple minutes to watch Matthew West's Do Something song at the end of the post.


This Saturday morning, my mom and I will be opening her home (I sort of volun-told her we were descending upon her living room but she didn't really object) for the (in)Courage (in)RL weekend. Wherever you are, please join us by webcast (or if you are in Reno, please come in person)! I was going to write up a whole big description of this incredible weekend, but since my friend Shelly already did such a beautiful job, I'll just direct you to her explanation. It's not at all too late to join if you can find a few hours to watch your computer on Friday night and/or at any time over Saturday or Sunday. AND it's free! If you can get together with a local Meet Up group, all the richer of an experience. You can even still open up and be a hostess either in your home or at the coffee shop down the street, even at this late hour! 


My one little registration tip is that anyone, who even things she might want to sign in even for a few minutes, at some point over the weekend, should start by registering at http://inrl.incourage.me/inrl-registration/ and then, if you also want to find another lady to watch the videos with, you will need to take the additional step of clicking the RSVP link near the top, right hand of the specific Meet Up group you wish to be counted with. Otherwise your group hostess will have no idea you would like to participate in her little local group! (The groups are often rather small like 2 or 3 ladies. We are expecting about 5 here in Reno. I've heard of a very few groups that get up to 15, 20, even 30 ladies, but this seems to be the exception rather than the norm. These groups are getting together in ones, twos, threes, 20s, literally in neighborhoods all over the world. Please don't miss this!) 

 
Encouragement I posted to the hundreds of other (in)RealLife hosts today, who have been sharing all kinds of amazing ideas in a special planning forum, was, "I haven't been around this group for a few days. The reason is because you ladies INTIMIDATE me. I read of all these beautiful, great plans and then look at my budget, my schedule, my limitations, and start to wonder if I should even be doing this, if my best is enough???
"Then I remember the (in)RL Meet Up I attended last year and how very simple, yet lovely, the day was. I didn't miss anything because I couldn't se "behind the scenes" here and play the comparison game. We didn't do a craft, there were no prizes nor favors, there were light, simple snacks and no meal, but there was WELCOME, there was love, there was sweet sisterhood even between strangers who had never met. And I WENT AWAY FULL. And I have seen a deep, new friendship blossom out of that day and some strangers and acquaintances become closer because we heard each other's hearts that morning last April. You all who are planning more, hats off to you, but girls that isn't about us, it's about Jesus, and He is more than enough!!! "

 


Quote of the day: "When I cannot read, when I cannot think, when I cannot even pray, I can trust.”
― James Hudson Taylor
So very, very true! Even when God feels so far away, He always remains faithful, trustworthy! When I couldn't read or even form a coherent thought beyond my terror of a faulty brain, this remained true even then!


I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,...



if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
- Psalm 139:7-12


 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Date Nights

 
Rick and I have found post-stroke dating to be nothing if not memorable. We haven't made it on many dates over the past two and a half years, and maybe the few we have attempted explain why we haven't attempted more! (We have had about three blessedly uneventful ones too, but here are a few blooper out-takes for you.)


You may remember our first big date post-stroke, when I sneezed and spit food all over the linen tablecloth. I still can't keep my lips together when I sneeze yet, but I have learned to cover my mouth when I sneeze now.


Another date night I was too embarrassed to post all the details at the time, but the highlights of that evening included kicking my shoes down the hall ahead of me, while trying to walk (taught me that I still have enough paralysis in my feet that there are only a few styles of shoes that will hold onto my feet now) and successfully (or so I thought) actually managing to tie the belt of my wrap skirt myself, only to have it FALL OFF when I slid out of the booth and stood up after our meal. I kid you not, as my husband rushed to grab it and get the skirt back around by waist, the guy at the table next to us tries to lighten the mood by singing, "Memories..."!


The reason I don't hesitate to share that disaster now is because that date was mild in comparison to this weekend. I had won a free hotel night stay in Jonnie's brain surgery fundraiser (near and dear to my heart, a bigger need now than ever) raffle last fall and given it to my husband for his birthday last year. We have been looking forward to this relaxing weekend for months now. The room we ended up with was a 4-star suite with marble tile, a steam shower, an in-room Jacuzzi-style, 2-person bathtub, a stunning panoramic view of the city lights, and lush fabrics from drapes to carpeting to curtains to bedding. I had never seen such luxury in person in my entire life. My mouth literally dropped open when Rick wheeled me into the room!


So we get checked in on Friday night, go and have a fancy dinner, then come back to the room and try out the hot tub. It felt so good on my sore body, especially great to have the bubble jet working therapy on my still sore sprained ankle. After a soak, Rick helped me out of the tub. I slowly stood up, took two steps, and with the temperature and positional changes, I remember taking two steps and thinking, "My tummy feels a little odd. It will feel good to get in bed and then I will feel just fine."

 

But before I could even take a third step, without warning, I threw up, spewing all over the marble, the carpet and an upholstered chair. It wasn't just a little bit either. I was mortified. I stood there trying to block it all with my towel and it just keep coming. When I tried to stop the eruption from my mouth, I just squired through my nose instead! I didn't even feel terribly nauseous, but all that delicious, partially digested sea food, came exploding forth in irrepressible convulsions, 3 to 5 at a time, for 3 distinct cycles where I would think it was over, only to be right back at it again, somewhere between 9 and 15 times all together, probably all within less than a minute.

 
 
As quickly as it had started, the storm was over. Rick, who had stood there holding my arm to keep me from falling and telling me words of comfort and to quell my panic, handled the entire situation with incredible kindness and grace. Then we just looked at each other in astonishment and he helped me to the shower to clean up while we both tried to figure out what to do with the disaster that both STUNK up the room and was a horrific mess in the beautifully-appointed suite!


The shower was its own reportable experience. I did not try the steam feature as it seemed temperature extremes were already partially at fault here. But this huge, marble shower was pretty amazing. It did have a large built-in seat, designed for enjoying a steam bath, so I figured I would be all set until I realized that the seat was fully positioned outside the stream of shower water. There were NO grab bars, but in order to actually get clean, I had no choice but to stand to get in the flow of water. Leaning with my hands against the bench to support me, I was able to stand for an entire shower!


Once I got cleaned up and Rick had gotten me safely into bed, he called housekeeping. Two sweet ladies worked wonders and had all surfaces cleaned and the smell much neutralized in under 20 minutes. Rick tipped them heavily for a job above the normal call of duty, well-done! I was so terribly frustrated, telling Rick I had wanted to give him this special night away to give him a break from stress, but I just brought stress with him instead! The only way I can imagine the situation could have been any more awkward was if it had happened in public! I am so very, very thankful for the grace that I did not have to undergo that disgrace! I felt so embarrassed, but everyone else was so compassionate and there was just one first-hand witness and two after-the-fact strangers that were directly involved. What if I had lost control like this at the dinner instead? Yikes!


On Saturday, Rick and I revisited the event and I noted that when I heard the word "stroke" I never imagined someone still spontaneously loosing control of stomach contents 2 1/2 years after the event. Rick got real sober and said, "Most people who have strokes as bad as yours simply don't live. If they survive the initial event, they don't last more than 3 to 6 more months after the stroke." Um, I know I'm not supposed to be here, but sometimes the stark reality, worded in new ways just really catches me off guard.


So what does any of this have to do with Easter? Why post tonight rather than waiting for tomorrow? Well, at first I really didn't see any connection myself. In fact, I started this post on Saturday and was planning to share:
 
I never finish my journal entry in time to post it last night, but I realized that it might really be a better fit for today anyway. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. (Philippians 3:18) After I finished so violently throwing up, it really hit me that while we were God's enemies, sinners, spewing out garbage, in conflict with His holiness just as surely as I couldn't keep my dinner where it belonged Friday night, that it was in this state of filth that God chose to die for me because of His great love (Romans 5:8)! Seeing Rick's tenderness and compassion (and he even managed too keep his dinner down too, though I have no idea how!) in the face of my helplessness, the verse that kept playing through my mind was "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)

 
 
I have often talked about how I absolutely CANNOT cry most of the time now, even if I really want to, need too. (The exception is that almost never can manage to talk with Rick without crying.) So I wanted to tell you about my emotional responses this weekend. On Friday night, after the house keepers had left, of course their were tears, but surprisingly few, in control (K, I am typically a LOUD and UGLY crier since the strokes, so this is unheard of!), and quite short lived. It would have been nice if I hadn't cried at all, since I really tried not to, and there was still the non-optional response to trying to hold a conversation with Rick, as uninvited and unmerited  as the vomit had been, but given the circumstances, I think I actually had a right to shed a tear or two that evening!


What was even more amazing than the lack of uncontrollable wailing on Friday, was that sitting in church this morning, I felt like I wanted to cry several times, but during one song, I actually felt wetness rolling down my cheeks! Here I was, in public, actually able to cry again in I don't know how long! Yes, I used to cry in public all of the time, over just about anything, but I think it has been well over a year now since my brain decided that only Rick was ever allowed to see my tears. To feel those tears spill down my cheeks today was a massive relief, that my emotions and outward expression were actually matched for once! And again, though my shoulders trembled a bit and breathing got a little rugged, I hardly made any sound. I doubt very few here will really grasp what a blessing this is to a normally very loud and distractive crier!


The words that finally broke the dam spoke to two issues very close to my heart, the love of children and my very recently accomplished goal of holding a new born, as well as the fact that I didn't want to be alive for so long and am still learning Christ's joy and strength for this daily journey now:

Verse 2, Because He Lives:

How sweet to hold
A newborn baby
And feel the pride
And joy he gives
But greater still
The calm assurance
This child can face
Uncertain days
Just Because he lives

 

(Chorus)
Because he lives
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives


In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

 
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
- 1 Peter 1:6-7

 

 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday, Sunday's Coming!


Rick and I have a much-needed and long-desired date night overnight tonight (we have been trying to do this since early November)! I'm so excited! My parents will be with the kids and we will come home around noon tomorrow. I still don't really manage a kitchen well yet, so my mom invited us to Easter lunch at her house, after church on Sunday afternoon.


A friend recently stated that she was so thankful that I have come so far in recovery because her mother never regained the ability to walk or talk again after stroke and was "disabled" for life, several years living in the shell of a body prior to premature death. I don't quite know what to say in these situations. My heart hurts for her mother, for so many! I totally "should" be there. I am still "disabled," but not in this dire sense now. Obviously, I am ever-so-thankful for the gifts I have been given too, yet I don't want anyone to think that because I can walk (pretty well) and basically communicate by mouth again (oh, how I wish I had voice control to sing again!), I am "all better" either. This is a life-altering journey. Recovery is a life-long proposition. For better or worse, here was my reply.


The doctors now say that I am walking again because my age allowed my brain to rewire. They didn't think I would, even at this age, but say if I had been 10 years older, the brain really couldn't have rewired. I am very blessed! All this may be medically valid, plasticity of the brain and all, but since the original medical story was that I wouldn't even live and certainly never walk again, even with age in my favor, I still say the answer here is God, all the way around!

 

As for aphasia (not talking) my strokes were so much deeper into my brain than "average" that they seemed to mostly miss the speech centers all together. I still have a little delay/hesitancy to conversation (I write down and practice what I record for video so I can deliver it fairly smoothly) and a few word recall issues, but they tell me I have been talking since 10 minutes after they took out the breathing tube in ICU about a week after my strokes. Again, very thankful!


The biggest issues I still have are left side weakness (doctors call it paralysis, but it is more of just lack of coordination and weakness, than pure inability to move at all now), feeling "drunk" all the time (dizzy, nauseous, slightly slurred or scrambled speech, some double vision, etc.) due to the cerebral damage, cognitive impairment to the point of no longer being able to homeschool our children nor to drive, a relatively profound deafness in the left ear with lesser impairment of the right, and relatively constant pretty nasty post-stroke nerve pain. I will likely always need a cane and have to sit if we have to stand up long, etc., but compared to where I was, where I am "supposed" to be today (on life support in a nursing home), I know I am very, very blessed and am ever-so thankful! I really was mad I hadn't just died for a LONG time, but I am learning to find joy here in earthly life once again. God is patient and gracious!

 
I've been doing some pondering on Peter and Judas. Both denied Christ. Both were eventually remorseful. One was reinstated and became the human man upon whom Christ would establish his church, the other committed suicide and was told it would be better if he had never been born. What was the difference? What of forgiveness? Shouldn't the impartial love of Jesus have extended the same grace toward both men?



I think the difference is, while they were both remorseful, feeling the weight of guilt and the anguish of denying Christ, only one was repentant and believed/proclaimed that Jesus is who He says He is (God in flesh, with the power to forgive/erase sin and redeem lives). Like the thief nailed to the cross on Jesus' right side, it was in this act of believing, of trusting that Jesus was more than just a "good man" (or "innocent man" as Judas confessed too late) but that He is God, that made all the difference!

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. - Acts 17:24
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Taxing Grief

For the first time in nearly 22 years of marriage, we filed a tax extension for today, just could not accomplish one more paperwork juggle by today's deadline. I'm proud of him for still making the time to file that we would be delayed to file, but it's just one more example of how life spins so fast when one marriage partner becomes long side-lined from her normal pre-stroke duties! My husband now manages all the finances, and between that and all the family driving duties (with three kids and a car pool, this is nothing to sneeze at!) and everything else on his plate (work, household management I'm not accomplishing yet, passport and details for our son's trip this summer, family injuries like my badly sprained ankle or our daughter's broken foot, campaigning, etc.), life is just busy!

For Randy, today's scarf tie. :)

More significantly, two dear ladies are taking up my heart and prayer focus today. As you know, this blog is in existence today, because of my dear friend Kendra, who stroked 5 1/5 months after I did. Today is her 2 year stroke-a-versary. Please keep her and her husband and four children in your prayers as you go about the date. I can attest that such  landmark dates are trigger-laden for the whole family!


My heart is also with Kelly Thorne Gore  in the 29-week delivery of Hannah who will be (just has???) been born still after her heart recently stopped. Kelly labored all through the night. As of this morning, she was getting close to delivery and the baby area of the room was being prepared. Kelly described the surreal experience of watching the preparations and trying to temper the excitement of impending birth with grasping the devastating reality that the are planning a funeral and will not be bringing their beloved daughter home. Today is going to be a long and emotional one for the Gore family! "Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." (1 Thes. 4:13-14) The Bible never says not to grieve, just not to grieve without hope. I am so very, overwhelmingly thankful that this world is not our final Home!


It seems like a rather abrupt transition, but I would be remiss in not sharing a praise for a long-stand post-stroke goal that I joyfully accomplished this week, thanks to the understanding of my dear friend K. and the prioritizing of schedule that my amazing husband brought about. As long-time readers here are well-aware, one of my greatest sorrows, my biggest dreams since the strokes, was my inability to hold babies when my left arm won't support them. K., my Bible study buddy I had requested prayer for a couple weeks ago, when she was overdue and induced for baby A., arranged a way for me to sit on her couch, prop my weak arm with pillows, and spend a delightful hour and a half holding her 10-day old baby girl! It has taken nearly 2 1/2 years to realize this dream, but with "baby magnet" has finally held a newborn again! I'm in love!!! (I did get to hold a 5-month-old for about 5 minutes last year, but there is a big difference in holding an itty bitty with no head control yet!)



As for my primary email account, it is finally clean and back under control. I ended up skimming through around 20,000 more unread message titles before I moved them, in mass, to my recycle file, so I really hope I didn't miss anything important, but after a week and only 10,000 done, that's what I resorted to. If you sent me an email and I never replied, please send again!


My physical bruises are starting to fade and I think they mirror my heart right now, am continuing to feel more content, more settled, more purposeful in my time God has appointed me yet to spend here on earth. As I said, just this week, when asked what one thing I would like to share with brand new stroke survivors in those terribly dark earliest days of recovery, "It will not be THIS hard forever! It may never be the same as before, but it really does get better than today, good again even!" That was huge for me, thinking that this was my new life and thing would forever be this bad, this hard, for the rest of my life. If there is anything I would want others to know is that stroke can change your life, but it isn't a life sentence to forever have all the limitations and overwhelming emotions of those first days, weeks, months, even years! In this sense, much like the suffocation of a death, and the grief journey that is initially SO all-encompassing, and forever changes you, leaves its mark, but eventually does mellow in intensity of anguish!

Fading bruises from my fall a week and a half ago.
Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. - Ecc. 4:6  Being physically one-handed now (because of strokes), I first read this as "Better one handed with tranquility..." and went, "Wow, I never knew that was in the Bible!" Upon re-reading I see my wording was initially off, but this verse has taken on a whole new layer of meaningfulness to me now!

 

 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lies, Broken Promises, Scrapes and Bruises


What are some lies you tell yourself? Promises to yourself you seem to perpetually break?


For me it has been a struggle since long before my strokes to keep up with email and keep my inbox cleaned out. Not long before the strokes I had my email account really cleaned up well (after letting it get really out of hand for a while), then I had the strokes. For months my eyes were much too useless to even attempt to read emails.  As I slowly ventured back into the online world, my email was so overwhelming to me that I felt pretty helpless and overwhelmed by it and eventually just deleted everything in my inbox and started fresh (so if you wrote me between late 2011 and mid/late 2012, I likely never read your note - sorry!).


I believe I have successfully cleaned out my inbox once since then. I spent an entire day working on cleaning it out again when my husband bought me this computer (a year or so ago already, I think?) but after the new computer finished syncing with all my old files, it repopulated my inbox with in excess of 9999 (that's as high as it counts, then after that just says 9999+) emails, thus invalidating an entire day's effort.


After that I became discouraged, lazy maybe, and just sort of gave up. Add to that the fact that I have only very recently re-figured out that it is even possible to delete emails without opening and reading every single one and maybe it will make more sense when I say that I have been cleaning up my email accounts this week and it is a MAJOR UNDERTAKING! I have spend hours and hours, very large chunks of time, every day since Saturday, going through email titles, one by one, because I don't want to miss anything important and moving them either to appropriate folders or mostly deleting. In my primary account, I am finally up to early October of last year and still have well over 9999 files to go! Based on how many I am adding to my trash folder per month (since late 2012), I am guessing I started with around or over 30,000 messages.

 
I'll get there, I just really want to keep this assurance to myself that I'm not going to let things get out of hand like this again! Once I am done with this purge (no wonder my email has been so slow and glitchy!), I really, really need to learn to keep my inbox cleaned out on a daily, or at least weekly, basis!


 
Remember that fall I took last Friday? By Saturday morning I couldn't put any weight on my foot at all, so I spent the day up in the recliner with my ankle on ice. Sunday I was able to go to church, spending the day in my wheelchair. Monday I was able to get around the house with my heavy-duty walker. Yesterday the swelling was finally down enough to get my foot jammed into my boots and I was able to get out and do a couple errands with my mom and my cane, but had to elevate my feet again as soon as I got home, then was pretty well down in my chair for the rest of the day. Today things are still rather tender and I hobble much more than my stroke normal, but I think I am walking rather well. I'll be putting my boots back on here in a bit to go with my mom to pick our youngest up from school.


This is like TMI for some readers, but one of the things we did yesterday was really a BIG deal for me, bra measuring and fitting. I found a style with front closure that has a twist and slide mechanism I can handle myself, rather than the traditional hood and eye fastener. It also has a racer-back design so the straps stay up even with my sublexed shoulder. If any of my strokie lady friends need details, my StrokieGal@gmail.com account is actually all clean and orderly, so I would be happy to pass along my newfound information if you contact me privately with your questions. The sweet gal who helped me could tell how much of a life-changing victory it is for me to now have properly fitter undergarments I can do all by myself. This landmark was just shy of 2 1/2 years in the making!

 

I am doing much better than I was over the weekend, but am still sporting some pretty good scrapes, bruises and sore muscles from the fall! I didn't take any pictures until this afternoon and enough swelling/bruising has gone down now that these pictures really don't do my injuries justice, but here are a couple fairly visible reminders of my biggest fall yet. My right arm is bruised from shoulder to elbow and right knee managed to acquire pretty good road rash even through jeans. My arm just looks super "dirty" like I haven't washed it, but feels like it should look all green and purple and really nasty! Have I mentioned how TERRIBLY thankful I am that I didn't hit my head, that no bones were broken and that the ankle that could still bear weight was my right (less stroked) ankle, since I have already learned to do so much with that leg to compensate when the other won't cooperate and I would have been in BAD shape if it were the right foot that went totally out of commission as I doubt I would be able to do much just with the very weak left!


Not doing any crawling until this sore heals enough to stop splitting open and I can stand to kneel. Also won't be back to water aerobics until my ankle gets a little stronger! My balance still seems kind of wonky too. Since being overly tired seemed to start this whole mess, I don't want to push myself to get back to everything too soon. It feels like, if it is not one thing, it is another, trying to sidetrack me from ongoing therapy and recovery. Grrr. (Glenda, I miss you at the pool!)