Update: The In Darkness Sing blog at JenniferSaake is experiencing prolonged technical issues, so I'm temporarily posting back here on my old Stroke of Grace blog.

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.

Jennifer 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. (Please see above temporary update note above!)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sacred Vows

The past 3 1/2 years have been TOUGH at our house, plain and simple! Rick and I are headed to a marriage retreat specifically for couples who have been impacted by a life-altering health complication in the immediate family (either child or one of the spouses - we qualify on both counts!) through Joni and Friends​. I'm nervous and ever-so-excited.

Our marriage nearly crumbled 3 years ago, and God has revived it and held us together, but there is still much room for continued growth and healing. If God puts our family in your prayers this weekend, please pray for His strength and grace as we intentionally focus on allowing Him to work in us.

The theme of the weekend is, "With Man It Is Impossible. With God ALL Things Are Possible."


Saturday, May 16, 2015

May Review

May. Stroke Awareness Month.

My plan had been to post a short new post every single day this month, or at the very least, every 2 or 3 days. I gathered lots of informational little statistics and was going to do my part to help educate the public on stroke risk and recovery.  Obviously that has not happened!


I've had several things I've wanted to share here, but I currently have two kids in casts, lots of extra doctor trips and imaging to schedule for them, my parents were out of town for a few days, they (my regular drivers) have had a car in the shop for the past two weeks, and I'm still juggling the relapse in my own health issues as far as significant pain and fatigue from ME/CFS.

Somehow blogging has taken a back seat this month!

I was awarded a flower for being the mom with "most kids in casts today" last Sunday - true story! The Mother's Day flower thing usually has me in tears because of remembering so many years of infertility and loss and my current aching for those still in the journey. This time the flower ceremony started my morning off with laughter, a hug from God and reminder that He is carrying every hurting heart I'm praying for. And technically, I only have ONE child in a cast. Another IS on crutches and in a walking boot now, only for a nasty sprain.
When things get this crazy, I have to remind myself...






My biggest recent post-stroke accomplishment came today when I walked all the way down to my mailbox (at the opposite end of our block) and back again, with just a cane, no walker needed, for the very first time. I walk the distance of our block with a cane every Sunday morning, from our sanctuary to Sunday School building, but I don't have to then turn around and walk home again once I get to Sunday School. Plus I have Rick at my side for support. I'm often panting by the time I get there. But today, I did the whole trip, both ways, accompanied just by my 9-year-old! I was sure exhausted when I got home, but I did it without my walker. I think I'll still typically take the walker for that trip for a while more, but at least I proved to myself it IS possible!!!

The cane I just bought off eBay and used (in folded up, cane position) for my inaugural mailbox walk today!
I wanted to have a seat with me in case I needed a break before I made it home, but did not have to use that function!

Going back into the first half of this month, I finally did it! I achieved one of my post-stroke therapy goals and learned how to use my Lilla Rose figure 8 hair flexi clips again, even with my limited dexterity! I'm so excited!!! If you would like an invite to the virtual sales party I'm hosting in celebration of this accomplishment, please let me know by PMing me your email address or visit https://www.lillarose.biz/parties/10622. If you live in the Reno area, orders will come to me and you can arrange to pick up (since I still can't drive). Out of the area, I'll be glad to drop party orders in the mail if you will pay the shipping (shouldn't cost much since these are small and lightweight). Please rejoice with me! 


If you are wondering about flexi clips, here is a video at https://youtu.be/Ywrpa4G1YYw that will explain more about sizing. There are 7 different sizes. I used the smallest 5 for various hair styles and have ordered an extra large (butterfly design!) to try for a low, flat bun, so soon I will use 6 of the 7 sixes for my various styles. You can also search "Lilla Rose" on YouTube and find a ton of good ideas from other consultants. Two of the most helpful I have found are https://youtu.be/0aXPD_RWcTk and https://youtu.be/GyuTfne8ffE My current event is taking orders at https://www.lillarose.biz/parties/10622 through June 2, or my regular consultant page (that I'm working hard to reestablish now that I can use the product again) is available at http://www.lillarose.biz/innerbeauty at any time. I would be glad to email invites to anyone interested in the party if you PM me your address.

Congratulation to both my oldest nephew, David Camp, and to Rick's cousin's son Daniel as they each celebrates college graduation this past week. heart emoticon
Early in the month, I got my new single vision glasses (replace the bifocals which were not worsening stroke symptoms).

I am SO much happier with these!!! I did have double vision for a long time (still do off to the sides, but in front is usually single), but I mention single vision glasses here, not because of prisms for double vision, but because I tried bifocals recently and it was a HORRID experience for my stoke brain. So happy just to have distance glasses now and carry readers!

We reach 1,000+ on the initial chiropractic reporting reform request we were sending to the White House, federal House and senate.

We are working on a safety petition now. Please click link and sign to help even if you already signed the prior petition! Why I signed (and why I'm asking you to sign): "I was 39 when I had two severe strokes and lost consciousness right on the chiropractic table, within moments of my cervical neck adjustment. Ambulance was called and I was not expected to make it to hospital alive, but I did, where I was put on a breathing machine and eventually a feeding tube. I had 4 more smaller strokes over the next month as that injured artery tried to heal from the tear and kept throwing new clots. Further stroking was prevented with two arterial surgeries, urgent enough to be preformed on a Thanksgiving morning! I was an inpatient for about 2 months, took 8 months to learn to walk again with a cane I still need 3 1/2 years later, and I still have weekly (sometimes daily) appointments with all kinds of specialists to address ongoing needs and am in physical therapy twice a week." http://www.thepetitionsite.com/379/934/508/ban-chiropractic-cervical-manipulation-esp-manual-thrusts/ - Please click to enter your signature via name and email address.

Doing my part for stroke awareness, I was to be in the 15% listed on this chart. When that didn't happen, my family was told I had no options other than the 10%. At 3 1/2 years, I guess I still count as the 40% (personally requiring special equipment more than "care"), though I feel like 25% much of the time unless I stop to evaluate reality.

sticking around
A favorite new brain training (not technically, but what I call it, because that's how I use it, just like Candy Crush on Facebook) website I'm enjoying, virtual jigsaw puzzles! http://www.jigzone.com


Saturday, May 2, 2015

What to Look For

Ever wonder how to tell if some is having a stroke? Just think fast! Here's specifically what you need to look for.

FAST stands for 
Facial droop, 
Arm inability to hold both out front without one drifting down, 
Speech slurred or garbled, 
Time to call 911 and report a suspected stroke if any of those three quick stroke assessments aren't passed!