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...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Life Continues


I used an iron for the third time since my strokes this week. I almost didn't mention it, because then I should confess I only used an iron 1-3 times a year before the strokes, so 3 times in just under 4 years isn't terribly far from my usual! (Yes, go ahead and laugh. I know that's a rather pathetic admission.) I handled the heat OK, didn't burn myself, and thought it might be good therapy, but ended up doing absolutely every bit of everything, even cutting patches with sizzors, with only my right hand, so I guess there was little benefit out of the process beyond accomplishing 4 much-needed ironing pieces!


Here are a few Facebook updates from this week:

So after 5 (actually I'm IN #5 right now) significant pain cycles in a row, every 3 1/2 - 4 weeks and lasting a week+ every time, but growing longer with each occurrence, the decision is that I will be having a completion of the partial hysterectomy I had nearly 7 years ago AND likely taking out my appendix too (as my mom's was chronic for many months before it became acute, so add Endometriosis likely growing there as well, this will hopefully prevent me going right back under the knife again, immediately following first surgery, if we do them both at the same time). I met with the GYN surgeon last week and will be meeting with the general surgeon (appendix) when they respond to my referral next week. For now, I'm in a lot of pain and just praying these two things actually do care for the issue!


This morning, I shared with a few friends,

Yesterday was hard. Friday and Saturday were really bad tummy pain days. Yesterday, NO tummy pain, but my left arm and leg were really heavy and angry with post-stroke pain. I was just "off" all day yesterday, really poor balance and several near falls, unlike I have done in months. One, I really "should have" broken (or at least badly twisted) my left ankle or leg, but by God's grace I did neither! MAJOR PRAISE! Today, I think the stroke weirdness seems much better so far, but tummy is getting angry again. (I guess it is a "pick one" game I never signed up to play! Better than both being angry at once though!)
Our 9-year-old acts like he may be trying to come down with pink eye. We also just dropped our 12-year-old off at a camp (staying in local dorms so I know we can get to her in 20 minutes if there is a latex issue or broken bone or anything) last night and she won't be home until Friday late - for some reason I'm much more anxious and emotional about this than I have been with either of the boys going to attend their camps over the summer or even our 14 year old flying out of country last year! 




And in response to someone I had not heard from since just after the strokes, who was checking in for an update:

I'm coming up on 4 years since my chiropractic adjustment that broke an artery in my neck, leading to 6 strokes, in late October. There is much that has not resolved, like I need a cane, am no longer able to homeschool my kids, can't drive, my emotional responses are still out of whack, but MUCH has improved, like our kids were able to move home after 8 months, I came home from the hospital in a wheel chair and made it to a walker, then a cane, I now work along side the friend who still comes to help me care for our house rather than just watching her, I plan and cook about 4-6 meals a week. So major progress from originally needing to be on a feeding tube and breathing machine!!!


A friend posted, "James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

I replied, "What strikes me in this verse is the word righteous. There is not a one of us righteous, not even one. Our righteousness is like filthy rags. But whatever faith we offer to Jesus, He takes it, fragile and worn and shaky as it may be, and uses it powerfully through His righteous. Our only job is to pray. He is the faithful one who makes those prayers effective!" 

Ever wonder why pray? I believe it has alot to do with allowing God to unleash the power He has already desired to dedicate to the issue already. That makes every moment spent in prayer an important investment in time and energy!



So that's me in a nut shell today. I just talked to the general surgeon's office and am still awaiting a new patient appointment there, so hopefully we can get this show on the road soon!


It is almost 4 in the afternoon. My grand accomplishments of the day have been taking a shower (after 1 PM!) and brushing out the tangles in my hair (remember when I could not do either of these things myself?), calling to try to find out more information about surgery, reading a chapter of our summer book aloud to my boys, playing Candy Crush and getting meat out of the freezer with a vague plan of what to do with it for dinner. I really should go sort some laundry and get a load started now!


 

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