Update: Stroke of Grace has become In Darkness Sing and has moved to JenniferSaake.com.

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.

Jenni 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.

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 equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Month Since Surgery

I've been getting a lot of surgery recovery questions. Today marks 4 weeks, so here we go:

Not really having much in the way of "hot flashes," just radiating heat almost all the time with an occasional "cold flash" where I guess I feel "normal" temperature for a few minutes. Actually not a bad way to go, except I'm freezing my sweet, non-complaining family when I keep the windows open at night and it drops to 40 outside. wink emoticon Sleeveless summer dress in October goes beautifully with the color-changing trees. grin emoticon The good news is that my muscles, that were already tightening up (stroke issue) before the surgery, as temperatures started cooling, are responding well to internal heat, so I'm walking with less spacitity now! 

The flip side is that because I have been out of water therapy for so many weeks, I'm loosing a lot of muscle coordination and fine motor skill - struggle to put a clip in my hair, have a bruise on the back of my "good" calf from pushing it so hard against the bed in efforts to stand and get out of bed, take serious near falls (like 3 within a few hours yesterday when I tried just my cane for Bible study)Doctor says I may go back to the gym Oct.30.

What I should be wearing!
Specific prayer request is that my mom will be loosing her gym membership at the end of the year (insurance had been paying for it and decided not to offer that benefit anymore) and can't afford to pay for it on her own, so at this point it looks like I won't have a gym companion next year!

Not in any major, sharp pain now like either before surgery or that second week after. Thank you Jesus!!! Still sore at belly button incision and get tummy twinges of pain if I step funny, sleep wrong, stetch too far in the wrong way, etc. Mom says that even a week after surgery I was standing up straighter than I had in months.

My daughter drawing for me.
I'm still sleeping a LOT but that seems to be tapering off just a bit.

I went wheat-free, and refined-sugary-junk-free (still eat some sugar, just not straight candy, and not eating flour takes most other refined sugar out of my life pretty naturally) about 9 days ago. I had one day with day with two variances from the new lifestyle plan, and one day with one, but I'm encouraged by a slightly flatter tummy already! I chose wheat as my one thing to focus cutting out because I don't do well on cutting all grains at once (I've tried that one a couple times and was miserable) and modern, modified wheat seems to be the biggest area of health concern, I think. As my mom says, " I think wheat is not what it should be or was 100 years ago." I haven't been anywhere with scales, but do feel my clothes are fitting slightly better.

In recognition of World Stroke Day 2015, on the 29th of this month, here's the letter I just sent my elected officials:
Almost exactly 4 years ago, at age 39 (kids 5, 8 and 11), I went to the chiropractor for routine neck manipulation. There, in the course of treatment, my artery was ruptured and I experienced 2 massive brain bleeds (strokes) there on the treatment table. I was not expected to make it to the hospital alive, live through that first night, survive my first week (out of what would become 2 months) of hospitalization. Obviously I did, experiencing 4 more strokes over that first month as my artery tried to heal and kept throwing new blood clots into my brain.
Today, I still cannot drive due to cognitive issues, am partially deaf, only have large motor use of my more severely impacted arm and a host of other medical issues, BUT I CAN walk again (took nearly a year and I still need aid outside of my home), see pretty well again (was blind and then had severe double vision for many months) and many other "would never happen" type victories. 
As a stay-at-home mom before the strokes, I did not have enough recent hours of work history to qualify for ANY form of government aid. Also, my chiropractor left the country about the time I was released from the hospital, so we had no legal recourse (and he carried no insurance) so no financial assistance there either. My lifetime stroke-related medical expenses are estimated to run between $1 to $1 1/2 Million. We have no idea where the money will come from besides God. 
I want people to know stroke happens. 25% of stroke happens to people under the age of 45. It can be severely debilitating. Thank you for your recognition! 
You may also be interested in this petition that speaks directly to the issue of chiropractic stroke risk: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-house-of-representatives-bill-… I had none of the typical stroke factors and have been told that my stroke was the direct result of trauma to this artery, as sometimes seen in a car accident or other harsh movement to the neck.

I'm reading an amazing book right now. (Inspired by the movie 
War Room that I got to go with my mom to see on Tuesday!) It is called Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. I want to read large passages aloud to about 30 different people - it is that good!
http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1433688670… If you are a Kindle reader, it is $7.99 for that device. 


1 comment:

  1. appreciate the update sweet friend. praying for all areas of your life. I love you.