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...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What A Day :(

It started with a 20-minute battle with my hair. I got it in really well at the beginning, but it wasn't in the correct spot on my head, so I took it down and tried a re-do, but my hands were done working by then, so I tried a number of re-dos before frustration led to tears (I still can't really cry, but I did get tears in my eyes) and giving up to go to a very simple default. One mostly working hand, and one mostly not working hand, gets life interesting at times!
We got out the door about 15 minutes late. Amazingly we were able to get the kids through breakfast quickly enough to even get to church early, but we forgot my walker, so I was on the cane and Rick's arm and he had to go grab a chair to prop up my leg since I couldn't use the seat of the walker.

My walker, Bubbles.
Service started out well. We attend a church with two services, a "traditional" one with old hymns and mostly elderly attendees, and a "contemporary" later service with louder, faster praise music accompanied with electric drums and guitars, populated mostly by our peers. We actually go to the early service specifically to avoid the neuro stimulation of second service (and our kids are some of the only young in attendance, so are blessed with many "grandparents").

Today, however, we had special music at offertory that was beautiful, but LOUD and accompanied by drums. I was digging for my ear plugs (though I am mostly deaf in my left ear, what I do hear is not easily processed by my brain, thus this is the ear I must plug against loud noises), but even so, was in physical pain at some of the crescendo points. Within moments, I had to excuse myself to the restroom. I was sick all through service, then we came home without staying for Sunday School as usual.


I slept for 4 hours! I woke up about each hour. After hour one, I had a headache added to nausea and realized, while all the vomiting, light sensitivity and sound sensitivity were like severe migraine symptoms, the headache itself was the result of sleeping with my entire body so tightly clenched into a tight fetal position. I was, however, finally able to move my head enough to look at the clock without "spinning out". By hour two nausea was still pretty strong but my muscles were starting to relax and be abler to spread out a little, even roll onto one side. By hour 3, headache and nausea were both significantly improving, muscles were loose enough to fully uncurl and stretch out in bed, even roll over onto my tummy, but I felt as done in, fatigued, limp, as a wet dishrag. After the 4th hour of sleep, nausea was down enough I felt I could risk moving again, so I got up and sat in my recliner for the next couple of hours. I guess I was quite pale when I woke up but reclaimed more color over that next couple of hours sitting upright.


I never managed any lunch, so after keeping down two glasses of chamomile tea and a dose of Zofran (nausea med), we went out for a light dinner. I'm now home, in bed for the night, before 7PM.


As I was throwing up, I was thinking about how if I were to just give up and stay home, I would never have days like this, never encounter latex, loud sounds or other triggers beyond my control, Truly I have (now) many more good days than really rough, like the first year or two! (No wonder I was so depressed when this was daily expectation!) So when days like this hit, they are evidence that I haven't given up, keep trying, keep risking, an out living.


3 comments:

  1. loving you, and praying for you my beautiful friend.

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  2. My sweet, dear, friend. Thank you for sharing this. You had quite a day, and still find ways to praise the Lord. A sister after my own heart. Love you so.

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  3. It is indeed tempting to crawl into our shells and hide from the trials of life sometimes. I got mad the other day, because of the lack of handicap bathrooms where I wanted to go. I wanted to just come home and stew.

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