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...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Five Summers Ago...

This morning I've been hit with several unexpected memories of life 5 summers back, our last "normal" summer.


The first memory hit so fast, so sudden, so unexpected. Grief likes to blindside.

My new business card - front

I was cleaning out email this morning and hit a patch of June 2015 that never got tossed after they were read. There was a sale email from Old Navy last summer, advertising their $1 flip-flop sale. I felt physically punched in the gut, tears stung my eyes. Why???

back of card

Instantly I was back in the summer of 2011, driving our daughter to the mall before they closed that last Saturday evening of this sale, picking up the next few sizes of summer sandals for each child.


I never even terribly liked to drive. I don't often even miss it much. But I do miss the spontaneity, the freedom, the care-free whim-following ability of taking my daughter's hand, kissing my husband, and knowing that 25-minutes truly is sufficient to accomplish my sudden goal. No planning, coordinating, favor-asking, required!

Summer 2016, happy new memory. My beautiful girl got to achieve a life-long dream of horse-back riding! :D

Do I even mention the flip-flop thing? These are so not a shoe option for me anymore. Unless a shoe holds on to my foot, my foot can no longer hold onto a shoe.



That took a little trial and error to figure out and find happy solutions, but really isn't much a factor for grief anymore. It is what it is.

Most flip-flop like option I can get away with. Still not terribly comfortable nor secure, but at least I don't kick them across the room with each step!

There have been a few other June 2011 memories that caught me off guard today too, but I'll close with a good reminder Facebook gave me of this date, five years back:
"God's peace doesn't have to make sense - it passes all understanding. So no matter what you're facing today, no matter if circumstances are tough, no matter if life doesn't make sense, may you have a sense of God's beyond-all-understanding peace."
- from my friend Marlo Schalesky



 

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