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, July 14, 2016

Storytelling

I'm still here. Summer just is busy! I'm also really trying to reclaim areas of my house that have suffered from nearly 5 years of neglect, so I can but more focus into book writing. In another month, all my kids will be home (I currently have one in California, one in Wisconsin, and only one here in Nevada) and back in school, summer camps, visits and medical appointments will be behind us, and I hope to return to a more predictable schedule. For now, I'm soaking in these long, busy days with my kids home.


I'm really going to try shorter, single-topic posts now. Usually when I wait a while between posts, I get LONG updates trying to cover all the topics I've missed. I hope to start posting multiple blog posts, scheduled over several days, to replace those multi-topic makeup post.


So for today, I'm just thinking about story-telling - the books my 5th (already?) grader and I are reading together over the summer to build his brain and my own, as well as my own writing efforts. From an article entitled, What Storytelling Does To Our Brains:
We know that we can activate our brains better if we listen to stories. The still unanswered question is: Why is that? Why does the format of a story, where events unfold one after the other have such a profound impact on our learning?
The simple answer is this: We are wired that way. A story, if broken down into the simplest form is a connection of cause and effect. And that is exactly how we think.
We think in narratives all day long, no matter if it is about buying groceries, whether we think about work or our spouse at home. We make up (short) stories in our heads for every action and conversation.

So far this summer, my youngest and I have taken turns reading to each other about Helen Keller's teacher, Annie Sullivan, The Tale of a Forth Grade Nothing,  Mary Jones and her Bible, and are most of the way finished with our summer family tradition of the first book in the Kingdom series by Chuck Black (love these even more than Chronicals in Narnia so they are our family's go-to, over-and-over read-aloud series!). While I'm not a fast reader, I also devoured The Lucky One by sex-trafficking survivor Jenni S. Sessen, in just 24-hours, last week - no that's one I did not read with my children! And, another shout-out about the book Hope Heals, both my parents just finished it and told me how much more they understand and can relate to my stoke journey now - power in story-telling!


Please pray. It is a LONG-shot, but two nights ago, I just submitted my stroke story to a contest to be considered by a Hollywood producer as a potential screenplay. That is a dream of my heart, to see God glorified on the big screen, thousands of lives changed for Him, because of my journey. That would be some exciting story-telling!


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