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, August 11, 2016

Barfing Butterfly


I seriously debated my post title. I wanted something more delicate. The facts just aren't remotely delicate though...


Today:
Lord, thank You for allowing me to get the mail from the mail box, pray with a friend (in the front seat of her daughter's car), unlock my front door, and get a step inside my front door, before I completely and totally lost all bowel control, with only about 2 minutes warning that I might even sort of need to go at all and absolutely no indication that the need was urgent! How mortifying! At least I got home!!! 
The stink was horrendous.  Our entryway floor, the short area of carpeted hallway on the way to my son's bathroom, and his bathroom itself (toilet, wall, floor) are all clean now. I had to shower with my shoes on because the mess down both legs was so bad. My skirt and my son's throw rug are soaking in a pet-stain enzyme bath to see if either can be salvaged. 
I haven't had an accident like that in at least three years. Maybe the shrimp I ate for lunch (since seafood seems to sometimes bother my system since all that iodine of post-stroke testing, and even my most recent MRI made me hive out a little for the first time)? Maybe after-effects of yesterday's brain aggravation? Too much caffeine (5 glasses of iced tea over a 2-hour lunch)? A combination of all these in addition to a damaged brain that can't always cope well with normal functions of life? Gotta love the surprise gifts of stroke that just keep on coming. 
Truly, I am very thankful for the timing!!! Had this happened 2 minutes sooner, it would have been in my friend's car, 20 minutes earlier and I would have been in a restaurant! Three hours earlier, I would have been sitting in Bible study. What if I had been in the public pool? Our anniversary (24 years!) is next week - we could have been out on a date! Thank you, Father, that you did not allowing any of these scenarios!

Yesterday, posted on Facebook:

These are the days it bugs me that I don't qualify for any aid program, because spending a decade teaching my kids at home doesn't qualify as a "real" job. [GRUMP!]What I just posted to Facebook: "Kids are back to school and I'm back to my regular at-home therapy efforts. I forgot laying on the floor, doing various movement, could make me SO DIZZY (and nauseous). Managed not to throw up on the carpet (close), but I think 20 minutes did me in for the rest of the day! So thankful this is not my all-day, every day norm anymore, but at nearly 5 years out, just UGGG. (Yes, I am wearing my medical alert call button, so no one worry about that! This isn't anything unusual, just something I managed to blissfully forget was so intense by taking a couple months off over the summer.)  
‪#‎Stroke‬‪#‎ThrivingNotJustSurviving‬ ‪#‎NeverGiveUp‬ ‪#‎AllThingsThroughChrist‬ 

www.StrokeOfGrace.blogspot.com contains all the backstory, or current updates here on FaceBook at Stroke of Grace by Jennifer Saake"
 
I'm off to take a Zofran (nausea prescription) and a shower!


An hour Later:
I wrote this as a reply to a question about dizziness and nausea on today's therapy thread. Thought the answer might interest others too: It isn't vertigo in the classic sense, just brain anginess when I try to engage my head/neck/back/spine/shoulders in anything other than the limited safe zone I have leaned to typically function within. It has to do with the cerebellum damage that is not likely to fully ever heal since it didn't within the first couple years. Unfortunately, any additional healing that I may be able to coax, has to be challenged out of brain rewiring by activities like this. Tiny, careful, easy, minor movements, but ones my balance center dreadfully oppose! The cerebellum is the same part of the body that makes someone exhibit symptoms of drunkenness like staggering, slurred speech, impaired judgment, vomiting, etc., when inhibited by alcohol. A cerebral stroke basically means "being drunk," to a greater or lesser degree, for the rest of my life. 


Another Couple Hours Later:
It only took another 3 hours to calm down the tummy and work up the energy, but I finally managed that shower! Go ME!



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