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, August 19, 2016

Melatonin and Me

I have had seasons of serious sleep issue since the strokes, but right now I am actually in a pretty good place. I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep, and if pain is the cause, pain meds and/or Benadryl typically are the needed solution. Once asleep, now that I had my hysterectomy almost a year back and got through the first six months of hormone changes and playing with supplement and medication levels, I now typically sleep through the night fairly consistently.

While sleep isn't at all bad right now, I wouldn't classify it as great either. I decided to try taking Melatonin, thinking I may be able to improve thing more. I wasn't seeking to really "fix" anything, as much as to improve quality even more.

I took the supplement with dinner. It initially hit me hard and fast. I was so ready for sleep by the time I had been up from the table just ten minutes. I felt like I was "vibrating," my whole body ready to collapse and the tension of fighting to stay upright, taxing!

So far, so good. I anticipated a deeply restful night!

Then my 5th grader needed an hour of homework help. Maybe that's where I messed things up??? (Or maybe that really didn't much change the outcome that was to happen?) I fought cobwebs from my brain and helped him solve several math-related word problems.

When I finally got to lay down, I was out pretty instantly.

But my hubby says I tossed and turned, was fitful, and did not seem to be getting restful sleep AT ALL.

Around 1:30 in the morning, I woke up.

I was WIDE AWAKE until after 4.

My chest was heavy. My mind raced manically (though I did solve two more bonus homework questions from the night before), my pain levels were massively revved up, and I felt like I needed the medication to get worked out of my system so I could actually manage to sleep again.

Sometime before 4:30 I fell asleep and it was finally restful, refreshing sleep.

I guess supplementing my melatonin is NOT a good choice for me! This totally surprised me as I have heard nothing but good reports from other people. My guess is that my brain injuries interfere with the way I process hormones/chemicals (something I already knew, but had never experienced quite so vividly) to create this lovely counter-reaction!

Live and learn.

I am really praying I easily get back to my "OK" pre-supplementation sleep level and that I haven't caused a new issue again!


  1. I'm sorry I recommended melatonin. But it works for me and for Ruth.

    1. Don't feel bad! We don't know if we don't try. My brain is just messed up!

  2. I LOVED the photos - laughed repeatedly.

  3. Wow! You sure had a bad reaction! I tried Melatonin (5 mg) by itself and it didn't help me at all. I then tried it with a nerve medication I take and it helped me sleep all through the night. Everyone's body is so different. I hope you find something that will work for you!