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.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

More On Chiropractic Strokes and My Stroke-a-versary Emotions

I used AlterG for 23 minutes on Friday. Seven of that (not all at once, broken up into three spurts over the 23 minutes) was running at least 5.5 MPH! I had to drop down to only 50% gravity to accomplish this, but still, I'm amazed. I actually had sweat rolling down my back! My top speed was 6.1 MPH for 3 minutes straight! When I started this therapy, just a few weeks back, 1.5 MPH, at 80-90% gravity reduction, was my fast speed, and only for very brief (seconds) periods of time. I think 10 or 12 minutes was my first day limit.

That is the only highlight I can think of to share. Sadly, I'm having a hard time focusing on other positive news today.

I've spent the last few days receiving multiple notices about 34-year-old model Katie May who died of a stroke caused by chiropractic dissection of her vertebral artery in February. This model's story is back in the news because her autopsy, confirming the cause of her fatal strokes to be chiropractic in nature, have just been released. Katie was a single mom to a 7-year-old daughter.

In addition to a few days of notices (and draining online arguments* with various strangers who say chiropractic stroke is a myth), I'm really struggling with my 5-year re-birthday (stroke-a-versary) coming on Tuesday. Normally I can cope fairly OK, but right now I can't wait for it to be Wednesday already.

And yet, Wednesday and thereafter feel "blank" in my mind. I just can't see past that five year mark. Weird!

I can remember it will be my husband's birthday next month, but I keep having flashbacks to celebrating his birthday in the hospital.

I can vaguely think toward our should-be-exciting Christmas travel plans, but without much clarity even when I try to focus there.

Click here to watch videos on sizing and styling with Lilla Rose Flexi Clips.

I can think a little of the craft show I will be sharing Lilla Rose at in two weeks, but that just makes me feel dismal because my grand re-opening, celebrating post-stroke regained hand function, has been pretty unspectacular, with three people attending my online show on Friday, only my mother and 13-year-old coming to my in-person Boutique last night, and so far no one seeming interested in my online party. This morning I really struggled with feelings of self pity and rejection. (I KNOW in my head that God's in control and has my best at heart and also that I have amazing friends, many of whom have been legitimately busy this weekend, but my heart just has moments of not lining up with what I know to be true.)

Genuine Mother of Pearl "Grace" design U-Pins

Oh wait, I did think of one thing exciting. I've sold enough Lilla Rose (mostly before I had even tried to actually re-launch!) to have qualified for my very first every Stylist (consultant) sales award this month! The necklace I've earned, appropriately is named "Grace". Here's the matching Grace Flexi I'm hoping to earn as my hostess award if I get enough online orders over the next two days to qualify. :)

Lilla Rose Grace Flexi

Also on the good news front, congratulations to Michelle Tiffany and Kelly Kulas for winning copies of my coloring calandar! I'll hopefully get them in the mail by the end of the week, dependant on when I can get a ride to the post office.

Oh, and the fire that had us on evacuation standby, was finally fully out my the middle of this past week! Now the burned out area just has to watch out for flash flooding as it rains this next week! Because several of the 23 homes burned were multi-million dollar mansions, not to mention some working ranches, along with over 1,000 fire fighters, the estimation of the cost of this fire is over 100 Million dollars! ("That's even more than my medical expenses," she thinks sarcastically.)

As I told my Sunday School class at prayer time today, this re-birthday week is filled with severely mixed emotions. Lots of high highs and low lows! Even in the course of writing this one post, my physical heart pounds rather erratically and I find my emotional heart sways dramatically between moments of joy and despairing memories and emotions...

The upcoming elections and political strain our country is facing bring another layer of anxiety, but that's a full post in and of itself!

*According to this article about actor Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), published the very month, I stroked, 
While considered rare, there have been documented cases of strokes caused by chiropractic neck manipulation, says Howard Kirshner, M.D. professor and vice chairman of the department of neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, director of the Vanderbilt Stroke Center in Nashville, TN, and a Fellow of the AAN. 
Chiropractic manipulation of the neck carries the risk of tearing the vertebral artery that leads to the brain, thereby causing stroke or transient ischemic attack,” Dr. Kirshner says. “Although the risk is low, it does happen, and physicians and patients should be aware of spinal manipulation therapy as a rare but potential risk factor for stroke.” (Transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is when blood flow to a part of the brain stops for a brief period of time. A person will have stroke-like symptoms for up to one to two hours. After a TIA, the blockage breaks up quickly and dissolves. And unlike a stroke, a TIA does not cause brain tissue to die.) 
A 2003 study in the American Academy of Neurology's journal Neurology confirmed the connection between cervical manipulation and stroke. Wade S. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Neurovascular Service at the University of California at San Francisco and an AAN member, found that patients under age 60 who had strokes from tears in the vertebral artery were six times more likely to have had spinal manipulative therapy in the 30 days prior to their stroke than patients who had strokes from other causes. The patients tended to be otherwise healthier than most stroke patients, lacking risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis, a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol. 
“The number of chiropractic manipulations performed in the United States each year is in the millions, and the incidence of stroke from all causes is only 10 per 100,000 in this patient population,” Dr. Smith says. “Still, patients and physicians need to realize that a significant increase in neck pain or neurologic symptoms within 30 days following spinal manipulative therapy warrants immediate medical evaluation.” 
Dr. Smith recommends that physicians who see patients with the neurologic symptoms of stroke or TIA—particularly younger patients—should be alert to the possibility that dissection is the cause. Likewise, he said, chiropractic practitioners performing spinal manipulative therapy should warn patients of the risk of tearing the vertebral artery.
See more about how chiropractic strokes happen.


  1. I love you Jenni! (Borrowing some words from Paul!)

    I pray that God will wrap you up in His peace that passes all understanding. That you will remember that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it in you (Phillipians 1). I pray that you will filled with all the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. That you may be strengthened with all power for all endurance and patience with joy. (Colossians 1).

  2. Thank you for this comforting prayer, sweet friend. <3

  3. Keep pressing on Jenni. I too have heard a lot about the model who recently died. It's like all of a sudden people get what I've gone through and how close it could have been to death. I wish I could buy some the Lila Rose from you right now but I have about 20 of them already that I bought before my stroke and money is just too tight. I do love their stuff :-)