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, November 10, 2016

Lord, You Own Me

Two alternative posts have been cycling over and over in my mind as I've pondered the direction of my next entry.


The first post idea was going to be about how I went on a left-over trick-or-treating sugar binge a week ago Tuesday and was sick (cough, sluggish, fever, sore throat) by Wednesday afternoon, then rallied dramatically on Thursday afternoon after realizing our fire evacuation standby a few weeks ago had left my antiviral medication I take twice daily (for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) out of my prescription lineup for several days.


I set my pills up 2 weeks at a time and since that bottle had been set to evacuate, it did not make it back into my mix of bottles and I did not notice I was missing it when I lined up all my other bottles.) Getting back onto that drug literally reversed my initial cold symptoms from no voice and a fever to normal temp and strong voice in just two hours!


Since I've already covered this situation in more detail, that would seem to make a rather redundant posting topic were if  not for my confirmation of sugar's detrimental impact on the immune system! I sugar-binged AGAIN on Saturday and Sunday, and by Monday was on antibiotics. I've fought the urge for sugar ever since (with a throat this sore, surely getting into those Gobstoppers would be a good thing to suck on!) and my body has finally taken a turn towards healing again. I am certainly not "well" yet, my hubby is still sleeping in another room in efforts to keep him fit for bread winning, but I am undoubtedly improving!


The additional fact that has made this bug noteworthy enough to blog is the viciousness.  I only coughed a few times through the day Sunday. Sunday night I started fighting a fever and was coughing harder Monday. Since my daughter (who had been down in bed for a week at that point) was getting antibiotics and I was copying her cough, I started antibiotics on Monday afternoon too. Within a few hours, I was too weary to stand. I was asleep by 8, Monday night. Other than a few brief wakeups (like taking meds, or the phone call that our high school senior was leaving school early because he now was sick too), I slept straight through for nearly 36 hours, finally waking up Wednesday morning! (The first news to meet me, after sleeping through my weekly prayer day, my hubby's birthday, and elections, was the stunning news that God was not placing us on quite such a slippery slope of leadership as I knew our nation deserves.)


Yesterday I didn't sleep much during the day, but was down solidly in bed all day and slept most of last night, save the semi-dream/sleep waling incident at 1:04 this morning when I walked into the living room, flipped on the light and was coming to wake my husband up for today's work! I was sure when I left our bedroom the alarm clock read 5:44, am started myself "awake" to find the clock out here read 1:04. That was a rude awakening for me. But thankfully Rick slept right through my light flipping and didn't even know of my nighttime adventure until I told him this morning.


Talking in my sleep, I do that often enough, throughout my whole life.

Vivid dream? Yes, that describes me too.

Walking in my sleep. Hasn't happened for years.

And what an odd semi-coherent, purposeful, reasonable mission to attempt, just over 4 1/2 hours too early!


The second option was a whiny post about how the holiday season seems to magnify my limitations, my "can'ts," my exclusions.


While there are some funny sides to my medical misadventures, there are also some deeply painful areas.


At this point I can't be anywhere that has loud music (sometimes that includes my own living room when a commercial booms on the television for all of 30 seconds and my family scrambles to see who can turn off the t.v. and keep mom from getting sick fastest!), flashing lights (Christmas parties around here seem heavily laden with disco balls, strobe light, or at least hand-held flashing toys), or latex (balloons, rubber tires in a store, latex gloves even at the doctor's office), I cannot eat anything containing MSG, wheat, or shellfish (ship and crab were my favorites - "thank you" iodine overload from all that stroke testing). Too hot and I "wilt." Too cold (oh like 60 or lower) and my muscles grow painful and tight.


Last Christmas I think there were something like seven different events I wanted to attend but had to stay home from because of all my requirements. This wouldn't hurt my home-body, introvert husband to not be able to go, but often he, who spends the vast majority of each day interacting with people at work, has to go to an event anyway, while me, the people-person, extrovert, who typically sees anyone other than family only for church, gym/therapy/doctors, Bible study, and grocery shopping with my mom, needs to stay home.


I start in asking God exactly why I'm here when my life is so oddly limited. After two or three days of wrestling with this after another party invitation I may need to decline due to my limitations, today a catchy "earworm" provided the answer.


The television commercial is for some brand of car, I think. The opening scene is a head chef dumping the food his jr. chef has obviously poured her heart into. She flees in her car as the words, "You don't own me!" blare. Over the 30 seconds, a few stories unfold. I think, in the end, our original jr. chef opens her own food truck. It is a fast-fast commercial touting the concept of freedom, of having thing exactly my own way and not letting others script my life. But the most catchy part is that repetitive song!


As I was considering my "poor me" list of isolation, that song played in my head, this time with the altered words, "Lord, You own me!" That's the whole point. I do not need to understand. He has me here, so His parameters will accomplish all He has me here to accomplish. With this knowledge, I don't need to let myself grieve each loss so!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I won't be around to keep you company this week.

    ReplyDelete