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...

Friday, February 3, 2017

Win Some, Lose Some


Kathy (dear friend who has spent 6 or 8 hours with me every week, or every other week, for the past 5 years, helping with my house or whatever projects I need) and I have noticed another "brain jump" with me in recent weeks. All the sudden, several "firsts" seem to be coming together, allowing me to make several new steps of progress within just the last few weeks.


Wednesday she came and cleaned my kitchen, then we got started on reorganizing my pantry. We only made it through the bottom five shelves before running out of time.


Thursday, I went to Bible study, then figured I would spend two hours and finish up the project.


I DID actually finish, own my own even, but the rest of the job took me over five hours!


I'm so sore from all that bending, squatting, lifting, reaching! I was so exhausted by the time I printed my labels and was misspelling words and having to reprint them three times. I couldn't even walk straight. I was in bed by seven and didn't sleep well as muscles felt like they were "vibrating" all night.


What makes this accomplishment so significant though, is it is the very first major project I have finished BY MYSELF since the strokes. I have always needed some to help me, or at least be in the room with me, to finish a large task. This time, I DID IT!


This morning, I almost called my mom to cancel this morning's water aerobics because I'm so sore and had a rough night. I decided I really should go. After all, we have missed sever classes lately.


I got to class just fine, got in the water, visited with friends, then the class started...


I was instantly nauseous.

Kathy!

Weird!


I stopped moving. That fixed things...for about 30 seconds.

I looked across the surface of the moving water (18 people jumping around with aerobic really moves water!) and nearly threw up right there in the pool. My brain could not process a moving horizon today!


Folks, I've been doing water aerobics since 10 months after my first stroke, since I could barely walk AT ALL. Usually I'm fine. Just not today.


I made my way to the stairs. I decided to hold onto the wall, close my eyes, and just walk the end of the pool. I also sat on the stairs with my eyes closed (taking out all visual stimulation helped) and did some leg work. I lasted about 20 minutes (it's a 45 minute class) then knew I absolutely had to get out.


By the time I hit the showers, I was so weak and wobbly I could hardly get my swimsuit off. Getting dressed, I was SLOW and my clothes each felt like they weighed 30 pounds. I've been home three hours, feet up in a recliner, and accomplished little. Mom's bringing dinner tonight!
No, I don't "feel sick," as in doubt I'm coming down with a bug or anything. I think I've just used too many brain resources this week and my body is giving complaint!


When my kids were little and learning new skills, huge leaps forward were often accompanied with or immediately followed by regression in other areas where the skills had been long-established, like potty training successes might cause the lack of being able to identify certain alphabet letters that had to be re-learned. I'm thinking my brain is going through a similar rewiring process at the moment.


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