Update: The In Darkness Sing blog at JenniferSaake is experiencing prolonged technical issues, so I'm temporarily posting back here on my old Stroke of Grace blog. (You will notice many typos in older posts. I intentionally never corrected them, as they helped document my cognitive abilities at various stages of recovery.)

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. Jennifer 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 wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care. At 5 years, 7 months, God clarified Jennifer's theology on healing and showed how He was writing her story from the beginning.

Jennifer is currently writing more books and stays active on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. 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. (Please see temporary update note above!)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

5 Years, 5 Months

Will there ever come a day when seeing a date containing the number 25 doesn't stand a good chance of making me suck in my breath in a quick little gasp?

You would think that at nearly 5 1/2 years, I would have seen enough 25th roll by that they wouldn't trip me up any more, at least not the ones in big landmark months like my actual October stroke-a-versary on even the April half way point of each cycle. But March???

I go some months without really even noticing another landmark date, then out of the blue a random month will leave me reeling when the number 25 pops up on my calandar. Ugg.

Actually God created days, the measurement of "evening and morning" but I agree with the gist of this in the man-made segmenting of timekeeping.

I've realized lately that the likelihood that I will ever be able to apply for a driver's licence again is a dream I just need to let go. I still can't even get through a shopping trip without crashing my cart a time or twelve. I can leave the house doing great, and an hour or three later, within about 30 seconds, loose all peripheral awareness. Yeah, I guess driving won't be happening.

Two other ares I've "admitted defeat" (or at least acknowledged reality) this month are that I have applied (and been accepted on the authority of a strongly worded doctor's letter) for home delivery of my daily mail, and I've reapplied for ongoing public transit services and checkmarked the box "permanent" (rather than "temporary") on the disability application. Now I no longer need to push my walker down to the end of a very long block (what I was doing when I fell and got my concussion), cross a busy street, a try to maneuver over rocks to get to our community mail box.

My ears seem to be getting worse by the month. I still have some hearing, for which I am very thankful, but I guess I "yell" a lot. I pretty much can't watch t.v. with my family because to have volume up enough that I can follow a story, I drive everyone else from the house (not just the room, as ever being at the other end of the house its still too loud for them!).

My jaw seems quite tied to that left ear and the nerves like to fire off randomly and painfully. Thankfully, it seems to have been a little quieter recently. However, my left teeth has regained enough feeling to hurt fairly constantly now. My gums and tongue are still relatively numbish over there, but when I bite myself, they seem hypersensitive to pain and I sure know it.

Speaking of nerve pain, my left leg has been acting up pretty drastically this past few weeks. *sigh* Also, my left hand, especially the thumb that went several months without being terribly painful, is creeping back up in pain levels again. My left shoulder has been subluxing (painfully partially dislocating) at least 1-3 times a night over the last few weeks, after being strong and stable for months, (That still nothing like the 20-30 times a day it would slip out of join that first year or two!)

My eyes, the fact that I'm alive, my ability to walk at all, my arm, my hand, my shoulder, are all so very much improved. None are really near where they were before the strokes, but all far better than they "should" have ever gotten.

My book proposal has been set off to publishers. My editor tells me I have a real book in the making finally. This from a woman with six areas of brain injury. "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord”" (1  Corinthians 1:27-31).

I'm getting ready to head off to Mount Hermon in a week and a half. I was able to raise all of my needed $1,300 but $130 registration plus gas, goFundMe fees, and incidentals. My hubby let me put this much on the credit card, to be paid back as soon as I can.) I'm in awe! Our Palm Sunday service up there is a yearly tradition I'm really looking forward to! Thank you to each and every friend who has helped in any way, prayers and pennies alike!

Kathy and I got out in my rose garden for the first time this spring. I hoed quite a bit on my own and kept my balance doing so! Moving some cantaloupe-sized rock and pulling weeds, my stomach protested at being bent over and Kathy made me stop after my near third vomiting episode in 10 minutes. Still, we managed 3 hours out there in my roses on Wednesday. Every year my garden is looking better and I can do more in it. :)

My computer, by God's grace, is still plugging along. There are days when it stops and won't restart for hours, but so far God's kept reviving it! Haven't had to implement those funeral plans quite yet. :)

I'm sorry this post has been a bit of a downer. I need to document where I am both physically and emotionally so I have records to look back on later.

Happy first week of Spring, my friends, Please leave a comment and tell me how you are preparing your heart for Easter, the celebration of our Lord's resurrection, this year.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Checking In

Even though it is quite unhappy with life, has its hours and days where it won't work, amazingly, my computer continues to gasp for life. (I was sure it would have been totally inoperative by now!)

Since I've got some computer function tonight and my brain is fried where it comes to book writing, market research, proposal drafting, conference prep, and on overload from all things related to the book writing industry, I decided this would be a good time to give a random update.

Before I forget, I've got to let you know that you have just one day left to enter the drawing for a free Laura Story CD to be given away on my InfertilityMom blog on Monday morning. Hurry over to enter!

I adore this idea from Oregon Quilt Show about how to use pretty hankies!

After not being able to get on Facebook in a few weeks, I went back and realized people know I'm a butterfly girl! My Facebook wall was covered in various FB stories and pictures I'll share here. Since several were videos (like an adorable koala getting photobombed by a butterfly during a zoo promotional photo shoot) and I don't think there is a way to get non-You-tube videos off FB to post here, I won't be able to share those. They are appreciated though and made me smile.  Thanks friends!

Too much has happened in my personal world over the last few weeks to even know where to start with an update there. I guess the clearest overview statement would be to say God's growing our family up in Him, a devastatingly painful and joyfully fantastic experience all rolled into one! I'm exhausted and prayers are appreciated. God is good, all the time!

The Butterfly Nebula viewed by the Hubble Telescope. - Science Channel

Last Friday, I finally got the first 1/4 of my Harvesting Hope from Heartache manuscript is as finished as I can make it and off to Jill Jensen Amack for her fantastic editing services. I'm exhausted and happy!
I started this book in 2011, one week before my strokes. I committed to the third major restructure/rewrite of the entire project around Thanksgiving of 2016, and with the holidays, was finally able to give the project my full attention around mid January of 2017, still typing the entire piece with significant short term memory and word recall challenges and only one hand.
Four chapters down, twelve left to go. I'm praying for God's divine connections next month at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference that will lead to the right publisher and a contract to get this book into many hurting hands! I travel over on April 6.
If you are interested in learning more about my conference, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/StrokeOfGrace
Thanks for your prayers, support, and encouragement!

Too much has happened in my personal world over the last few weeks to even know where to start with an update there. I guess the clearest overview statement would be to say God's growing our family up in Him, a devastatingly painful and joyfully fantastic experience all rolled into one! I'm exhausted and prayers are appreciated. God is good, all the time!

I've had a pretty solid uptake in physical pain again, especially down my entire left leg. It's no fun. At the same time I've been working hard to break some bad habits, like impulsive spending as well as grumbling and complaining. My husband asked a couple nights ago why I've been tearing our bed apart so badly at night, and we realized its been  my excessive pain that I hadn't told him about. I need to somehow find the right balance between appropriate communication and complaining!