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, April 21, 2017

I Spy a Miracle (or Three)!

What do you see here?


Ordinary?

Common?

Mundane?


I see victories.

Solutions.

"I did it myself" moments.


Not so long ago, I couldn't fold towels. I now have enough right hand skill, and left arm function, that I did the stack myself, and rather quickly, this morning. No, they aren't perfect. Yes, more complex clothing items still present more challenge. But God has brought me so far since the day laundry won!

The Seder plate I prepared for my family last week.
Yes, our "lamb shank" was a chicken leg and our "parsley" was mint, but I manage it! 
Not so long ago, I couldn't begin to braid, or manage a hair tie, or problem solve the solutionlike when I had already packed away all my hair ties but figured out how to use the comfort strap from my Lilla Rose hair band as a makeshift pony tail holder for travel day.


Not so long ago, I couldn't travel. Now I've taken three major week-long trips in the past 14 months (plus a couple of one- or two-day medical travel excursions), one by airplane (another post-stroke first for me), and two busy and intense working conferences to the amazing Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Butterfly lace and butterfly leggings!
What's not to love?
My conference was wonderful! I recapped the basics over at InfertilityMom and shared a funny story at Harvesting Hope. All my kids were walking under their own power when I left home, but I came home to two out of three in wheel chairs, one for illness, and the other for injury! Please pray for my family as my homecoming has involved meeting several new doctor, an urgent care trip, an emergency room trip, emergency MRIs for one of my children, several specialist visits, LOTS of missed school, and HOURS and hours worth of telephone practice (have I mentioned lately how much I hate telephone since my strokes?) with schools and doctors offices over the past week. (We now know that we are NOT dealing with a brain tumor, but are still seeking answers for what is causing our son's symptoms,) We are also dealing with insurance adjusters and contractors over a leaking roof and moldy wall.

My Easter outfit.
Several times this week, when I've started feeling sorry for myself, God's reminded me of my blessings.


I was confronted by having a child back in the room where I've personally faced so very many MRIs and CTs. PTSD! Then God sent a little girl by me who was a very recent stroke survivor with many obvious and tremendous deficits. I was reminded that what we are facing is hard but God has faithfully carried us through so much worse and that's not where we are today with either me or our own child.

My Christmas cactus has identity crisis issues.
 It has bloomed as early as Thanksgiving,, or like this year, as late as Easter!
I'm used to being the lady whose story puts other's struggles in perspective. Last week at the gym, I met a lady who had to live in the hospital for a year and a half and have 27 surgeries during that time. Suddenly my not quite two months as an inpatient and 8 surgeries over that first year seem rather mild!


I am reading the I am N devotional and am simply stunned by reminders of God's provision. Freedom, religious and political. My daily bread. I am so blessed! I take so much for granted!

When my Grandma died, this is the one possession I most wanted out of her house.
My great-granddad was a commercial artist and did the calligraphy work.
It hung over Grandma's sink for years.
It now hangs next to mine as a convicting daily reminder!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Keeping Up With My Trip

I'm leaving on Wednesday evening, after Kathy comes to help me with final preparation that morning, to start making my way to Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference. I will be tweeting daily updates from @RenoMom (my personal page, with motherhood and stroke focuses, along with northern Nevada interests, if I can get my phone to work with that account) and / or @InfertilityMom (my big infertility, miscarriage, adoption page, where my phone likes to post by default), using hashtag #MHWriters2017 either way. Please journey with me! :)


Want to leave me encouragement or post your prayers for the journey? Please use #HarvestingHope as your tag so I am sure to find you. :)

Hubby and oldest miracle baby preparing to leave for his prom this past Saturday.

I would especially appreciate your prayers for Rick and our kids as they hold down the fort while I'm away. I'm cutting three days off my original trip plans, but still will be gone for nearly a week.