A gift for Joe’s nurse

First off I have to thank Jann Gray, Shelly Makowski, Lynn Claridge, and Maureen Mathis for all of your love and support during this time of my husband, Joe, being in the hospital and treated for Pulmonary Embolism. Also a special thanks to our daughter Loreli, the ICU Trauma nurse, acting as our go between with Joe’s doctor and deciphering the information we have been bombarded with.

Friday Joe had trouble breathing and bad pain in his right side. He said it felt like he had cracked a rib. A late evening call to our Family Physician resulted in an early appointment Saturday morning then being sent off to the ER at a nearby hospital.

Tests, scans, ultrasounds, and blood work told Joe’s heart specialist that he has blood clots in both of his lungs. PE, or Pulmonary Embolism. The doctor gave us the news on Sunday and I had a private meltdown in my car at the hospital parking lot. Reaching out to my friends and letting all our kids know what is happening to their Dad.

I have been keeping busy with text messaging to our kids and answering their questions, relaying other questions to the doctor or nurses and just trying to keep close to Joe day and night.

In the lulls I have been creating in Joe’s hospital room. I’m trying not to take over every flat surface and have only partially succeeded.


I did get Joe’s pocket notebook finished while I kept an eye on him. The papers used are from Graphic 45 Communique.


Jann suggested I do something for Joe’s nurse who has really been wonderful and patient with me as I relay the questions from family and our Loreli who asks about the course of treatment and all the meds they are giving him.

The nurse would watch me making something from time to time and she tossed out a request for a notebook of her own. Once again, Graphic 45 Communique papers and bits from the “Traveling Stash” I received from Jann, plus the things I’ve picked up on the road were used to make this gift I gave her for her patience and skill.


I used some mica pigments to add a touch of color to the black and antique ladies. First I was going to just add a touch of red to their lips and botched up the first woman so I cleaned that off. The hats seemed to be a safer place to add color.

A tag, flowers, rub ons (Weva), and a button from Jann created the name piece. The stamp image is from a Tim Holtz set. I used a light blue mica pigment water color to accent the tag and add some shine.

The lacy bit is a Martha Stewart punch using black and green card stock. I’ve accented the lacy bits with black gel pen on the green piece and white gel pen on the black lacy piece. Glitter glue has been added to the lacy holes for extra sparkle. The lower right corner is adorned with square rhinestones.

Joe’s nurse, Weva, was thrilled and a bit overwhelmed. She said this was the first time anyone had done anything special for her. I’m glad I took Jann’s advice 🙂

Lynn offered that working with my crafty stash would keep my mind off things and lend some normalcy to this mess for Joe. I do believe it is helping. At least it is helping me to cope and not be peeled off the ceiling frequently.

I also made Joe’s load book for our eventual return to work. This is the piece his nurse saw me make.


Once again, many thanks to everyone that has held Joe and I up in your love and support.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gardenpinks
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 16:15:40

    I just had to laugh to see all your crafty stash spread out there 🙂 Home from home! Love those books you have made and the pen nibs, pens and ink images are just up my street….I love those. I have seen stamps with those images and they are on my great long wish list 🙂
    What a lovely thought to make one of those notebooks for the nurse and it sounds as though she appreciated the thought too. I can envisage a huge order being given to you for those notebooks and you beavering away trying to make as many as possible before you and Joe leave the hospital 🙂

    Anyway how is Joe? Is he comfortable? Fed up yet??? LOL
    Love and hugs to you both
    Lynn xx


    • Message In A Fold
      Aug 21, 2012 @ 20:17:24

      Joe is getting antsy. He just has to get his bowels to participate then we can get him home. I’ve been giving him grapes, cherries, watermelon, and cantaloupe in an attempt to help him along since Saturday. Nothing!

      The nurses have plied him with prune juice and Milk of Magnesia with the same result. Nothing.

      I’m mixed. I want him to finally go but kind of dread it knowing what is to come.

      Thank you for your kind comments on the books I’ve made. I have a mess of stuff almost as though I’m home! Yikes.

      Thank you, so much, for your long standing friendship with me. I appreciate you very much.

      Love you – Leslie


  2. Lilie
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 19:27:09

    What a thoughtful and beautiful gift for your husband’s nurse. I wish your husband a speedy recovery. My prayers are with your husband and I pray that you feel comforted in these trying times.

    God bless,



    • Message In A Fold
      Aug 21, 2012 @ 20:19:38

      Lilie, I appreciate you and your thoughtful prayers for Joe. I appreciate you.

      Thank you, also for your kind comment on my gift to Joe’s nurse. She certainly has worked hard and it is all appreciated.

      Warm regards,



  3. Pati Mishler
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 20:34:01

    Oh sis, i am so glad things are working out for joe, things will return back to normal, or, i should say, reasonable normal.

    As i said, i talked with one of our professionals, i was standing by my housekeeping cart when i got your email, Gabby our PA, or whatever she is was just walking by, i pret near grabbed her and said, WHAT IS THIS ? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??

    She is so sweet, she kindly answered my questions, and then let me know what could be expected as time goes on.

    So glad Joe had his specialist there for him, sis, just take it as it comes.

    Yes!! Les and i know medical stress!! Dont forget, Eric, our youngest son, from day one, till three years old, STRESS!!!! STRESS!! If medical science had not progressed from pioneer days, we would have lost our precious baby boy.

    Things may not always go according to our plans, but, i am slowly, yes, slowly, learning that when things DONT go according to our plan, its because God almighty has other plans.

    YOU be the stronghold, Joe is in a position that he cant do much of anything at the moment, you be strong enough for the both of you.

    So glad you have your craft stuff with you, it WILL help take you mind off so much stress, and i am SO PROUD of you to take the advise and make a notebook for the wonderful nurse, i know how our nurses feel when someone does something special for them, you go girl, they appreciate kindness given back to them.

    They put their all on the line for the patients, i hear them everyday, but a nurse loves her job, so, sis, she really appreciates your wonderful gift.

    And i think your book to the nurse is BEAUTIFUL!!

    Love you sis, if you need to talk, you know i have email, text, and even though you and i DO NOT like to talk on the phone, i will for you if you need me.

    Love you sis.


    • Message In A Fold
      Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:44:53

      Sis, thank you. It means the world to me that you are there. I’m also glad you had someone there where you work to answer your questions.

      I remember you telling me about your Eric and his medical issues at birth. He has done well since then and in no small part you and Les caring for him.

      The medical staff here is awesome. It was fun and good for me to make something for Joe’s nurse. Knowing that she is aware of my appreciation is all I wanted to convey. It was a bonus to see and hear her reaction.

      Sis, thank you very much once again for just being there for us.

      Love you Sis


  4. Maureen Mathis
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:18:46

    What a thoughtful gift! I know it must mean the world to her. Tell Joe the best thing he can do for his GI tract is to WALK WALK WALK. Never underestimate the power of movement and gravity! Hope you are able to make it home, even though I know that you’ll be in for daily blood tests for awhile while they adjust his meds. You’d better make a bunch more of those notebooks, for all the lab techs and receptionists you’re sure to befriend in the future!


    • Message In A Fold
      Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:52:54

      Thank you Maureen. Your call to me this morning was a balm to my frenetic nerves. I appreciate you.

      I have come to realize that I’m no sales person. This gift of playing with paper is better for me when I give things away instead of hoarding them and trying to sell them.

      I’ll take your advice and make several of the notebooks when we finally get home. My paperwork is just about done and I can finish it while Joe is recuperating. The rest of my time at home can be spent in being creative.

      From the sound of things I’ll be getting creative in the kitchen as well. No more salt and comfort foods for us.

      Once again, thank you for your long standing friendship. I appreciate you, girlfriend. More than you know.

      Love you – Leslie


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