Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Bring Back Nice" Blog Hop

My longtime friend -- and CTMH upline -- Anita invited me to take part in a blog hop!  For those who are unfamiliar with the term, that's a fun event wherein you get to hop from blog to blog reading fun posts written by different bloggers, all on the same topic.

To follow today's "Bring Back Nice" blog hop, just click the link at the end of this post.  That will bring you to the next blog in the hop and from there you can go to the next, and so on.  Have fun!

The topic for today's hop is "Bring Back Nice".  All the bloggers in this hop want to encourage our readers to bring back the art of being nice to those we meet.  My post contribution is about sending greeting cards, which is right up my alley as a Close to My Heart independent consultant.

My youngest daughter, Kathi, has a rare (1 in 100,000 patients worldwide) brain disease called Intracranial Hypertension.  That's a neurological disorder in which the body produces cerebrospinal fluid more quickly than it can drain it.  Basically, the fluid that surrounds your brain is supposed to drain as steadily as it's replenished so that it's always in perfect balance.  In most people, that happens without a hitch.

In IH patients like Kathi, that balance is off so instead of cushioning her brain the fluid gets trapped in the immovable space of her solid skull and keeps accumulating, so it crushes and damages the brain that it's designed to protect.  The result is constant excruciating pain, dizziness, nausea, ringing in her ears, and -- in some cases -- blindness due to the pressure on the optic nerves.  Kathi is 22 years old, and has had this disease since she was 17.

As we have lived with this disease and learned to deal with its bundle of adventure, we've met many families who are going through many of the same experience we are.  This disease attacks men, women, and children of all ages and one of the more difficult aspects of this disease is that it's an "invisible" illness, meaning that IH sufferers don't often look sick.  So that means they suffer in silence a lot of the time and don't always get the care they need because they aren't always believed when they say that they're in pain.

Learning firsthand how important it is for an IH'er to have a lot of support, we decided to send cards of love and friendship to IH'ers when we hear that they're having an especially bad head day or have a surgery coming up, or if they're recovering from surgery or another procedure.

Sending a card through the mail isn't a difficult or expensive thing to do, but it sure brightens the recipient's day.  I know, because Kathi loves it when she gets an unexpected card in the mail, too.

Here is a card that I made for a little boy who doesn't want to say that his "head squeezes" are back because he knows that means he may have to go in for another painful Lumbar Puncture (aka Spinal Tap) to relieve the pressure.  I've been in the room when Kathi's had an LP, and I don't know how these IH'ers bear that pain again and again.  Their head pain must be terribly awful if they ask for a Spinal Tap to take the edge off of it.

I mounted the Lagoon balloon on a fun little adhesive spring to make it pop off the card when he opens it.  Just need to add the string now.  I hope this surprise brightens his day!

And here's the card with an IH awareness bracelet, a postcard, and an info card on Kathi's foundation.  All done and ready to mail!  But first, I have to remember to add that string to the balloon.

I encourage you to send a card to someone this week.  Send it snail mail.  Everyone loves to get personal cards and notes in the mail!  You don't even have to make the card (though I find that's part of the fun); you can buy one. Or just grab some paper and write a quick note (handwritten, if possible, for that extra personal touch) to let them know you're thinking of them.

Make a habit of sending a card or a note. Maybe do it once a week or once a month. I bet you'll find that brightening other people's days in this simple way will brighten yours, too.  I know it's enriched our lives.  And we can all use a little life enrichment, can't we?

I'd love to hear about your cards and letters in the comments below!

Ready for the next blog in the hop?  Here you go:  Heart Hugs Designs.

Happy crafting,


  1. What an adorable card! I love how you made it pop.

  2. I send snail mail cards a lot! I love sending and receiving "happy" mail.

  3. Wow Pia!! This is an awesome card and I love how the balloon "springs" off the inside of it! So fun! Reading about daughter is so inspirational, too. Such a courageous young lady. You must be so incredibly proud.

  4. So sorry to hear about your daughter's condition. How wonderful of you to make the cards to share. I am currently working on a card to send to someone who is struggling with a serious illness. Handmade cards are a wonderful gift to give.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's condition! I appreciate that you used this hop as a way to spread awareness. There are so many illnesses out there and it's so important to help people be aware. I also am/was (?) a card maker and I have tons of cards that need to go out. Thank you for joining the hop, sharing your story, and making beautiful things and sharing them with everyone!

  6. So sorry to hear about your daughter! And I am definitely going to take up your challenge to send out a card!