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8/24/06 PM

11:00 PM: It's been a really emotional day for me. I don't know why I'm having trouble now, exactly, but this has been much harder time for me than normal. The decision to remove the line so quickly came rather suddenly, and I wasn't totally prepared for it. As Dr. Gold put it, this is a nice compromise between keeping the line and having to do IV sticks, but it's still a change we have to get used to. But this allows us to come home tomorrow (hopefully), which is a good thing, because it's hard ot keep shuttling back and forth. We just want to be together in our house instead of in a small room.

Earlier today, we had heard that her status was as an "add on" for tomorrow, which means no definite time. The nurse said we should cut off food and fluids after midnight tonight. With her on steroids, we were really worried about the prospect of her facing surgery at no particular time on an empty stomach (and I can tell you that the steroids are definitely affecting her this month). When I talked to Randall tonight, he said the surgeon and anesthesiologist had stopped by to talk about how tomorrow would go. She's currently scheduled for 12:30 PM, but they will fit her in earlier if at all possible, and they said she can have clear fluids up until 7:00 AM. Randall plans on setting his alarm for 6:30 to get some juice or a popsicle in her.

Elisabeth's first day of school is tomorrow, and she's very excited. She'll ride the bus and I'll head up to Chapel Hill and will hopefully be there by 10:00. Bob and Patti will pick Elisabeth up from school tomorrow afternoon, since we're not sure how long it will take to get released, but all the doctors seems certain Sophie can come home tomorrow after surgery. It's all a little uncertain (and I'm not a big fan of uncertainty), but we're hanging in there. I know administering antibiotics at home every six hours is going to be no picnic, but we can do it. Dr. Gold said that they wouldn't normally send patients home administering antibiotics that frequently, but he knows we can handle it. Our home health agency will come every two days to draw a blood culture. As long as it stays negative (no bacteria), we can stay at home. But if it comes back positive, we'll have to return to the hospital and administer the rest of the antibiotics by regular IV without the PICC line.

Meanwhile, there's going to be a memorial service at Nannie's church on Saturday. Dr. Gold said it would be okay for us all to go up to Virginia as long as we're home on Sunday for the blood culture. Once Sophie is released though, we'll have to come home first to accept delivery of the IV antibiotics. If we're all feeling up to it, we could potentially head up to Virginia, but we'll have to play that by ear. It will depend on what time we get released and how Sophie is feeling.


Good luck! I hope that all goes well with the removal of the central line, and will keep my fingers crossed that Sophie is able to get in earlier for surgery. Between this and your Nannie's memorial service, it's no wonder that you're feeling emotional. Hang in there! Hopefully things will be much better once you are through with these antibiotics. Thinking of you, Heidi

Susan - We're waiting with you -- let us give you some of our strength and patience. Big hugs to all of you.
Love from the Bowens