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7:35 PM (Randall posting): It should give you some indication of our day to tell you that Sophie is already in bed asleep. We got up at our normal time this morning, had breakfast and went to the clinic. The Expressive Arts folks were there again, and Sophie got to paint with some watercolors. For the most part, though, Sophie wasn't into much of anything and wanted just to be held the whole time. Dr. Gold said that it was most definitely the steroids. Older kids describe being on steroids as making them feel "funky" and I guess younger kids (like Sophie) aren't quite as articulate.

She's definitely not herself in any way. Like I said last night, I'm surprised by the suddenness of these changes, especially since we have 17 more days of steroid treatment. Aside from the behavioral changes, which are dramatic and clearly not my imagination, what's left of Sophie's hair has started to become quite brittle and fall out. I'll be curious to see if the peach fuzz that has grown in underneath will thin out as well. Today at the clinic, it seemed to me that Sophie's face seemed a little puffy, and tonight when she got ready for bed, I needed to switch her to larger, more loose-fitting panties because her stomach has already started to get a little bloated. It's all just very shocking and hard to take. I'm thankful that Sophie as been as strong and healthy and "normal" for as long as she has been, and I'm thankful that this treatment (and all of its unpleasant side-effects and consequences) is temporary.

As for the whole getting-the-shot-at-the-clinic part of today's story, that seemed to go okay. We talked about it some more, and Sophie seemed resigned to the whole thing (I suspect that she felt so bad from the steroids that she didn't care to think too hard about the shot). When it was time for the shot, we went into an examination room and after some kicking and screaming, it was all over. Sophie cried for a long, long time afterwards and even when we got out of the car at home complained about it hurting. She did say, however, that she was going to tell Mama that she was very brave, and, this evening, she took the band-aid off the injection site all by herself so I could look at the spot where it hurt. I promised her that there would only be one more shot like that for a while--we'll see what happens when she needs to go in for immunizations!

Susan and Elisabeth return tomorrow evening. I'll be glad to have them home.