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9:00 PM Where to start with this day? Everything was pretty normal: Susan left early for work, Elisabeth got off to school just fine, Sophie and I stayed home. Shatesha came and watched Sophie while I read for classes this week. Nurse Amy came around 10:00am, and, as we feared, was unable to draw blood from Sophie's line.

After calling the clinic and checking in with them, we packed up and left for Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville--a bit further away than Dunn, to be sure, but the closest hospital with a pediatric ER. Check in went fine and the set-up at Cape Fear is actually quite nice. We got a private room (with cable TV and VCR!). All seemed to be fine, although I'm beginning to realize that no matter where we go besides UNC, we're going to be a bit of a square peg--nobody is sure what to do with us. A couple of nurses checked in, as did an ER doctor, and eventually the nurse said that Cape Fear has IV "specialists" who deal with this sort of thing and they were struggling to arrange for one to come down (because we were a pediatric case, apparently).

Finally, the same nurse came and said that hospital regulations require that an MD administer the TPA and one was on call. Three hours after we arrived at Cape Fear, the doctor came in, spent less than 30 seconds dropping in the TPA and left. On the way out, he told the nurse to wait 2 hours to draw the blood. When I asked why we needed to wait 2 hours (we only waited 30 minutes the last time we had a clot), his reply was that the manufacturer recommends 2 hours. So, we waited some more. After 1 1/2 hours (I think the nurse felt sorry for us), the nurse came and did a blood draw--worked perfectly. Another hour or so later, we were still waiting for the test results. To keep a long story from getting longer, we got home around 7:15 tonight, without having had dinner (and thankfully, Susan recommended that we stop for fast food for lunch on the way!). As we left, Sophie asked the nurse, without the slightest trace of sarcasm in her voice, "Are you going to miss us?"

All in all, not a terrible ER visit, and not a terrific one either. We'll see what the billing situation is when that comes in.

Oh, and after all of that, Sophie's counts are still too low to start maintenance therapy tomorrow, so we'll have another complete blood count to do next Monday. Hopefully we won't have any more problems with the line.

The daily "cute Sophie" report has two items:

At the ER, I was bouncing Sophie on my knee to a German rhyming song ("Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter") and when I stopped, Sophie said, "do the Spanish words again!"

Dinner tonight was leftovers. Sophie was more interested in my pasta with tuna sauce than Clifford soup, and I eventually made her her own plate. At one point, she stopped eating and said, "this is the best chicken I've ever had." Tuna is called "chicken of the sea," right?


Oh, how frustrating! Dealing with the medical care in this country can be a challenge. Sophie seems to be holding up well under the situations. I'm so glad to hear she's in such good spirits.

I think of you all, and will continue to keep you in my prayers.

I am enjoying the "cute Sophie" reports. It brings a smile to my face that even through this whole ordeal, she is still a 3 year old little girl with a precious mind, soul and spirit. Sorry we never made contact last week.. You were on my mind.

Love you,