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9:25 PM Okay. How much time do you have to read this update? I'll try and be brief, but there's a lot of ground to cover. Friday, we left to go to Greensboro and Susan's coworker's dress rehearsal. We were unable to attend the wedding (it conflicted with my Baccalaureate), but we were able to attend the dress rehearsal and dinner afterwards, which was held on a sprawling farm south of Greensboro, with geese and goats and guineas (and if I may pause for an inside joke--Sabine, watch out for that guinea!), horses and donkeys and turkeys. The girls had a great time and I spent a lot of my time chasing after them, going to the pond, going to the barn, going to the pond, you get the picture. We had a great time and it was lovely seeing all of Brett and Jennifer's family and friends.

Unfortunately, our hotel room was probably the smallest on record, which made having four of us together in one room a bit difficult. Sophie, who had been on steroids for four days at this point, was not cooperative at all about going to bed, about sleeping in the same bed as Elisabeth, about sleeping in a bed by herself once we convinced Elisabeth to sleep on the floor. Finally, Susan laid down with her and Sophie eventually went to sleep. Then, at about 2:30am on Saturday, Sophie woke up having to go potty. She was burning up with fever. We did not have a thermometer. So, I drove around Greensboro at 3:00am trying to find a place that was open and selling thermometers. I found a Wal-Mart (what did we do before Wal-Mart?) and bought a thermometer. Sophie's temp was 103.2 by the time I got back to the hotel. In the meantime, Susan had showered and was ready to go to the ER. We called UNC Chapel Hill and they directed us to Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro. Once we got directions, Susan headed out. Just before she left, Sophie threw up. A lot. I set up the carseat with plenty of towels, and prayed that they would make it to the hospital okay.

At the ER, they drew some blood for cultures and started an IV antibiotic. Of course, by the time somebody got Sophie's vitals at Moses Cone, the temp had started to come down. She threw up a couple more times, but before long was just fine. All in all, it was probably one of our quickest ER trips in recent memory. Susan was back at the hotel around 8:00am. We all had breakfast together (Sophie was her normal self by now), and Susan napped while the girls and I hung around at the pool. After cleaning up from the pool, we all went to lunch and then checked out of the hotel. We were hoping to pick up a sweater for Elisabeth at the mall near our hotel, since we had plenty of time to make it to Duke. Unfortunately, Elisabeth, who was probably a little distraught over the last night's activities (and quite a bit tired), was practically unbearable in the mall. We rented a stroller for Sophie, thinking she probably couldn't handle the walk, well, then Elisabeth complained about her legs hurting. None of us was on our best behavior, and after quite a few tears and some sharp words, we got a sweater and left the mall. We then drove to Durham for my ceremony--looking forward to the joyous, happy occasion, as you might imagine!

I needed to be at Duke by 5:30, and the service ran from 6:30-8:00. Dinner was going to be a problem. We got to Duke, got parking, and managed to find something to eat on campus (although it was not as easy as I expected). Susan and the girls ate while I went to get ready for the ceremony. When Susan and the girls finished eating and headed for Duke Chapel, they managed to get lost, and Susan, with two girls in tow, spent some time walking around the Divinity School trying to get to the Chapel. Once they found their way, the Chapel was nearly packed, and the only seats to be had were behind a column, so the three of them could see nothing. Susan was at the point of tears (she tells me). After a while, the pew in front of Susan opened up and she was able to grab that. We were both very, very thankful that as I processed in, we were able to make eye contact. It had been a very difficult weekend.

At one point early Saturday, I offered that we should just go home. It wasn't that important to me that I go through the ritual of this ceremony. I know what I have accomplished, what I gave up to accomplish it, what it has cost me and what I have gained. Susan insisted that we go--it was important to us as a family. I'm glad, in retrospect, that we went, even if we both nearly had nervous breakdowns to make it happen.

We got home late Saturday night, and after quickly pulling things together for Sunday's worship (bulletins and whatnot), we collapsed into bed (Sophie had fallen asleep in the car and Elisabeth was not far behind). By now, Sophie seemed to return to normal. No more fevers, no more vomiting, nothing.

We got up this morning for worship, had worship, went out for Mother's Day Dinner and came home, thinking we'd all get a much-needed nap. When we got home, there was a voicemail from UNC--Sophie's blood cultures came back positive, and we needed to drive her to Chapel Hill to be admitted. Happy Mother's Day! I offered to take Sophie so that Susan could rest, but as she put it, it would be a better Mother's Day at UNC than to be at home knowing that Sophie was at UNC.

Sophie has had another blood culture drawn today and started IV antibiotics at UNC. The doctors suggested that since Sophie apparently responded so well to the IV antibiotics at Moses Cone in Greensboro, it's likely that they took care of whatever infection she had. Of course, they want to be 100% sure when they are dealing with bacteria, so they are going through these procedures at UNC. I spoke with Susan a while earlier and Sophie had another slight temperature. One doctor suggested (again) the possibility of taking out Sophie's chest catheter (a likely source for the bacterial infection), but we are not seriously having that discussion right now. None of us is sure that Sophie will be ready to get "stuck" every time she needs IV medicine or a blood draw, and the longer we can hold that off, the better.

We're looking at least at another 48 hours in Chapel Hill, depending upon the results of her blood cultures and whether or not she spikes another fever. Of course, we had plans for any number of things this week (including a quick trip to DC for myself), but all of those are on hold. We were beginning to think that maybe we could plan and schedule our lives once again, but maybe that is not the case, or maybe we need to have a plan B ready.

Please continue to keep Sophie and all of us in your thoughts and prayers. We are confident that all shall be well, but, of course, we are just as anxious and just as uncertain as you might imagine us to be in these moments of crises.


Oh my. Thanks for the update. I was hoping that you were all having a relaxing family weekend, but it seems that was not the case.

All my best to all of you,

You are always in my prayers and thoughts! I love you! ps I am wathcing out for those pesty little birds!

Wow! What a weekend! Congratulations, Randall! As always, you are all in my thoughts and prayers.