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October 01, 2018


I’d like to explain why I haven’t been posting here, and why I hope to be back soon.

On August 18, my daughter, Sophie, who was getting ready to start college, developed a sudden and severe autoimmune disorder. She was hospitalized in the Critical Care unit, and began an aggressive course of treatment, to which she gradually responded; she then began intensive physical therapy. After 40 days of hospitalization, she was able to return home. She’s now in outpatient rehab, and is steadily doing better. She still has a lot of healing and recovery ahead, but we’re optimistic. Throughout this ordeal her spirit has not wavered: She has displayed incredible strength, grace, courage and humor. I am in awe of her, and of her mom, my amazing wife, Michelle, who stayed with Sophie, night and day, the entire time in the hospital.

So that’s why I haven’t been posting. My focus will remain on Sophie’s recovery, but I’m hoping to be able to start getting back to some semblance of normal life soon. Meanwhile I want to thank everybody who expressed concern about my sudden disappearance. I also thank our family members and friends for their love and support, and all the skilled and caring medical folks for all they did for Sophie. This has been a difficult, at times brutal, experience, but the pain has been eased by the goodness and generosity we have seen in so many people.


Update: I didn’t mean to disable the comments. I fixed that.


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Wow. Scary. So glad to hear she is doing better, which is of course the only thing that matters.

Always, best thought to you and yours, Dave.

Many prayers and blessings, Dave!

Wow! That is frightening. Glad she's getting better and pray that she continues improving.

Don't worry about us; we'll be here when you're able to come back.

You and your family have been in my prayers.
Still are, just more specific prayers for the duration

Dave, we're humbled and appreciative that you've shared this with us. I feared much worse.

Having been by Mrs. wanderer's side when she went through a very frightening health crisis some years ago, I can attest that an unwavering spirit, along with strength, grace, courage, and humor, is perhaps the most important thing. There will be tough days, but spirit will see everyone through them. Sophie is definitely on the right path!

If you're not familiar with caringbridge.org, I highly recommend it as a way of keeping people informed without having to answer constant individual inquiries. AND you can get all your family members to sign up to take turns coming to clean your house.

All best to Sophie, you, Mrs. Blog, and the whole family. Take your time; Florida Man and Flathead County animals will still be here.

Glad to hear she is recovering and that she has the support that she does.
As I'm finding out, too, take all the time you need.

Best wishes, Dave.


Continued prayers for Sophie, Michelle, and you as the healing and recovery continues. Thanks for letting us know.

My family extends to yours our thoughts and prayers for Sophie's fast and full recovery. So happy to learn of her improving condition.

Love and prayers for your dear Sophie and for all of you, Dave! Thank you for letting us know so we can shower you with virtual care!

I am also extending my sincere thoughts and prayers to you and your family. I'm so glad she is recovering. As for the rest of us, we'll be here when you come back.

Hang in there. Sounds as if she’s on the right trajectory.

All the best, Dave. And Sophie. And Michelle.

{{Hugs}} to all of you.

I can't even imagine how frightening this was for all of you. Take care and hopefully things only get better from here.

Yikes, sorry to hear about the scary ordeal. Best wishes to all of you from the other end of the country.

Best wishes to you and your family, and I hope that Sophie recovers soon.

Sending best wishes to Sophie for a full and speedy recovery! Please let us know if there's anything we can do to help all of you through this.

So happy she is doing better! Prayers for all of you.

Happy to hear things are looking much better for Sophie. I want to say I know how you feel. When my son was born and after one year of trying to diagnose what the problem was, I remember giving in to fact I would have to learn to provide for and care for a 'bubble boy'. Shock to the system. He got all right once properly diagnosed. Took more than a decade of love and care, but he got ok. Lives a totally normal life. I was humbled by the life changing experience on my part. And grateful for the outcome.

I will keep you, Sophie, & your family in my entreaties to the creator. Dealing with illnesses and injuries to one's family are really stress inducing. And remember to take care of the caretaker(s). Book some massages or whatever else eases tension. Take care.

Very glad to hear Sophie's recovering. Best wishes to her, and your entire family!

Best wishes to you and your daughter and your family. What a frightening thing to happen.

Dave, my prayers go out to Sophie, you and Michelle. So glad she's on her way to recovery. Please take care and know that we are all sending positive vibes your way.

Despite the moniker, I'm a real doctor (ER physician) and I know how scary and challenging autoimmune problems can be. I'm so happy about Sophie's progress. May God bless her and your family in this difficult time.

Glad to hear Sophie’s doing better. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and the entire Barry family.

Thank you so much for posting this update, Dave. Many thousands of us out here have been thinking of you each day you've been gone. We figured Judi would have told us if the worst of the worst had happened to someone in your family, but we worried nonetheless. Sending best wishes to Sophie and the rest of you for continued strength, spirit, and miracles of modern medicine. Please keep us posted. You all matter to so many. With love from the North Coast (Rochester, NY).

Continued thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

Glad to know that she's doing OK. Our best to you, Sophie, Michelle. And thanks to Judi for holding down the fort.

~~Al & Emily Dean

Best wishes for Sophie and we are all looking forward to seeing you back to normality very soon.

Thank you for the update, Dave. Thousands of us out here have thought of you every day, hoping things were okay. Please keep us posted. Much love from the North Coast (Rochester, NY).

It's terrible when any young person is stuck by disease. When it's your own child, it would be shattering. At least the prognosis is excellent,so hang in there. Each day will be better and better.

Oh Dave, we went through this exact thing this past May. My 15 year old was (finally) diagnosed with Kawasaki's Disease, an autoimmune response to they-don't-know-what. A week in the ICU. It's a miracle she didn't die, and has made a full recovery.

It's still surreal thinking about it. God Bless you and your family.

What wanderer said, and many others.

The human body is fearfully and wonderfully made. When things go askew, we feel like a Picasso and it can be scary. It's okay to be scared. But you wrote a wonderful article on how Sophie is a Warrior and I'm sure that showed during her diagnoses and hospital stay.

I have an amazing example in a young woman named Taylor Helland, who was a classmate of my son's. In 2011, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her father, Bob, wrote the CaringBridge blog and often said 'If Only I Were As Strong As Her.'

Perhaps this entry will help you (and maybe others):

Julia and I are bouncing between all thirty-five stages of grief. I was hoping this was simply a go_down_the_list_and_check_them_off_as_you_go kind of thing, but no.... Just because you've already DONE the anger stage, doesn't mean that the next day you're not going to want to smash something.

I've been through anger many times, depression, not so much denial, although we've dipped our toes in THAT ONE for sure. I've done the 'vanilla wafers' stage, where I just sit in bed and eat the entire box. (Although in reality I guess that's simply depression meets opportunity...)

Blessings and prayers to you all.

Wow. Glad she's on the road to recovery! She and all your family are in our prayers, Dave!!!!

My prayers and best wishes.

Sounds like things are looking good, glad to hear that.

Oh my lord, that is so much worse than I had imagined. Bless you,your wife and most of all, your daughter. May you all life to look back on this as just one of life's incidents.


Best wishes for a fast recovery for your daughter. We will be here when you get back, along with Florida Man and all the usual suspects.

Eric in New Mexico, aka Alkali Bill

Whoa. Sending warm thoughts to you and your family, Sophie. Bet you'll be kicking that soccer ball's butt in no time.

You have your priorities straight, Dave. Sending prayers for Sophie and your family.

As one who has too much experience with this sort of crap, I too wish Sophie and family the best. So glad to hear it is getting better. I’ve felt that too - it is wonderful. So just hang in.

God bless you and your family, Dave, and continued blessings on Sophie as she recovers. And, take your time; we will fire and re-hire Judi as needed until you return.

More prayers for Sophie, you, your wife, and the rest of your family. I can't imagine how much this has scared all of you. Hope that her condition improves exponentially in the coming days and weeks!

Dave, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

I was hoping for something you could write a humor column about, like being abducted by aliens. This isn't funny. At all. My best wishes to Sophie, you, and Michelle.

What everybody else said...

Prayers for Sophie.

Sophie and her caregivers are in our prayers.

One hundred thousand hugs.

I was raised and grew up with the Mexican culture whose motto is:
"Familia es todos" or family is everything. Those values are the glue that holds life and love together.

Best wishes from Spokanistan.
Take care of yourself and your family. That is what really counts.

Very sorry to learn of this. Hoping for a full recovery.

Best wishes to Sophie, and of course Dave and Michelle.

The immune system is an amazing thing. So essential, so dangerous when it strays off target.

Today's Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to two (James Allison, Tasuku Honjo) who furthered our understanding of the immune system, so there is progress...just not as much and not as fast as we'd like.

Sending all possible thoughts of healing and recovery to your daughter, and hoping for peace and comfort for your whole family. Much love from the whole (numerous) Hands Clan in Oregon.

At age 15, back in the 50's was riding a 1947 Indian Chief Motorcycle, shagging a friend on the back when I was pointed to the curb by a camel jockey. Told my friend to hang on as I slide the back end into the curb, he gets off, sits on the lawn as the officer walks up asking how long Iv been riding this bike. I paused for a moment then replied, "about six months or so, with that he ask if I knew everything there is to know about this machine, again after pausing I looked up and said, yea. He then points his finger in my face and says, "listen punk, Iv been riding for sixteen years and I don't know everything". Well I said, it takes some people awhile to catch on and with that he kicks my bike over while my friend is laughing and rolling in stitches.
That was my third ticket and cost me my motorcycle, for when appearing before the judge I was told, "well kid seems we just can't keep you off your bike and gave me 72 hours to sell it.'
Not knowing then but thankful now that he probably helped save my life, for I was trouble as most teens were back in the fifties who were out just to have fun.Black leather jackets, supporting a waterfall and ducktail haircut. Sad what the teen missed today missed out on.

Thanks so much for the update, Dave. It's greatly appreciated by all of us, as are you and your family.

I'm happy to find that I can occasionally follow along during the early mornings here (South Sudan). I hope to be back in the U.S. in Decmeber. I'm sure we're all looking forward to your annual gift guide and end-of-the-year review, though I'm sure there's very little good material for you from our news of late.

I'll join others in keeping your family in prayer.

Best regards, as always.

Very sorry to read this news - best wishes to Sophie for a speedy and complete recovery, and to the rest of the family for strength as well. Hang in there, all of you!

Hello Dave,

You don't know me, but I feel I know you through our shared birthplace and experiences. I will pray for Sophie and your family. As cynical as we both are, I know prayer works. It has never let me down, and I am 72 years old, a former Vietnam POW from Freeport, LI, and a friend you never knew you had. God bless Sophie; and may you return to make me laugh again soon.


So glad you're back

Wow! Sorry to hear this. Hang in there and be strong! Healing prayers for your daughter and prayers of rest and comfort for the rest of the family!

Thoughts and prayers for you and your family, Dave!

Yikes! Scary times, but glad she's on the road to recovery.

Good to hear from you.

My morning reading had a different perspective today.

Elisha bringing a child back to his mother brought a tear and a thank You for several kids in recent years. It’s a theme that comes up in the OT and NT. It’s a prayer that comes up in every NICU, PICU and ICU.

Continuing to pray for all members of the family

I wondered what had happened. Glad that she is getting better. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Give my best to Sophie.She is such a pretty girl. Glad that she is doing better

Parenting (and grandparenting) are the hardest jobs in the world. You would instantly trade places with her if you could, but you can't, so you offer support in the best way you can.

All our love, Dave, to you and yours.

Dave, we discussed this at length over on Facebook, and you can assure Sophie that her two miniature therapy ponies are on their way. Just as soon as we agree on their names.

Dave, put your arms around her at least once a day and tell her how deeply you love her. Am thinking about your family.
My best to all of you.

love ya

Be well, Sophie.

Healing and happiness to Sophie and your whole family.

Thank you for the update, I've worried and wondered every day. Quite an ordeal, my best wishes to you and your family Dave.

Thank you for the update. I've also been following to hope your absence was only temporary and wish you and your family the very best. Children are so precious and I hope for a very quick and total recovery for your daughter.

My very best wishes to your daughter. My wife experienced something similar 15 years ago, before I met her. It was grueling but she got through it.

Thanks for sharing. I know everyone here on the blog is pulling for a full recovery. We'll all be here making fun of stupid stuff until you're ready to come back full-time (then, we'll split).

JK, love to everyone...

Glad to hear Sophie is on the road to recovery. However long it takes, we will still be here when you get back.

We've "watched" Sophie grow up into a young woman. Prayers for her and your family.

You are an incredible family, and much stronger than you realize. 40 days of hospital dining has demonstrated that!

PirateBoy is right. Can Sophie recommend a jello flavor?

I've reverted to my old blog name because when we met you knew me as such. So, a big old hug and manly chuck on the arm from old mudstuffin. Please know that I've been here all along, praying and rooting and occasionally hunkering and girding under various pseudonyms.

WOW! I had an 18 year old who was injured in a car accident, we didn't know how it would turn out but after three days we lost him. Worst time of my life, and those three days were pure hell.

My heartfelt sympathies to you and your family, and my most sincere hopes that her recovery continues!

As trials like this come, May God not only draw you closer to one another, but closer to him. My heartfelt prayers for Sophie’s recovery.


If my 20-something daughter has a sniffle it kills me; I can't (& don't want to) imagine what you are going through. God be with you all.

Glad she's on the mend. Many prayers for healing and peace your way from the tribe.

Welcome news. Wishing you and yours also the best.

Thank you very much for updating us Dave you have been in our prayers. Have you thought about reaching out to some cutting-edge doctors. So many auto immune conditions are being resolved with dietary interventions. I know wheat, grain, dairy and gluten-free don't sound like fun. But I know you will try anything to get her well and off to college. Please reach out to Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain. He lives in Florida. He can help you. Don't just rely on what you have in progress. He is a very sincere and brilliant doctor. You will do anything for Sophie, so please do this. You have nothing to lose. Let me know what happens please.
God bless you,

Thank you for sharing this painful season with us; now we know how we may direct our prayer on your family's behalf.

So very glad to hear that Sophie is on the mend! Much love to you all.

So sorry to hear about Sophie. I know she's a strong, smart person and will come through it. Judi did a fine job. Best wishes to your family.

It’s ok to close your eyes now and then,.. hope you all are getting the rest you need, as well. Love, and blessings to you all!

Holy crap, Dave - that's awful. Glad she's on the mend. You'll be glad to know you won't have to fire Judi again; she's been doing a great job in your absence.

Prayers for your whole family and gratefulness for Sophie's ongoing recovery.

Dave, I am so sorry. Our close friends' young daughter was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis two years ago. It was terrifying. She underwent specialized surgery in a Southern hospital (possibly Alabama.) If they could be of any help to your family, please let me know and I will put them in touch with you. - Anne August

I haven't been able to visit the blog regularly for a very long time now, but I did want to come today and give you my best wishes and prayers for all of you and for Sophie's medical care team.

I’m so glad that Sophie is doing well. The Blogits were all worried!

I just cannot find the words. I don't know if they exist.

You were the inspiration of the MOAT, Mother of all Threads, 14 years ago and we've become a family - even intermarrying and starting our own families. We've long lasting friendships across the wide expanse of the Internet.

When you feel pain we all feel pain.

We're so relieved to know the pain is almost gone and there's blue skys in your future. Sofie's still that image of a little girl like my F2(now 16) was when we all started this great adventure.

I'm sure there's more words, but most of what I feel is profound relief.

The best to you and your family! And let Sofie know she has a huge family out here cheering her on!

"Once a MOATie, always a MOATie!"

Hoping her recovery continues to accelerate!

Dave, I'm so sorry you've been through this, but so glad to hear things are improving. My prayers to all of you. (And you can believe prayers from this bunch, especially the Blogits, are powerful. They got me through losing a foot, and many other such not-so-fun health issues.)

I [for you i'll capitalize] hope Sophie continues to improve and she can get back to being embarrassed by you...

Mr. B - I have read virtually every word you've ever published, and I can only thank you for the laughter and the insights you've provided.

Best wishes and hope for Sophie, yourself and your family.

Dave - thanks for the update. Glad to hear Sophie is responding to treatment. Best wishes to you all.

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