30 december 2008 ( hospital stay number 5 )

Corrigan spent another couple of days at John's Hopkins due to hyperammonemia .  Mark remarked that I was too specific ( or not specific enough ) when I prayed, "Dear God, please just let us get through Christmas" dreading the thought of spending the holiday in the hospital. Well, He heard me and we had a wonderful Christmas day but the very next morning Corrigan began showing symptoms and we were in the local ER by 1:30pm. After almost two hours of numerous IV attempts, several episodes of frightening vomiting and a shaved left-side of his head (stay tuned for a New Years Eve mohawk for the baby), Corrigan was transported to Hopkins by ambulance.

This photo was taken at Cumberland Memorial Hospital and we like to call this "You are putting that WHERE?!?!?!"

Once in Baltimore we spent the next days in the usual routine of twice daily blood tests and lots of time staring at seafoam green walls.  Corrigan is now able to pull IV's from his arms and legs so, this time, he had to wear something called a "No-no Sleeve"  It was a lot bigger than his arm so he was pretty upset at not being able to roll much. 

When he sat up, Pap Pap called it his "kick stand"

I pack tons of toys for Corrigan to play with while in the hospital but even with as many things I bring he still ends up bored and irritable.  I decided to mess around with some hospital tape and rig him up a "mobile" sort of toy to keep his attention. He loves his mirror but loved it even more when it was dangling six inches above his head. 

Though with his "no-no" sleeve the mirror was more like a pinata. 

Everything went just as it has the last three times we were admitted and it is a blessing that Corrigan responds so well to treatment. It is interesting that the length of our stay does not seem to depend on anything more than which metabolic doctor is on call. Some play it safe and want to keep us there 4 days minimum and others subscribe to the thought that keeping us in a hospital, during cold and flu season, is probably more detrimental than getting us home a few days sooner than normal.  Corrigan's ammonia was lower, this visit, than the last two weeks ago…yet we spent nearly two extra days hospitalized simply because another doctor was on call.

 No matter though. What matters is that the baby is stabilized and home. The theory is that all of these hospitalizations are a result of his rapid growth and we are hoping that as his growing slows a bit the hospitalizations will become further and further apart.  (Further= literal distance….Farther is mental? I can never remember the rule)

I do not want to revisit my anger and frustration at how this hospitalization began, with over 10 1/2 hours in our local er and a seemingly uncaring doctor and general crummy care, but it was not one I would like to repeat. It was angering to think that we arrived in our local er at 1:30pm and the baby did not arrive in Baltimore until nearly 3am in the morning. It was a very very long ride to Baltimore that night.  Aside from the rough start…the baby was a good little trooper and he really seems to be able to handle these stays better and better each time.

Three hospitalizations in 45 days…8 roundtrips (for both regularly scheduled clinic visits and the hospitalizations) on our car (poor Mark takes me down and then comes back home to be with Connor and then has to return to Baltimore in a few days to bring us back home)…this has been a pretty crummy end to 2008. Living with citrullinemia is tough and we still have so much to learn.  We are looking forward to a better 2009. Or not. Really, like we have any choice, right?

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