Well, much like Easter…we made it through the actual event but found ourselves sitting in an ER the day after. Corrigan became sick, again, the morning after his 1st birthday. Sadly, he was so sick with his head cold on the actual birthday, the day before, that we were unable to celebrate much and were looking forward to Friday with him.
His initial ammonia came back 164 and the second 134. Neither time did I actually believe that he was really citru-sick but he did throw up that morning before I got him out of his crib so I couldnt take the chance of missing something so I ran him up to the hospital. Corrigan acts in a very similar way each time he is citru-sick. I normally find him in vomit, asleep…I then take him from the crib and clean him up and while I am gathering stuff to go to the hospital he usually vomits again. On the ride to the ER he typically vomits once again and then a few times while waiting in the ER for his lab results he vomits again. You get the point…he vomits…a lot. Also, as time passes by he decompensates by becoming more unwilling to sit up, whining and getting lethargic/sleepy. His eyes get very strange looking and very very red-rimmed. He also is sensitive to light so we have to keep the lights off in the ER room.
This time, however, he was not exhibiting any of these symptoms. My mother-in-law, Cathy, was with me as she normally is when we are at the ER ( thank you Cathy!) and she agreed that he was not acting citru-sick at all so we were surprise when the number came back over160. It took one hour and 45 minutes to get the results and that is, quite simply, ridiculous. If the blood is handled STAT and put on the machine pronto..there is no reason it should not be back in 35 minutes. None. For it to take that long meant that the blood sat…and that will produce incorrect numbers. I made them re-do his labs…confident that he would be fine…and it still returned, in 30 minutes no less, at 134. I was scratching my head but there was nothing to do but begin his emergency protocol.
We were admitted upstairs, staying local yet again ( thank you Hopkins!) and the doctors ordered repeat labs two hours after his meds hit his veins to see if they were working effectively. Imagine our surprise when the labs came back 22. TWENTY. TWO. Listen, I was thankful but at the same time angry. It is not possible, in two hours…if the number was truly 134…for the ammonia to come down to 22. Dr. H and I would have expected 70…60 if lucky…and maybe 20’s by late evening..because Corrigan is awesome at responding quickly to the emergency meds..but 22? Even Tank isn’t that good.
I was angry. The local pediatrician on-call that came up on during dinner to examine him was angry…obviously, like we said earlier, Corrigan was NOT hyperammonemic in the first place. We put him through all of that for NOTHING. How on Earth could the lab get it wrong twice? The second time especially considering that they did it in excellent time?
and then..while in the middle of a pity-party-for-one with my daddy, long distance on the phone..it hit me. I shouldnt be angry. I mean…two things came to mind in a flash..
1. The fact is…they discovered that Corrigan had an ear infection and possible strep. Maybe he was not hyper-ammonemic THAT DAY but we did not know about the infection..infection is Cor’s enemy..he WOULD HAVE BECOME hyper-ammonemic probably by Sunday. Each time his ammonia rises…he faces possible brain damage. By going in today, even if it was a hassle…hyperammonemia was prevented.
2. More importantly, rather than being angry at the lab for getting it wrong…perhaps they got it right. Perhaps it WAS 134…perhaps they did everything perfectly and guess what? God whisked away that ammonia. Sure, it doesnt seem medically possible for ammonia to drop 112 points in 2 hours…but it is DIVINELY possible.
Why was my first reaction ANGER instead of PRAISE? We held hands, came together in agreement and prayed over Corrigan.. outloud to Jesus to heal Corrigan while he was down in the ER…and 2 hours later he was healed. Why did I not drop to my knees and cry in thanksgiving?
I have so much work to do as a Christian. I failed yesterday. I felt weak and scared and I failed to notice when God showed us grace..I am ashamed but it is an opportunity to learn. I need to keep my eyes open for the miracles.
Corrigan was disharged after a round of IV antibiotics and came home to sleep warmly in his own bed. I got a good night’s sleep but had horrible dreams. It went like this:
The man told me that I was to grab Linda’s baby. Somehow I knew who Linda was and which baby was hers…but my hands were still tied. The man moved closer to the door and angrily ordered me to pick up Linda’s baby and throw it down the stairs or else he would throw Corrigan down the stairs. If I did what he asked…if I tossed this baby to his death ( and I knew the baby was meant to die if I threw him) then Corrigan and I could walk away.
In that strange dream-way that things are known to you without really knowing..I sensed that we were hostages or something, perhaps in a bank? I dont know..but I sensed that it was all being broadcast on cameras throughout the world. I felt terror…one, because I couldnt get my hands untied to even do what he asked..and also because I knew that the only way to save Corrigan was to toss this other little baby down the steps..I would have to murder someone to save my baby.
The mother’s were all crying..and one was saying ” I understand, I understand” but it was not Linda.
Suddenly, I was standing and in my dream state-of-mind I was thinking I was going to try and do something. Something to save Corrigan AND Linda’s baby but I was so afraid…and I was crying so hard and having trouble breathing..and then Corrigan awoke, in real life, and woke me through the baby monitor.
I woke with tears on my cheeks.
…I still feel wiped out from the experience.
I am pretty sure I know what it means.