I think I reached the point, somewhere around the fourth bed sheet change yesterday, that I thought maybe trying to ride this out at home was not the best decision. While we had the support of his team, with frequent phone calls checking on him and advising me, there came a moment when I thought that perhaps the hospital was the better choice.
At least if we were there he would be getting anti-vomiting medicine through his IV which is much more effective than giving it to him through his g-tube, everything seems more effective by IV, including fever relief. I would have the help of nurses when the disasters repeatedly occurred (and they were occurring out of both ends) and there would be the comfort of frequent labs to know if what I was doing was actually managing him well enough to keep him stable.
Yesterday was hell. There is no other way to put it. That poor child was more sick than any of my kids have ever been. Sicker than anytime I have run him to the hospital for elevated ammonia even. He moaned for hours. His little lips cracked and bled because he was too afraid to take anything into his mouth. It really wrecks him when he vomits and the confusion in his eyes is heartbreaking.
The last time he had a stomach “bug” (rotovirus) he was 10 months old and we spent eight days in the hospital. I’ve always told people that Corrigan is not more likely to get sick than any other child. His immune system isn’t any weaker, but what a sick event does to him metabolically means that it takes him twice as long to recover. We were already going into this illness with a bad amino acid report from last week. The kid needs his protein yet when he is sick it is the last thing that he can have. I could be working my butt off to manage him at home and still have him end up in the hospital, in a few days, because of metabolic instability.
Today is much better than yesterday though, by leaps and bounds. While he is still vomiting once in awhile, it is not profuse and the other end of things has stopped exploding. He did have a 15 hour stretch with no upchucks, but right after I updated my Facebook about how thankful I was that he was no longer vomiting, he threw up right on the living room floor. Literally, seconds after I sent the message. (message to self, no more Facebook pronouncements.)
His fever keeps creeping back in before his next dose of Motrin is due, but thankfully the highest it has been is 100.4 which is exactly the new minimum for what is considered a fever. I can tell you that he feels horrible at 99.1 too, but doctors don’t consider it a true fever.
We are still home though. Mentally, when he has moments of feeling better, he seems fine. I do not get the sense that his ammonia is any higher than it was last week. He is getting tons of fluids through his feeding tube and I know that his anxiety is lessened tremendously by being in his own house, surrounded by his own toys, even if he doesn’t much care to play with them.
There is improvement and that is what we are looking for. He is considerably less ill than yesterday and tomorrow is a new day, with the hope that he will be even farther along the path towards recovery. The stomach flu is nothing new for any family on the planet, I know this, but the repercussions of something like this for Corrigan are dangerous and while it feels good to know we are managing this, I can’t know for sure if the decision to stay home was the right one until we get some new labs. Thank goodness we make another run to Hopkins next week!