How do I programmatically expand a Drupal 6 navigation menu entry?

I have written a custom module that creates several top level entries in the navigation menu.  When a user selects one of these entries and navigates into it, the menu tree is expanded as selections are made.  However, selecting an entry that creates, views or edits a node, causes Drupal to redirect to "/node/xxx" or "/node/xxx/edit".  This results in the custom navigation menu tree collapsing, so that the user has to re-navigate it again to select another entry.

I can mark the menu entries as permanently expanded, but then the navigation menu is too busy as the trees show on all pages whether the user is using that function or not.

Are there any mechanisms to programmatically expand a menu item so that the relevant menu tree remains visible when the user has been re-directed away?

Thanks
jayellessAsked:
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Thomas4019Commented:
This modules not perfect, http://drupal.org/project/dhtml_menu, but might help.
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jayellessAuthor Commented:
Thanks for pointing out that module.  It looks as though it may do some of what I am wanting, but is not the approach I was hoping to be able to take.  For performance reasons, I am trying to keep the amount of javascript deployed with each page to a minimum.

I am hoping that someone might know of some variables that can be set programmatically that will cause the Drupal rendering routines to expand a particular menu item.  When the item is selected via normal navigation, Drupal knows to expand it, so there should be a setting somewhere that controls this behaviour.

Regards
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TheChemicCommented:
I dont know much about custom drupal modules.  However, I solved a similar problem myself.  I have several tabs and I wanted drupal to remember the last tab a user had viewed.  Each time the user would visit a page with those tabs, his "last viewed tab" would be selected and open by default.

I just created a custom session variable and stored the "last tab" info into it, then and hard coded the script into a template file.  I did not create a module.  This is not the "drupal way" but it worked just fine for me.
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jayellessAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion.  It is an approach I have not yet considered, but it seems to be an approach that fits with my objectives, so I will explore this idea to find a solution to my problem.

Regards,
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jayellessAuthor Commented:
Maybe my question was too difficult or not well expressed.
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