Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Cat-astrophe!

Some relationships that develop while learning how to navigate in the world special needs will become significantly more personal than others. You may not feel as close to your child's Ophthalmologist as you do their Neurologist. I think it would depend on how often you see that particular specialist. In my case, I have become very attached to Rae's physical therapist. We met Anna through Early Steps and while I was nervous about having a new person come into our home every week that apprehension quickly faded away. Now I look forward to hearing the buzz of our doorbell every Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, our patient/therapist relationship isn't without some kinks.

Tummy time with Anna.
During our initial meetings with Early Steps, I made mention that we were the owners of three, strictly indoor, cats. That means we have cat dander and hair pretty much all over the place. I wanted them to make note of this so we could be matched with a PT that didn't have allergies, especially to cats. In an effort to stress this feline fact, I mentioned at least three separate occasions. Satisfied that I did my part to avoid developing an attachment to someone that couldn't stay I put the potential catastrophe to bed and moved on. Imagine to my surprise, after waiting for two or three weeks for Early Steps to find a PT, when I first spoke with Anna and once again asserted that we are a feline friendly home she admitted to guessed it...allergic to cats!! Like you didn't see that set-up coming a mile away.

Houdini and Moo-Shu

Well, she was still willing to give it a try and I was determined to do everything I could to make her comfortable outside of getting rid of our cats or pumping her full of Benadryl the minute she set foot through our door. So, every morning before Anna arrives I vacuum our entire living room (including the furniture), chase down the hair balls which seem to multiple over night, and corral the cats into our bedroom. This effort has been richly rewarded by no incident of an allergy flare-up. That us until recently...of course.

Anna and Rae working on head control.
During the holiday season, when everything is hustle and bustle, I was not as dedicated to making sure the above noted measures were completed prior to Anna's arrival. The first week she made no mention of it and everything appeared to be going as usual. The second week the sneezing began and I ended up hunting for tissues. I vowed that the next week would NOT be the same and I would do everything that I usually do to make sure she was comfortable. I was overwhelmed with contrition and apologized profusely for my lapse in housekeeping.

Well, that weekend I received a call from Anna...I was dreading that call because in my gut I knew it wasn't good. She said that for two or three days after her visits she experienced discomfort caused by our cats. I felt horrible and then afraid of losing her. She offered to try another week or we could contact Early Steps and inform them we needed a new PT. Panic was beginning to wash over me. What if they couldn't find someone for another two or three weeks? Who was going to work with Rae? What if the new person doesn't like us or we don't like them? What if they heap loads of guilt on top of the already gigantic pile of guilt I already feel over my perceived lack of follow through? I can't loose Anna!

Rae and Anna playing in her sensory box.
Ultimately, it is not my choice. It is her and that is what I told her. I don't wish her to continue coming here and being uncomfortable for days after. I reassured her, yet again, that I was willing to give it another try if she was comfortable and also willing.

Our next visit went better and even though I am recommitted to making this relationship work I feel like we were just handed our two weeks notice. I don't think I will be completely confident that Anna isn't leaving until another month has elapsed. Here's to my New Years Resolution: keep things clean and contained for Rae's sake. I really don't wish to start over with a new PT.

1 comment:

  1. We have the same dragon toy that they were working on head control with (though my Mikey insists that it's a rawr [dinosaur]). Mikey never used the toy much until he was sitting on his own for a few minutes at a time @ 10 months, but it was a great incentive toy for sitting up unsupported and now for bending to pick up toys @ 19 months. Hope it all works out with the kitties and Anna. I know how hard it is to find an early intervention therapist you really like and connect with.