Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Move Along

Friday, January 19, 2007

Move Along

When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through


"Move Along"
The All American Rejects

Yesterday was crazy. In the morning Erik and I went to a local physical therapy facility here for my first taste of a private therapist. Erik's tender gums are birthing a spiky, new molar, and he looks a bit rough this week. Because of his poor muscle tone, he drools and leaves a slime trail in the house when he plays, but the drool factory was running full-bore yesterday due to his new chopper. I can ask him to wipe his mouth, and he will do it about ten percent of the time now. On top of everything, his eczema is angry and red after our single-digit weather, and he is as rosy as W.C. Fields after an all-night bender. Despite all of this, he smiles!

The therapy facility was beautiful with a subtle zen/earth muffin feel to it, but it wasn't over the top by any means. Too much of that feeling puts me on edge and makes me question the validity of the treatment we will be receiving. There was one woman in the waiting room, and, of course, she was taken with Erik, who was unusually chatty. For some reason, he kept repeating the words "green" and "lights." There was a bowl-shaped water feature on an end table adjacent to where sat to fill out paperwork. Tiny, cup-shaped bells floated on a gentle current around its circumference, and as they struck and passed a fixed bell in the center, they would emit a tinny, pleasant-sounding ding. I told Erik not to touch anything, and he handled himself beautifully, entertaining the other patient and staff while I took care of our insurance information.

The therapist, Ms. G., emerged from the bowels of the building, introduced herself, and offered me her tiny hand. I had spoken to her once on the phone, and she was extremely likable and friendly, but I was surprised by her casual and down-to-earth nature. She led us to a large, brightly-lit room that looked like a cross between a nursery, a ballet studio, and Gold's Gym. Mirrors lined the walls, and exercise balls of every size and color were stacked in giant metal racks. There was a hint of humidity and the sharp scent of chlorine hanging in the air. She invited me to sit in a folding metal chair, but I shrugged off my jacket and made myself at home on the floor. I remember how bizarre and wrong it felt to sit on the floor in public with Erik and play in front of strangers the first time a year ago, especially in front of a two-way mirror being watched like monkeys. It's a little piece of our intimate, private life I was not used to demonstrating on command, and I had a little performance anxiety at first. I'm pretty comfortable with it now. In fact, I'm afraid that if I attend a ritzy soiree anytime soon, I'll just slump onto the kitchen floor without thinking with my glass of wine. Maybe I'll even break into spontaneous song ("The wheels on the bus go round and round...").

Ms. G. immediately tried to get to know Erik and pulled out an ominous-looking toy studded with colorful plastic covers over what could only be lights, indicating there had to be a battery in it, and I quickly inquired if it was loud. She expertly slid the toy back onto the shelf without questioning me or assuring me Erik would like it. Quelle freaking surprise! Big time points for Ms. G! I automatically and quickly explained that Erik has hyperacusis and that this was my only concern about hippotherapy. What is hippotherapy, you ask? This particular facility features horse stables and an indoor riding arena across town, and Erik would be interacting with, helping care for, and riding the horses. Not only did she explain exactly how they perform therapy with the horses in a safe manner, she told me what it felt like to the kids and demonstrated what the horses sound like, obscenely flapping lips and all. I like this chick.

She took us on a quick tour of their pool, which gobbled up most of the adjacent room and reminded me of the movie Cocoon for some reason. A woman with a meticulous silver coif and expertly applied lipstick bobbed up and down in it like a fashionable buoy. I wondered to myself how she kept her glasses from fogging up and what kind of freakishly strong hairspray she used. Her therapist crouched down to talk to her on the side of the pool. Erik greeted them loudly, and we left them to their exercises behind the door that lazily hissed closed behind us.

Ms. G. spent most of the brief session attempting to sell me on their program, but their reputation has already made itself known to me, and I was focused instead on what my gut was telling me. It didn't take long to come up with my decision. As long as insurance would pick up most of the expense, I was willing to sign anything.

From there, it was a drive back home filled with one-sided conversation, cookie time, and night-night time for Erik before his afternoon home PT session. By then, I was tired, and I knew I still had work ahead of me. I must have looked exhausted because Bev asked if I had a rough week. I must appear like Ms. Merry Sunshine 24-7 because people seem so bloody surprised when I'm not having a good day. Sometimes I feel like I'm not allowed to fall apart or just sag a bit, for God's sake. I'm just tired, lady. It's not the end of the world. You'd be tired, too.

After my work was close enough to being completed and Erik was snug in his crib, I ended up pouring myself a delightful adult beverage (Jack Daniels and 7-Up) and let the couch swallow me to watch Thursday night comedies with Brian, after which I hit the rack and slept like a log all night.

That's right. I didn't get up once.

Life is good.

8 Comments:

Blogger Kerry said...

WooHoo!!! Are you feeling better or was it the Daniels? :) It sounds like that therapist was great and that therapy is a good idea.

You can always be tired with us, Nance. :) It's hard to always be cheery - sometimes you need to just yell "What the ****!!"
Ahh - now I feel better. :)

Happy weekend!! Love ya!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Aspen said...

Life is good. What an amazing facility Nancy. I am so jealous! My dream is to take Daven to a facility such as this.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Lisa R said...

Sounds like a very cool place...And a wonder drink;)I bet it is great for Eric. Today has not been one of my best so...

Love you
Lisa

4:19 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

That was a full day! What an amazing place, and I'm hoping you get into the double digits soon!!
So glad to hear you slept all the way through the night...thanks Jack. ;)

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Camille said...

I like your new greeting with Erik, it's really cute :) It's funny because we were just singing "wheels on the bus" with Connor tonight too!

7:28 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

It sounds like a nice place. I hope it works out fine.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Huhh, it could be a wonderful place for you!!! Ms. G....she could great!
Life is good.... maybe I need a Daniels??? Yayy, I nearly forgot.. I hate whisky... maybe a vodka with orange.... sorry, I have to hurry to the bar :DDDDDD
Love, Kati

5:55 AM  
Blogger PASLAY'S FROM IDAHO said...

MS. G SOUNDS LIKE SHE SO ROCKS! AND WHAT A SWEET NEW GREETING, THE BOYS STARTED SINGING THE WHEELS ON THE BUS.... TOO FUN!!!

MY SISTER WAS HERE VISITING FOR SEVERAL DAYS AND I SHOWED HER YOUR BLOGSITE AND SHE JUST LOOOOOVES IT AND THINKS YOU ARE ONE AMAZING WOMAN AND ERIK IS JUST A CUTIE! SHE THINKS ERIK LOOKS LIKE BRIAN AND BROGAN. :)

LOVE YA GIRL AND I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT MONDAY!!!

9:36 AM  

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