Never say the word “never” – it will come back and bite you in the fanny so hard you will think you were attacked by a rabid dog.
Not too long ago, only a few weeks ago in fact, I was written up in CNN. And of course, I was quoted at saying something really important to our family about pets, “We love them,” said Coronado about her family’s pets. “They’re adorable. They’re really our babies. They’re part of the family. We could never live without them.”
Yes. I know I said this.
I also told my interviewer that if my children began to have serious breathing difficulties, this would have to change. She wrote this in the CNN column, “Her two daughters have cat allergies, but they don’t have asthma or breathing difficulties, so Kalamazoo is staying put in their Warrenville, Illinois, home.”
And of course, the minute you say something you are cursed.
For the last two weeks both my youngest daughter and I have suffered the most gawd-awful allergic reaction I have ever seen. My asthma has acted up, and I have been on the nebulizer consistently. It caused my youngest to have both a throat infection and an ear infection because of the excess mucus build up. She could not breathe, had a fever of 102, and was very sick. This added to her normal allergy reactions.
Now I have gone for years with breathing issues and have learned not to handle the pets too much, but over the last year I have had a few breathing attacks when the cat sits next to me, so have started pushing her to the other side of the room if it triggers. In fact, overall, with exercise, outdoor exposure, and a better health routine – all things I highly recommend for the health of an allergy sufferer – I feel better than I have in years. Therefore, the more intense reaction I have recently had – based on being “closed up in the house” and exposed more to the pets and dust – caught me by surprise.
We put the youngest on even more allergy meds than she usually takes and began antibiotics. My lungs have become inflamed and I lost my voice because of the extreme reaction. Back at the doctor for the third time in less than a week, the doctor ordered, “the pets need to go, particularly the cat based on your reactions. You have no choice – your youngest’s upper sinus region is developing and is becoming more sensitive to indoor allergens such as mold, dust, but most especially the pets. You are having more issues. You have to do it!”
I cried. For two days. My heart felt so devastated. My husband and I debated on giving both the cat and dog away, but felt pulling both pets away from the household would be too devastating for all. Our pug, Harry, is very old and we might only have him another year or two at the best. Kalamazoo, our cat, is a much larger concern because I cannot even touch her without having an immediate breathing and eye-burning reaction. The youngest is now exhibiting this same response and this is not something that happens in reaction to the dog. Therefore, it made sense to remove the cat first, clean the house well, and see what happens.
We have found another home for Kali with my oldest daughter’s father, so it is not so bad for her – she is still able to see the cat nearly as much as she did before although the cat will need an adjustment period in the new home. However, the rest of us will be bereft of our dear cat and are very sad because of it.
When Kalamazoo leaves the home we will have the house cleaned and the carpets professionally shampooed. I will wash all the curtains, I will do everything I can to fight the allergy war and help us keep the last pet we have. Harry will now, much to his disappointment, be having weekly and bi-weekly showers with the youngest. Her new job will be to learn how to take care of her allergies in a better way. Keeping the pet dander down will help combat our allergy issues.
We will be doing the better thing for the health of our family – my husband and I are hoping to reduce the number of prescriptions the family has to consume as well. It is the right decision, although it has been extremely difficult.
Both pets have meant so much to us and I have learned an awful, horrible lesson in all of this – never say never. It might come back and break your heart.
Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!