Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


What the doctor said

Well, apparently Little Bit's rock-licking habit may be more involved than just a strange habit. Pica can be a symptom of iron deficiency, anemia or lead poisoning. The doc tested her today with a finger prick - she didn't even cry! - and found her hemoglobin levels at 9.9. So, he ordered more tests. She doesn't appear to be anemi and probably just needs iron, but he wants to rule out lead poisoning. Of course, my heart jumped into my throat at that.

According to the National Safety Council:
There are many different health effects associated with elevated blood lead levels. Young children under the age of six are especially vulnerable to lead's harmful health effects, because their brains and central nervous system are still being formed. For them, even very low levels of exposure can result in reduced IQ, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, stunted growth, impaired hearing, and kidney damage. At high levels of exposure, a child may become mentally retarded, fall into a coma, and even die from lead poisoning. Within the last ten years, children have died from lead poisoning in New Hampshire and in Alabama.


The doctor told me a story about a patient of his who swallowed a lead weight from an antique curtain. This kid was slowly being poisoned until it was discovered. Then, he was treated and recovered. However, the doctor said the child would have certainly been retarded had they not discovered it and treated him accordingly. He reassured me that Little Bit is bright and doesn't show any signs of retardation, but good God, it is scaring me. My parents used to be antique dealers and everything in their house is antique and it is full of little things for little fingers to handle. I'm sure if she has it, she got it from something at their house - plus she spends lots of time there.

I was supposed to do a phone interview at 4:30 for a story and I totally forgot. The co-dependent part of me went into coping mode and started cleaning. I want to control everything and when I can't control something, I turn to something I can control and that is the cleanliness of things around me. So, I vaccuumed the minivan and washed it in the driveway this afternoon. I think the few days after my grandmother died was the cleanest my house has ever been.

So, say a few prayers please. I was shocked to see that one in six children in America contracts lead poisoning in my research. We are going to the pediatric hospital in Fort Worth Friday afternoon for the big blood draw. I just hope I can handle it. It has killed me to watch my babies get stuck. Poor Pickle gets stuck every three to six months for his CAH. Hot Rod had it in December when the doctor feared he may have leukemia and now my little angel. This has not been my day.


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