Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things to Worry About

Besides the normal stuff I worry about--like whether we'll ever really get Sky's impulsiveness and meltdowns under control, or whether his language processing and social issues will make him a pariah as he gets older, or whether these same issues will make it difficult for him to succeed in school, and whether Pink P will die from inadvertent consumption of a peanut, or whether she will suffer sudden respiratory distress from a heretofore unidentified allergy trigger, I have also recently been worried about these things:

*lead poisoning
*flesh eating diseases
*antibiotic resistant super bugs
*whether the US legislature will eventually make it impossible for us to get adequate medical care

The first one on the list has been the biggest as we have recently discovered lead paint in our house. When we moved into the college rental, I was handed a pamphlet describing the dangers of lead and essentially warning me from letting my children chew on the window sills. At the time, we had just moved back from Japan, and life was crazy enough that the threat of lead poisoning fell out of radar range. I mean, I'd never seen any of my children chew on windows. Don't ask me why I started worrying about it now, after living in the house for over a year. Most likely, I was procrastinating from dissertation editing, and I hit on this topic as an adequate diversion. After all, what's a little more stress?

So, I called the health department to find out about tests for lead in the kids' blood and learned that someone could come out and inspect our house for lead. This seemed like a good way to short-cut my anxiety. No lead paint means no worries, right? Unfortunately, the inspector found lead paint in all the windows. (Damn.) This made my anxiety Ren's anxiety. And he wasn't happy about the way I seemed to ferret out things to worry about, especially because I managed to discover a pretty big worry.

The good news is that environmental testing show normal lead levels in the house (we're still waiting for blood test results but anticipating they will be normal). The bad news is that it will probably be years before Ren stops reminding me that his super- hyper- cleaning habits (he vacuums a lot!) are probably what saved the kids.

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