Today, I took Lucille for her well child check up. And this started off as the best visit ever. Peter had the day off so I left Lennon with him. Our appointment was at 9:30 am so there weren’t many people in the waiting room, as they had just opened for the day. And as we read books and ate crackers in the waiting room together, I was so happy. I don’t often get alone time with Lucille anymore, and though this alone time was in a medical waiting room, I was super grateful for it.
Then the nurse brought us back to the patient room, asked lots of questions, measured Lucille, etc. Everything was going great. Doctor came to see us, said she’s in perfect health. Then he left and as we were waiting for the nurse to come give us a vaccine that we were unable to do at 18 months and needed to make up, Lucille started vomiting. It was everywhere. I tried to tell the nurse not to get the vaccine ready, but it was too late. She asked our doctor what to do and he said not to vaccinate her if she’s not feeling well (good call) but told her to do the lead test before we left.
So the nurse pricks Lucille’s finger and Lucille doesn’t even care because she’s suddenly feeling super lousy. I try to clean myself up and I change Lucille into new clothes, the whole time thinking “oh my god, you’re the worst Mom in the world. Couldn’t you tell your kid was sick? Why’d you bring her here?” I go to schedule a nurse visit for 2 weeks from now so she can finally get the vaccine that she was supposed to get months ago. Again, I’m telling myself I’m the worst. Why didn’t I bring her for it sooner? While I’m making the appointment the nurse that did the lead test rushes over to me. Lucille got a 16, which means nothing to me, but which she tells me is very high.
So I panic. What does this mean? It means they should do another test. But the nurse doesn’t want to right now because poor Lucille is already sick, she doesn’t want to torture her further. They’ll do another test when I bring her back in 2 weeks for her vaccine. Try not to worry before then. Yeah, okay.
So I get Lucille in the car and start driving home and can start processing what just happened. High levels of lead!?! And I’m not supposed to freak out? Is this common? Do lots of kids test high at first, but then nothing’s wrong in the end? I’m sure this happened with one of my sister’s 4 kids (it didn’t) or one of my best friend’s 3 kids (wrong again). But my best friend tells me our other friend’s daughter tested high. So, good, I’m not alone. Talk to the other friend.
Other friend’s daughter scored a 6 and she freaked out as well. They retest her daughter a couple times a year and have repainted the hallway that they think was the cause of the problem. Okay, great, but my daughter has almost 3 times as much lead!
Husband’s freaking out at this point too! We have an old house, but we bought it less than 4 years ago. And the areas that were thought to possibly have lead paint were painted over. But paint chips. The lead paint must be coming through. Husband decides we should remove the entire border in our dining room and kitchen. That’s where the lead paint must be buried. We plan to redo these rooms anyways, now it’ll just look like hell until we have the money to redo these rooms. No biggie, get that shot out of my house!
Father in law gets wind of what we’re doing. Tells Peter to stop. Just put another coat of paint over it. Then redo the dining room this spring or summer to remove all the areas that may have lead paint. Kitchen will have to wait a bit longer… but we don’t let Lucille or Lennon hang out in there, so that should be good enough, right?
Are we not doing enough? Are we doing too much? The nurse said they wanted to test again because this test could be inaccurate…. I’m freaking out. And Lucille has the stomach bug. I’m feel like a failure as a mother. Why did I buy an old house?
Obviously, as this situation unfolds and likely becomes a non issue I will do an update. But for now, I thought I’d publish this post as is, with questions still unanswered. Because, for one reason or another, this is how all mother’s feel from time to time. And I hope someday I can look back on this and write about our experience in a much more composed way. But today, these are my feelings.
On a happier note, here’s another picture from Lucille’s birthday. Truly one of the best days of my life. The greatest part about being a parent is that birthdays, holiday, family get togethers, etc; you get to see them all through the excitement of a child’s point of view again. Lucille laughed and played from the moment she awoke to the moment she fell asleep on her birthday. It was the happiest I’ve ever seen her, with the possible exception of when we saw Sesame Street Live about a month ago.