I’ve mentioned many times on here the struggles that my middle son, Bear, has. You can click on the “Bear” label at the bottom of this post if you want to read more about him, as this post will not go into his struggles. This is something else.
I’m always pretty vague and say something like “delays due to a medical issue.” And I leave it at that.
The biggest reason is that we are involved in a lawsuit with the person who is responsible for his illness. And trust me, this is not a case of wanting to point the blame at someone. I am not a sue-happy person. There was gross negligence(is that what it’s called when someone is a big fat liar and their lie results in a child almost dying?). But, I never really felt comfortable discussing it because we have not gone to court yet and so I worried about putting anything out there that could somehow come back to bite me.
I’m not really sure how it could. Yet, still, I will not put all the details out there now because of this. But, I will tell you that because of this, we HAD to move last year and my husband could no longer work for the company he was working for because he couldn’t stand to look at his boss. And I had the overwhelming urge to charge into his office and punch said boss in his face. Even though I’m really not a violent person. And his ex-boss outweighs me by a good 200 pounds or so. Give or take.
And that I felt the need to get rid of the majority of our furniture, most of the boys’ toys and a variety of other things. Anything that I wasn’t sure that I could clean well enough to feel okay about it. So, it meant that when we moved last fall, we were starting out with almost nothing.
The details… I really can’t discuss still. Or feel like I should. I’m sure you can draw some conclusions from all this, which I will neither confirm nor deny, so let’s not go there. But, we can talk about Bear.
Last week, I noticed that there is actually an awareness week for what my son has. And I thought seriously about writing about it then. But, I needed time. This is not the sort of post that you just toss off really quickly and mindlessly hit the “publish” button.
What my Bear lives with is lead poisoning. He is the only one of my children who does. My other two are not affected.
Lead poisoning can be very serious. Fatal, even. It’s not a joke or something to be taken lightly. And even if you are like me and religiously scan the recalled toy lists to check to make sure that none of your child’s toys contains any lead… you can encounter it in other places.
Lead is very sweet. And little children can actually become addicted to it.
The effects can be serious: decreased bone and muscle growth; poor muscle coordination; damage to nervous system, kidneys, and hearing; developmental delays, and seizures and unconsciousness.
It can lead to potentially permanent learning and behavior disorders. Aggression, too. Autistic and SPD(sensory processing disorder) are labels that were considered for my son before we knew about the lead poisoning. Because he displayed many of the same characteristics.
Since he’s been away from the sources of lead for over a year now, Bear’s lead levels have dropped. When you get tested, you want your levels to be below 10µg/dL. Though, there are no “normal” lead levels: it should be at zero. But, once you have a high lead level reading, what you want is under 10. His started at 36 and are now down to 15. Still high, but dropping.
Removing him from the lead and being sure he has a good diet are all we can do.
No one can really tell us how long it will take for his levels to drop. Or how many of the effects will be permanent and which will fade as his levels drop.
We don’t know.
Next to being told that the effects will definitely be permanent and that he will never improve, telling us that we don’t know has got to be one of the most frustrating things ever.
I’m not writing this because I expect anyone to give me any answers- we’ve spoken to every doctor/specialist that we can about this. And, yes, I know how to google just as well as the next person.
I’m merely writing this as a mom, who is heartbroken. Who still can’t think about this without crying. Who thought that she was being careful and never would have guessed how her child would be hurt.
A mom who knew something was off and kept insisting on evaluations and tests until she got an answer. Who could have lost her son if she hadn’t pushed for these things.
A mom whose family had to start all over with nothing in order to help her son. A mom who therefore might not have the money to do really basic things now because of it, but a mom who thinks it was worth it to see the improvement in her son over the past year.
A mom who fights for her son when others see him as different. Because not many people have a clue about the effects that lead poisoning can have and they just don’t understand.
A mom who wants everyone to be able to see her son as the sweet, loving boy that he is.
A mom who prays for God to heal her son.
A mom whose heart breaks when she thinks of what could have happened. What might still lay ahead.
You just never know. Go hug your babies. And please know that there are some questions that I simply cannot answer- so if you ask them in the comments, I may not be able to respond. Or even if I can, I simply might not be up for it. Thank you for understanding that.