Iron and Lead
On Saturday, I loaded the kids up and headed out to get Xander’s nine month blood work done. I took the kids to the lab that I swear we’ve been to on a Saturday before. It was, of course closed. Smart phone to the rescue and I found another lab just a couple miles away that was open.
After assessing the situation, the tech said that I could just leave Xander in his stroller and she would do the finger prick and collect the blood while he was sitting there. He was a champ. Not only did he not cry, but he didn’t fuss. They had to take enough blood for two tests (hemoglobin and lead) so it took a while, but he was patient. Jack was slightly concerned at first about what was happening to his brother, but once the tech told him that he could sit in the big lab chair he was fine. Xander got his finger bandaged up (which I promptly took off when we got to the car) and we headed out.
When the doctor gave us the script for the lab, she said that it was pretty much a no news is good news thing. Yesterday morning, I got a call from the nurse at our pediatrician’s office. I was fairly sure where this was headed when I answered the phone. Xander’s iron is a little low (it is 10.5 and normal is 11.3 to 14.0) so they want us to start him on a multi-vitamin with iron and retest him in a couple months. No big deal. Jack actually had the same issue as well and a few months of iron drops and as of his 2 year appointment his iron levels were normal. Of course now I have to give the boy-child his vitamin every day. You know, the child who thrashes about as you try to give him medicine. Such a change from Jack who has always sat nicely and opened his mouth for any medicine. This will be an adventure. Every day.
During the discussion about the iron levels, I never asked about his lead levels. Going back to that whole “no news is good news” philosophy, I just assumed everything was ok. Until I walked into my office later in the afternoon and saw a voicemail on my phone. It was the nurse. Again. Her message was that she needed to talk to me about Xander’s lead test and to please call back as soon as I could. My immediate response was panic. If they were calling me there must be something wrong with his lead test. And what could be wrong other than, you know lead poisoning. I returned the call and waited on hold for approximately
153 years ten minutes. When I finally talked to the nurse, she very calmly told me that the lab hadn’t collected enough blood and they were unable to complete the lead test. I think this was my response O_o Now I know that the nurse isn’t allowed to leave any sort of details on my phone, but a quick “no need to worry” would have been nice.
The doctor doesn’t see any need to retest him now. He’s not high risk. I mean it’s not like I let him eat paint chips from the ’50s for a snack every day. So the doctor said there was no need to traumatize him with another blood draw. We’ll just re-do the test when we have his hemoglobin checked in 3 months. Of course, he wasn’t traumatized by the first blood draw, so you know what that means right? In three months, he’ll be completely traumatized and have a fear of needles for the rest of his life. Or something.
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