My world turned upside down Wednesday afternoon based on a single number. That number is driving me crazy. But that number is derived from a single test — a capillary test, basically a pinprick to the finger. Surely it would make sense to have another test. She is scheduled for a follow-up test in three months — a venous test, not another capillary test. That’s standard procedure. But why wait? Perhaps we need a second opinion now, preferably done by a different lab.
I’m not nourishing false hopes; I just want to be sure. If we’re going to stake so much on one little number, shouldn’t we be sure of it?
Plus, there were some aggravating administrative screw-ups at our doctor’s office. I like our doctor, but I don’t like the system in which she’s ensconced. They have have undermined my confidence in their reliability.
So. I called down to the City’s prevention program and talked to a guy there who was very helpful, about this idea of getting a second opinion. I learned from him something which I had sort of inferred already, that a venous test is more reliable than a capillary test. He mentioned that capillary tests sometimes yield false positives. Apparently the nature of that method is such that it is susceptible to contamination by environmental lead particles. (But reference what I wrote above about “nourishing false hopes.”) If we’re getting a second opinion, it might as well be via the more reliable venous method. He gave me the number of a clinic.
But when I called the clinic, they rebuffed me. The venous test has to be done by the same physician that did the initial capillary test. One can’t just drop in and get a venous test.
That gave me pause to slow down and consider. The only reason I’m pursuing this is for my own peace of mind. Having blood drawn repeatedly could be more traumatic for our daughter. The public health guidelines and procedures are there for a reason. Let them work.
These last six days have been pretty rough for Xy and me. A certain amount of self-recrimination is inevitable. Have we not kept the house clean enough? Have we not washed her hands often enough? But mostly I’ve just been sick with worry about what the girl’s future might hold. So much uncertainty, so many questions.
As corny as it sounds, I’ve found a certain strength in the following mantra: We are going to get through this together as a family.
I hope someday I can look back on this and think I was being overly dramatic. Nothing would please me more.