Yesterday’s essay on the fate of our children struck a chord with many of you, but I noticed something interesting - you are quiet. In the past sixteen hours, almost 1,000 people read the previous post, but only six left a comment. That's the lowest rate of commentation I've yet seen on the blog. It's OK to just look and read, but I do wonder why you're less vocal?
I want to thank those who called and emailed me today. The dark side is that your conversations reminded me of my own poison troubles – something I had put out of my mind long ago. Some of you told me about infants who acted normal until receiving vaccinations. Many of those moms blame the mercury in the vaccine for their kid’s troubles. Others told of lead poisoning, and other scary things. I realized I am not just an observer. I’m involved, as they say.
Did you chew on lead sinkers, the kind we used for fishing? I did. And my mother used lead to make stained glass. I’d take the lead channel and ply with it. I was fascinated by its smooth supple feel, its weight, and the fact that it was a metal I could chew. My brother says I ate paint too, but I don’t remember that.
Did you ever break open a thermometer and roll the mercury in your hand? I did that, too, on several occasions. I can remember my father and me, gazing in wonder at the mercury balls in my little hand.
Did you ever wash your hands with methylene chloride or tolulene? Don’t recognize those names? How about lacquer thinner? I did that too, more times than I can remember.
I used to paint cars and breathe the fumes. I’d work till I was too dizzy, air out in the yard, and go back in. That was about the time my asthma starting sending me to the emergency room. Obvious as the connection seems now, it escaped me then.
At least I didn’t smoke. But does that count for anything? When I was 18, the bands I was with spent 7 nights a week in smoke filled bars. Some nights, the smoke was so thick that the overhead lights looked like columns.
Listening to some of your stories, it’s a miracle I’m alive, let alone able to think.
I’m going to have my blood tested, and I’m going to see how much metal and other stuff remains in me. Then I’ll work to get it out, and I’ll monitor the changes.
Before I go, I'd like to share another thought with you, thanks to Roy Powers of Afton, Ohio . .
Those of you who are 40+ . . . think about your parents as young people. And remember their friends. If you are like me, those adults from back then are, well, more robust. More rugged. And that's despite the fact that they smoked like chimmneys, drank hard liquor, ate fried food, and never saw a gym.
And yet, they say people today are healthier. But go back in time, 200 years. Read how people lived in 1807. How many of us could survive, let alone thrive, under the conditions under which many lived their lives back then?
Sure, many died at age 50, but most of us - I'd bet - would die by day 7 under the same conditions.
And meanwhile, back in the present, I remain a reasonably functional Aspergian and I'm glad to be part of a community where I learn new things every day.