Saturday, December 02, 2006

Heavy metal

Amongst many other ills one might see in an economically depressed community, newFNP's clinic sees a lot of children with elevated lead levels.

Now, when newFNP was in school, she was taught that it was the 18-month old child snacking on deliciously sweet paint chips off of brightly colored Mexican pottery or the child in an urban setting who lived next to a freeway/refinery/#2 pencil factory who was at risk for lead poisoning. In newFNP's clinic, we have another lead source: tamarind or 'chili' candies.

Now, newFNP is an unabashed sweet tooth, but she has never developed a taste for the chili candies. Little did she know that she was preventing herself from lead exposure. If she had developed this taste, she would be able to buy such candies by the bag-full from her local ice cream truck, the corner market or the streetside vendor. The lead is plentiful in newFNP's hood!

Getting these kids off the chili candies can be like getting Barry Bonds off the 'roids. According to the parents newFNP sees, it's the grandparents who are the tamarind-lead pushers. It's always those who you least expect!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey newfnp...thinking about teaching yet??? Thanks for keeping up the site, it is so fun to have a shit-ass day and then log on and read your comments. I had two 4:45 trainwrecks today. New Patient with BP of 216/100, ST elevations, oh and chest pain...and then the mother whose 24 year old daughter died on Jan 2 this year while she was waiting in the ER to be seen, and now her husband has pancreatic CA. Profoundly depressed as the holidays approach. At least it keeps things in perspective. Again, thanks for you efforts - your readers appreciate!

Nazia said...

Dear Newfnp,
that tamarind candy stuff caused alarm, as I love that stuff.
Now you sound like an Indian, and as you know we use tamarind quite a lot in our cooking. What about Tamacon tamarind paste that comes in a jar at the indian store?
should I avoid that as well?