I suffered lead poisoning from chewing on a big wad of pure lead Christmas tinsel when I was 3 or 4 yrs old (believe it or not they actually made it of lead back then, in the mid 1950’s. I can attest that lead is sweet. Sickly sweet.) The incident was all hushed up, I don’t know if I received any medical help for it and I still can’t get answers from my older half-sister who discovered that I’d fallen flat on my face and couldn’t get up. I never completely blocked it from my memory, but the Flint, Michigan outrage of a few years ago brought it back front and center in my mind and allowed me to fit some missing pieces of myself back into place. As often happens to kids who’ve suffered lead poisoning, I became an alcoholic and drug addict at a young age but have been clean and sober for over 40 years now. In addition to the lead poisoning, I’ve had 4 concussions, two of which I developed aphasia from, the last of which (in 1994) also left me briefly comatose and caused me to develop epilepsy and a speech impediment that I still have today. Also, I read somewhere that lead poisoning survivors sometimes feel as if their legs are dead, and that’s exactly how mine felt periodically up to about 20 years ago. At 68, I’m still trying to make something of my life. My father was the gloomiest guy I’ve ever met, (he never got over the death of his first wife, my mother once told me.) The only times I ever saw him smile were when he told me I’d never amount to anything. Ever. It was positively obscene, but of course there were no words for that 60 years ago. He must have known something about the difficulties that lead poisoning survivors face because that was already common knowledge in the 1950’s, and he and my mother were both college educated, but nooooo, I was just a BAD KID because I couldn’t pay attention in school or tolerate frustration or say no to a drink. But oddly, six and half decades after I was poisoned, with long term sobriety and a furious exercise regimen I’ve stuck to ever since I sobered up, I feel like the fog is finally lifting from my brain. I’m doing creative work I never imagined possible. So yeah, there’s hope, even after suffering very severe childhood lead poisoning. Once it affects your motor abilities, you’re pretty close to death, and I was there.