Monday, October 3, 2011

Unwelcome Guests

Thursday evening, as I was getting dinner ready for the girls and I, Sonya mentioned that her head was itchy.  Uh-oh.  Then she informed me that the school nurse had been in their classroom that day to inspect the kids' heads for lice, but she didn't get inspected.  Double Uh-Oh.  The nurse had to leave right before she got to Sonya.  That might have been ironic.  Why?  Oh well, can't you guess by now?  Because as it turned out Sonya had LICE!

That's right I said LICE!  I feel the only way I can describe this whole situation is to capitalize that word with an exclamation point.  I mean really.  LICE!  Did I need to deal with this a week before we go on a trip back east?  No, no I did not.  Yet there it was.  After she told me about her itchy head, I inspected her.  The problem was, I didn't know what I was looking for, because we have never dealt with LICE! before.  So I called one of her friend's dad.  Her friend had a case of it about a month ago and her parents had been telling me what  a pain in the ass it is, not 2 weeks before.

He told me what to look for, but the problem is,  Sonya is blond.  The eggs are white.  This makes them very hard to find.  Plus I didn't exactly know what it was I was looking to see.  Then I saw one.  Not an egg.  Nope.  An actual live bug.  A LICE!




It crawled away quickly.  Quickly enough, that I decided to deny that I saw it for about 20 minutes.  I did NOT want to deal with this and all that came with it.  Because, oh is there A LOT that comes with it.

I decided to stop the search for the moment and we sat down to dinner.  Then I called Andy to give him the news, and he decided I was being dramatic.  Yes in fact I was being dramatic.  Why? Because she has LICE!  Which means the other two probably have it , and wow was MY head starting to feel itchy.  Then there was the cleaning that had to be done to make sure we got rid of it.  All the bedding had to be washed, and I mean ALL.  And not just washed, but washed on the highest heat possible.  On my washer that is a  two hour and twenty minute cycle.   Stuffed  animals had to be bagged up and stored in the garage for at least 2 weeks.  Stuffed animals, that even though they don't play with most of them, it's the end of the world when I had to put them away.  All the rugs had to be vacuumed or washed, the couch and the rocking chair had to be sprayed with a LICE! killing spray, and I had to treat all of us with some sort of LICE! killing product.  So was I being a bit dramatic? HELL YES I WAS!  Look at all the shit I had to do, on top of all the shit I have to do everyday already.  Oh and, AND!  Andy was leaving Friday night for a fun filled weekend in Vegas with his friends.  So while he was off gambling, drinking and eating great food, I would be cleaning, washing, and let's be honest, drinking myself.  There was no way I was getting through this weekend WITHOUT a glass of wine.  Or perhaps I'd bump it up a notch to vodka.  Either way, this was not my idea of a fun weekend.  When faced with these situations, I tend to get mad and dramatic before I get to my place of acceptance and just do it.  So, I just had to go through my phases.

It only took me a couple hours before I did get  there though.  Andy got home from work,  and I went to the store to arm myself with whatever products I needed to destroy this enemy, while itching my head the whole time.  I ended up getting a homeopathic LICE! killing product, that the dad of Sonya's friend had recommended.  The only problem with it was that you had to let it sit for four hours. So we couldn't start the treatment until the next morning.  Poor Sonya.  She didn't want to go to bed that night knowing there were bugs crawling around in her head.  I promised her we would take care of it first thing the next morning.  She was already upset, because she couldn't go to school the next day and worst of all to the birthday party for her best friend's sister.  They were all mad at me for that one but what could I do?  I wasn't about to bring them around other kids, until I knew for sure that those pests were gone.

I got up extra early on Friday to squeeze in a workout, before starting every one's treatment at 7AM.  The  good part for the girls is I allowed them to sit and watch TV for about three of those four hours.  There wasn't much else they could do.  We had to wear shower caps and I wanted to do anything that would make them forget they were wearing shower caps.  Georgia wasn't too keen on having that on her head, but when zoned in front of the TV she sorta forgot.  I stripped down the house and started the wash.  My poor machine has been on since 7AM Friday morning.  Our water bill is going to be a wee bit high for these days.  Stupid LICE!

When the four hours were up,  we showered out the product and washed our hair.  Then I had to go through every one's hair with a fine tooth comb, and nit pick.  And there are two phrases that I have always used in my life, that I finally realized where they come from.  Look at all I learned!  Anyway-that phase took a while, especially with Sonya's long hair.  Don't think the other two were any easier.  Their hair may be shorter, but working with curls is challenging.  I couldn't really go through my own hair though.  I used the comb a bit, but didn't find anything.  When I was done with the girls, we took a ride to Sonya's school to see the nurse and have her check us all out.  Sonya has to have less than five nits (or eggs) in order to return to school, but it was to late for her to return that day anyhow.  I just wanted to make sure I did what I was supposed to.  Plus I really wanted someone to check me.  I was positive I had a whole camp of them living on my scalp.

Thankfully, I was wrong.  The good news was she found none, on Georgia or myself.  Lana only had one and Sonya did still have five or six that she found. Nothing alive anymore though, so that was a plus.  She informed me that I still had to go through Sonya's hair for a few more days searching out nits.  Then in 7-10 days it is best to repeat the treatment, just to be sure anything that is thinking about coming to life, does not.  We will be in RI at that time, so I will get the 10 minute non homeopathic treatment to use then.  (Don't worry David and Brenda, I promise we won't leave you with LICE!  Hopefully.)

Now here I am on the other side of having a kid who had LICE!  I can answer any questions you might have on the subject now and yes it sucks more than I can tell you in words.  I have continued to check Sonya all weekend long, which sometimes she's okay with and sometimes she complains about.  Fortunately, I haven't found to many and I think they are mostly gone. I periodically checked the younger two as well, but found nothing and to be honest, didn't feel like dealing with Lana's whining about it every time.  So I left them alone after a while.   I'm counting on Sonya getting back into school tomorrow, where she will be wearing a braid from now on.  Otherwise, I'm giving her a "mom" cut.

Thankfully, since we were able to get rid of most of it and all the live ones, we were able to continue with our weekend plans.  We had a Girl Scout pancake breakfast yesterday morning and a birthday party afterward.  The only problem with doing those things, is that Sonya thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know,

"I had LICE! yesterday and had to stay home from school!!"

Thanks for sharing Sonya!  Well, I guess it's better than sharing the LICE! with one of the kids.  Although who knows if she didn't.  Sorry to anyone who's kid may have gotten it from her.  Enjoy washing the contents of your house!

Oh and by the way, I apologize for making all of you itchy while reading this.  It's just something that happens as soon as the word LICE! is brought up.  


Moomser said...

I envy you not one bit! But think how clean and disinfected your house is now... ok, I know that was lame, was just trying to find a positive spin. Hey, your the new resident LICE! expert, now we have someone to ask questions to! (Ok, still not positive, I'll be off now...) Glad you got them all!

Kristi said...

The funny thing is-this was a case of be careful what you wish for. While I wasn't wishing for LICE! I had been wanting to spring clean my house, since well, spring, but didn't have the time. So because of this I had to MAKE the time. Oh well!

Hillary said...

Eeeeeewwwww! One of Abby's oldest friends had lice last spring and even though Abby only sees her about once a month I still checked and double checked her to make sure. And, because I'm dramatic, made Nick check my head, etc., etc. Even changed all the kids' bedding right away. I'm so sorry you had to deal with the real deal.

Anonymous said...

I can handle big things - death, illness, financial insecurity - but lice is something that really makes me want to cry and never stop. Lice has made the rounds at our house a few times, and as much as I am absolutely convinced that I don't have the time to drop everything and bash those pests, I don't have a choice. EEEEWWWWW! I'm feeling itchy just thinking about it!

Sheryl said...

Oh how I remember those days. My girls brought them 3 or 4 times from school in one year. I was livid and found out the same kid kept coming to school with them. I guess his mother did not do everything she needed to do and let me tell you its gets so expensive to keep buying the spray, the shampoo, new pillows etc. Thankfully after that year we never had to deal with it again. Sorry you had to go through that so close to your trip.

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