Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lice and relaxation

I went away for Labor Day weekend with some girlfriends. This is our third glorious outing. We were missing (in both senses of the word) a couple of our group this year. Other then that it was a beautiful weekend. Lots of wine, good food and laughs. Thinking about "ping pong" "number 32" (or is it "42"?) can still bring a smile to my face. We also spent a great deal of time talking about lice. One person's child had them before she left, but he was cured and she was given the blessing to go. However, various cures and techniques (lice not sex that was number 32) were discussed at length. I personally felt that I knew what I was talking about because I'd read some things and heard some things.

Of course, I came home to a list of chores including washing the football uniform "I was gonna try and do it myself", doing all the rest of the laundry, loading the dishwasher, running the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher. It was all worth it though. And I am very thankful to my family for letting me go on what turns out to be a VERY busy weekend.

Tuesday I woke up ready to hit the ground running. I hit Target by 8 a.m., then to Newtown Farm Market and finally Kroger for the rest of the groceries. When I started unloading my cart at the Farm Market, my phone rang. I picked it up and heard the saddest, most desperate thing my husband has said in a long time, "Mollie has lice we need you home right now, she's in hysterics." I said, "OK I'm in the checkout line but I'll run to the grocery store to get the stuff and be right home." More discussion about not being able to make the medicine appear or being able to be home and at the store at the same time. I hung up and said pretty much every curse word I know. I looked up at the checkout girl and said, "Oh sorry." To which she replied, "I'm pretty sure I know what you are talking about." A discussion of lice ensued. By the way, it turns out I didn't know SHIT about lice!

So off I run to the grocery store, run to the pharmacy, "where's the lice medicine?!?!" Run down the shampoo isle (shampoo isle? shouldn't that be in the pharmacy?), grab the Lice MD (what the farmer's market girl had recommended), grab three more, run to the self check out. Jog to the car, receive yet another phone call, have another discussion about just how fast I'm able to do things, drive home. Stop and email my girlfriends, "911, Mollie has LICE!!!!"

Mollie actually looked quite calm upon my arrival. I'm pretty sure she was not the one who was hysterical (I've since gotten confirmation on that). So up to the bathroom we go. I hear my cleaning lady come in HALLELUJAH! I cast aside all the jobs we had planned for the day--dusting and reorganizing the bookshelves HA that could wait. There was stripping of beds, vacuuming, washing in hot water, putting every pillow in the dryer for 40 minutes, vacuuming of the beds (I flipped the mattresses just to be on the safe side), changing all the sheets. Finding every item of clothing from the long weekend, back packs, purses and coats--oh my! So I got my angel of mercy started and went into the stripped down bathroom to start the treatment. I should probably admit here that I was on the verge of hysteria. Much of that initial 1/2 hour is a fuzzy blur.

Fortunately one of the girls called the one whose child had had lice before we left and sent her to my aid. She was so sweet and calming that I can never thank her enough! She sat with me and combed through Mollie's hair for TWO hours. I got Mollie settled onto the LEATHER sofa (they apparently can't live on leather). And started on the checklist. Since I hadn't gotten to the grocery store before, we put her treated and dried hair up in a bun and went to the grocery store. There we saw a friend and told her to stay away because we were lepers, to which she replied "we were lepers all weekend." She told me about the cetaphil cure. Said it was much better and less messy than the olive oil cure (which I'd discovered that morning). So deciding I would do everything in my power to kill these nits or bugs or whatever they are, I picked up both olive oil and cetaphil. And a flea comb for good measure. Long story short, olive oil is indeed too messy because it drips in your eyes. It does make your hair soft and shiny though.

I treated the rest of the family with the Lice MD. Another angel and very experienced school nurse came to my rescue that evening to check my work (by this time I'd spent 4 hours combing through Mollie's hair). We still had a few hot spots of nits and I'd used the wrong stuff. Lice MD it turns out is simply a silicone gel that smothers the lice--so no medicine. Nurse Angel told me to go immediately the next a.m. and get some Nix. Which of course I did. And I combed her out for two more 2 hour sessions. In the meantime vacuuming, washing and clearing as I went. (I told the school secretary that I had removed all the rugs and towels are now washed after one use. Mollie commented, "our bathroom floor is really slippery." To which I replied, "better to break your neck then spread lice.") and dutifully treated the rest of the family with the poison.

Oh and in my research one of the symptoms of lice is "irritability". Of the patient or the treater?

So anyway, Mollie is now "nit free" and all we have to do is check each other for two more weeks. Thought I would be relieved, but I'm not really sure.

Doesn't really matter though because I've got to go vacuum, change sheets and wash. At least I can think about my weekend and smile.


Joy said...

We've been there. I've had really good luck with Lice MD, reading glasses for me, NIX combs and constant checking. Let me share a few tips so you don't get a reinfestation. I checked at least twice a day -- morning and night.

1. Check the kids every day for a good solid week. Two weeks would be even better. All it takes is missing one nit and not checking for the process to start again.

2. Wash all bedding on hot with bleach every day. Then dry on the highest setting.

3. Assigned seats on the couch. I take this one step further and throw a flat bedsheet on the couch where the child who had lice sits. You can throw it in the daily wash with the rest of the bedding. I changed this daily too.

4. Do another treatment 3 days after the first one, then 4 days after that. Again, all it takes is one egg to hatch...I figure better safe than sorry.

5. Don't forget about your hair! I would check myself in the shower when I had conditioner in my hair since they show up really well against white conditioner. I actually found a few dead ones on myself. I had killed them when I dyed my hair.

R had them in and January & June and B in August. The Husband thought all my doing laundry and constant checking was overkill but friends around us were getting reinfested left and right. We were the only ones who got rid of them the first time.

TP Mom said...

Thanks! Love the assigned seats. I have only assigned combs. Definitely doing the two week thing. And will do more web md this weekend and then again next week. Had Mollie and dh check me, will try conditioner in the shower. Still in my 24 hour no hair wash since Nix.

Joy said...

They don't like hair color so if you color your hair, this is the time to do it!

OH, and another thing I did was to flat iron R's hair. I don't know if that helped or not but I figured the iron was hot enough to kill any eggs I may have missed.