Friday, July 25, 2014

Soooo... Let's talk about that time we had lice...

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Is your head already itching? Because mine has been itching non-stop for days and I can't get it to stop!

It was a Wednesday night and we were at a neighborhood picnic when I looked down and realized the head of one of Liza's friends looked highly suspicious. I sent her home and told her mom to check her head. I told the other girl in the friendship threesome that she needed her head checked as well. And we started checking Liza's. I had to run errands so it was up to Mike... he thought he saw something so Liza got a good washing and we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

The problem was that we knew absolutely nothing about lice at that point. If we had known something we would know that a good washing isn't enough... lice can hold their breath.

When we woke up Thursday morning I still had the heebie-jeebies so I combed through Liza's hair like crazy... and found three lice bugs. It was two days before she was to be flower girl in a wedding.

I called up my friend who had dealt with lice before and while crying I said "Liza has lice and I don't know what I need to dooooo!!!" My friend was great and told me what I needed to pick up from the store and also came to sit on my porch with the kids so I didn't have to infect our car while running to the store. She also checked my head since it would be hours before Mike got home. (Add that to the list of things I hoped I never needed to ask a friend to do!!!)

I pulled myself together, went to the store and treated Liza and Jason... even though Jason was clear. I'm crazy paranoid. Then I started the laundry and vacuuming and waited for Mike to get home to treat my head. I had convinced myself all day long that I was fine but when Mike looked through my hair he thought he saw a bug and that's when I lost it. I had a total breakdown/freakout all "I've had bugs in my hair all daaaayyy!!! GET THEM OUT!!! GET THEM OUT RIGHT NOW!!!" I was a mess!

Mike treated my head and combed it through. Fun times.

Also fun times is having to tell a friend that is getting married in two days that her flower girl has lice. Thankfully she took it well and by Saturday morning we were lice free. I am soooo thankful that we caught it right away! And that we were able to get rid of it so quickly. The key to winning was becoming educated on lice... I became an expert real fast! I didn't have time to mess around.

I'm going to share with you everything you need to know about getting rid of lice so if it ever happens to you you can get on top of it right away. I am so thankful for my friends who have been through it before and the advice they shared. It made all the difference... plus... it was really nice to have friends that I could call on that I knew wouldn't freak out about it!

So... what do you need to know about lice... because it can happen to anyone!!!

1. Getting lice does not mean you are dirty. I simply means that you hung out with someone who hung out with someone who hung out with someone who had it. The end. I used to freak out about the idea of lice but now that we've experienced it I get it. It IS a gross thing but it does not mean that we are gross people.

2. Know what you are looking for. Eggs are a greyish color. They get cemented to the head. I'm pretty sure I read that hatched eggs are white. Eggs take about seven days to hatch. The actual bugs were pretty small but with close inspection I was able to see them easily (Liza has thin hair thankfully!) They are a gray-ish/white color.

3. Treat it right away! Go to the store and get a lice treatment kit. There is a shampoo that kills the live bugs, a gel and comb to help comb away the eggs, and a spray to use on things that can not be laundered.

4. Also buy the right kind of comb. The comb that comes in the kit is plastic and it will not do the job well. My understanding is that the shampoo does not kill the eggs so they all need to be combed out. You need to get a comb that has small metal teeth. If you do not get this comb you will not get rid of all the lice eggs. With that comb, comb out the hair twice a day. Yes it takes time but you have to do this. And continue doing it even when you are no longer finding eggs. Better safe than sorry! It will also be a good way to find out if the problem is not fully taken care of... if eggs start showing up again you know you have a problem. And when you are combing... put any hair that gets pulled out and any eggs you find in a zippy bag and seal it up before putting it in the garbage.



5. Laundry. Do the laundry. All of it! If it was out, wash it. Yes, it's time consuming. Yes, folding all that laundry is like a nightmare. But if you want to get rid of the lice then take it seriously. Use hot water and put everything you can in the dryer. The heat will kill the lice.

6. Vacuum. Vacuum everything! The mattresses and pillows, the couch and other furniture. Vacuum out your vehicle. Just go crazy with the vacuum! You want to get any stray bugs and eggs.

7. Bag it up. All the stuffed animals and other things that can't be laundered need to be sealed up in plastic bags for two weeks.

8. Do the second treatment on day seven. Just in case.

We are in the clear now. Second treatments done and no eggs found in days. I may have been a bit over the top in the amount of laundry and vacuuming we did but I don't know how one couldn't be. I did NOT want to have to do another round of it all because I got lazy about it and missed something. I want life to be back to normal.

Lice has been expensive, time consuming and exhausting. There has been nothing fun about it. My head won't stop itching and I haven't slept well in over a week. It's so mental and I can't get it out of my head. The neighborhood is on high alert and heads are always being checked. We have been wearing bandanas and hats because we don't want it back. All playing happens outside... bedrooms with friends is absolutely off limits. The no hug rule has been implemented everywhere.

We are in the clear but we are highly paranoid.

I hope YOU never have to deal with lice... but if you do... you can call me. It was so much easier to deal with because I knew I had friends that had been there. I can be that friend for you.

Now stop itching your head!!!

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