Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the L word

Can I just start off by saying, I am exhausted?  Physically and emotionally, I am spent.  For the last couple of weeks, we have been dealing with lice.  Yep, I said it, LICE.  I can now say it without feeling ashamed and embarrassed.  Here's our story...

So it began.  A letter came home from school saying someone in K's class had lice.  No biggie.  We checked her head every few days or so and found nothing.  I thought we were in the clear.  Then, while getting ready for church one Sunday, K was complaining that her head was really itching.  I checked her scalp and there they were.  I didn't know what "they" were yet because I'd never had, nor ever seen lice.  Out came the microscope she'd gotten for Christmas and upon a double check with Google images, it was confirmed - she had lice.

In a panic, I drove at demon speed to the closest pharmacy.  It was closed - DANG IT!  CVS was the next closest and EUREKA!  They were open!  In a rush, I embarrassingly asked the lady at the prescription counter where they kept products for lice.  It was right there in front of her, how nice for me.  There were at least 4 or 5 different brands and various different products.  Being new to this, I found myself confused about exactly what I should be purchasing.  Over to the counter I ran and asked what brand they recommended.  Well, this now required attention from more pharmacy employees.  The lady whom I first spoke with and the pharmacist were happy to help and didn't bat an eyelash.  It was the technician behind them that gave me the stare down.  This was truly giving me a complex.  It was hard enough to actually say the word LICE.  Then a thought crossed my mind.  God forbid I get it, we'd never get them out of my curls! 

($24.99 x 2) + ($8.99 x 3) = $76.95
Don't you love that label, "With a single application - Kills lice and their eggs"  What a lie!

Thirty-five dollars later, I was headed home.  We treated her hair and spent the next THREE hours combing through her hair and picking the nits out.  So much for a joyful and restful Sunday.  Now, it was time to wash everyone's bedding; disinfect the mattresses, pillows and furniture; sanitize all the hair brushes, combs, clips, and pony tail holders; wash every stitch of dirty clothes lying around; vacuum six hundred times; and panic some more.

This was all quite fun - NOT!  Then, disaster struck.  C checked my head and yes, I had them too.  Holy mother of God, this can't be!  It was, sister.  At this point, I was tired and now mentally ill.  I broke down and cried and cried.  And felt pity for myself and our lice-y household for the entire day.  We treated my hair and I remember thinking, 'OK, I've done it all by the book.  Down to the very last word.  We're good now.'  Not so friends.


We have treated our hair twice since then (with different brands even) and cannot seem to get rid of these creepy crawlies.  Just today, I discovered that the man has lice too.  So, I've scoured the internet and found that lice are quite resistant to these chemical treatments that contain carcinogens and neurotoxins known to cause cancer, nervous disorders, and more.  Wish I would have done more research before I went out and poisoned us! 

($1.38 x 2) + ($1.84 x 2) = $6.44

Unlike what people think, that lice come from "dirty" people, they prefer clean, dry hair because their eggs or nits stick best to the clean hair shaft near the scalp.  So, I've decided we are not washing our hair for a few days.  Sounds gross, huh?  Well, it's better than having lice any day.  We'll also be playing barber shop tonight and shaving the man and C's hair.  Next, I found that they do not like rosemary or lavender.  So, I stocked up this morning.  I bought these shampoos and conditioners by Suave...soothing lavender-lilac and rosemary-mint.  I'm told these work, we'll see.

I also read that you can put sprigs of rosemary in your pillow cases to speed the process along.  Then, I watched a really annoying but helpful video on you tube about using Listerine in a spray bottle and spritzing your hair with it.  I did this as soon as I got home and it made my hair kind of stiff and a little sticky-ish but, it smells minty fresh and that's the price I'll pay.  Lastly, I read that Denorex, a dandruff shampoo and conditioner-in-one will get rid of them and Dawn (the original blue Dawn, $0.97) helps.  In any case, I'm ready to do battle.

We have spent over $100 on special lice products and I'm interested to see if any of these non-pesticide methods will work.  If so, my spending for today was just over $20.  I hope this helps someone out.  If not, it was just therapy for me, I had to get out my frustrations.  I will definitely do another post on how effective these methods were or were not.