Monday, January 26, 2009

Not My Favorite Thing to Do on a Weekend

My siblings and I were lucky NEVER to have head lice as kids. Ever. I never encountered them until my first teaching job at a small private boarding school for at risk kids. The teachers and staff were all called upon to check the girls' hair for head lice and I had no CLUE what to look for. One of the other teacher's showed me some nits in one girls hair, and that's what I looked for. I didn't find any on my students that time, but I didn't hear about how to eradicate the little buggers either.
Two years ago, a Primary teacher found a bug on the shoulder of my younger daughter and said she thought it might be a louse but wasn't sure. I was on the internet for a long time that night, learning the mysteries of a bug that survives despite all kinds of home remedies and the wonderful prospect of becoming superbugs, resistant to the foulest of pesticide shampoos. I went through my daughter's hair, and found a veritable host on her little blonde head. That was just the beginning. It was on all my kids, and when I saw a louse on the less than a year old baby, I was dismayed. The baby was to old for the nasty toxic shampoo, so we took him to a doctor. The doctor dismissed the shampoos as an expensive treatment no better than mayonaise on the head and that I should save my shekels. She didn't find any lice on the baby, and he didn't have any more on him that year, so we must have nipped that nit in the bud.
I wasn't so lucky. I found one in my hairbrush a week after I treated and nitpicked the kids. My husband couldn't take the time to go through my hair, so I had him buzz it. Yeah I was nearly bald for quite a while. It worked though I don't recommend going that far if you are female.
I learned a lot.
They came back this year. The boys get buzzed and the girls get mayo in a showercap overnight and picked like crazy the next day. I have had to do this twice already and this last weekend, it was here again. We'll be going back to the toxic shampoo again, because I am so ready for this to end.
What irritates me, no I don't have them knock on wood, is that no one knows where these buggers go after you get them all off the head, and wash and dry, at high heat, every piece of fabric in the house. Why can't we get rid of these things and make them extinct? I mean if they only infest humans, and they have no natural predators, why can't we eliminate them? I think there's some crucial thing we don't about them yet, and because they aren't considered important like cancer, no scientist is going to bother studying them much.
I know, I know; pick, pick, pick ad nauseum


Sarah Bishop Jackson said...

Robyn, I am so sorry. I have been lucky in the fact that none of my kids ever got it and none of the daycare kids have gotten it.

But right now after reading your posting, my head is itching. Gosh, the power of suggestion............

Nicole's crazy Blog said...

Oh my that does not sound like fun. Maybe you should move??

emily said...

ugh, you have just explained my biggest fear! i taught school for two years and dodged the bullet the one time it was in our school. i'm currently scratching my head out of jitters. thanks for the info! btw, i found your blog after you commented on my "running" post on light refreshments served." thanks for the comment!

: ) Paula said...

Wandered over from Segullah. . . I grew up in Hawaii and know a little bit about head lice. We call 'em ukus. The problem might be that you are killing the live ukus but not all of the eggs. There's usually a prescribed double treatment. You shampoo (kids will bet over the "poison" and it'll do the trick) twice. Once the ukus die, sometimes the eggs will hatch later and the whole process repeats unless you ensure death for both uku and egg. Good luck!

mormonhermitmom said...

Yeah I know once this hits that I have a return appointment a week after that and a week after that. I just haven't read anywhere that Anything kills the eggs, hence the constant nitpicking to get them out.