Thursday, August 18, 2016

The plague...well sort of...

July 4th, 2016 … is a day I won’t soon forget.  It was going so well.  The day was perfect!  And then, out of nowhere, I got blindsided.

Let me rewind slightly here.  We were getting ready to go swimming.  I was about to spray sunscreen on my littlest girl.  I lifted her hair off the back of her neck and found dozens of red bite marks.  I thought, Oh no! She has bug bites.  And then I noticed them.  So many.  Tiny gray dots all through her hair.  Lice was the word that came to mind. 

I started to panic.  My heart was racing and my breathing became rapid.  I needed to calm down! Deep breaths. Deep breaths.  I called Todd over to see it.  The problem was that neither one of us had seen them before.  I really had no idea what they looked like.

Then I started digging through Alyssa’s hair frantically.  Bugs.  I actually saw bugs.  Pretty good sized ones too.  I grabbed a couple and killed them. 

Maybe they were just playing in the dirt and got bugs in their hair.  I kept trying to reassure myself that they didn’t have lice.  I mean, come on, it’s like saying a four letter word!  No one wants them.  And everyone avoids them like the plague.

Then I remembered all those nights that Alyssa had complained that her head itched.  I washed her hair.  Applied essential oils.  Looked and looked some more.  I could never find anything. 

Well MAYBE that’s partly because I had always been told that lice like to lay eggs near the base of the neck and around the ears.  I must say, that’s a load of crap!  All that time I should have looked higher up on the head. 

We went swimming anyway.  What were we going to do about it now? Nothing really.

After all the poor, unsuspecting guests left, I looked it up lice online.  Why, oh why, do they need to post such horrible pictures online for all the world to see?  I mean, seriously!  All I needed to know was what the little horrible thing looked like.  I now will be plagued with nightmares. 

Lice.  It had been identified.  Ugh!  That’s just CRAPTASTIC!! (I’m now itching as I type. Shudder!!) I ran to the store to buy lice shampoo.  I tried to slink my way through the aisles, hoping and praying that nobody noticed me.  I peeked over my shoulder a couple of times.  If I were a secret agent I could get in and out without being detected.  No such luck! 

I located the shelf with all the lice products. It would have been nice if they had just one brand.  But NO!  We should overwhelm the customers with several options so that they have to pick up each one and read the details, slowly and carefully, giving plenty of time for other shoppers to cringe when they spot the box in their hands.   EVERYONE was watching.  Well, it felt like they were. And I was itching.  And just my luck, it was on sale.  Haha! 

I treated their hair.  Combed out all the lice and nits I could find and proceeded to comb their hair out at least once a day.  Bag stuffed animals. Wash Laundry. Comb. Laundry. Comb. Laundry. Comb. I lived and breathed combing out hair. 

Tuesday I went back to Walgreens to buy a shampoo to use daily, since the treatment can only be used once every 7-10 days, I NEEDED to have SOMETHING to use on their head EVERY SINGLE DAY!

After a week I retreated their hair.  But there were still eggs.  So, I knew I’d be dealing with this for more than just a week. Then my head started to REALLY itch.  All the time.  And burn when I scratched it.  I had Todd check my head…Once…Twice…no…4 times.  Finally on Friday morning I got up and poured the shampoo onto my own head and started combing, layer by layer.  And that’s when I found them.  NOOOOOOO!!!!  My worst fear.  Now I had lice.  I cried as I combed.  That was NOT what I wanted to be spending my summer doing!!

A friend of mine had suggested I could use her zapping comb.  I was skeptical.  VERY skeptical.  For years I had heard that the ONLY way to get rid of lice was to use the chemicals.  I had used the chemicals.  After almost 2 weeks they weren’t gone.  I bought a zapping comb. 

It was the best thing EVER!!  It zaps and kills the lice on contact.  I used it 4 times on myself in 48 hours.  I was only a LITTLE anal.  Haha!  I wanted to be sure they were all gone!! 

Then my cousin came and showed us how to make a conditioning treatment.  The conditioning treatment loosens the eggs from the hair and helps them to slide out.  We saturated our dry hair with conditioner. It was cold and slimy.  We covered it with a shower cap for an hour.  Then we washed it out.  Every day I used the zapping comb followed by the conditioning treatment.  Every day.  Every day.  It took 3 hours to do 3 heads of hair. 

Oh, and then something awesome happened.  *Note the sarcasm! A week after I found it on me, I found it on my sister too!!!  Oh happy day! And I thought the nightmare was NEVER GOING TO END!!!  I may have cried just a little bit more.  Just a bit…

All told, it took us 5 weeks to rid our home of these nasty little pests.  If I had known when I started what I know now, it would’ve take 2 weeks, tops. 

For those who find themselves plagued with these nasty little creatures, here are some very helpful tips I wish I knew to begin with:

Buy a Zapping comb right away.  Don’t even bother paying for the chemicals.  They aren’t worth it. READ the instructions!  Oh, and buy AA batteries too! 
Comb everyone’s hair daily for a full 2 weeks. 
Make a conditioning treatment and use it daily for about 3 days each week. Use a nit comb to go through wet hair, layer by layer, to pull out any eggs.

Conditioning Treatment:
About 1 cup conditioner (we used the cheap Suave conditioner)
(A little plug for my favorite essential oil company...they are therapeutic grade oils at a fraction of the price of other companies.  They work great!  And they now have free shipping on ALL orders! Yippee!)

Place ingredients in an old container and mix well.  Put conditioner on DRY hair.  Saturate hair all the way from the scalp to the tops of the hair with the conditioner.  Cover the head with a shower cap, or a plastic shopping bag.  Let sit for 45-60 minutes, depending on the length of the hair.  Rinse conditioner thoroughly before washing. 

Now, go take on the world of horrible itchy bugs and WIN!  Are you all itchy now?? ;)

1 comment:

  1. Oh! I wondered where you were . . . you were rather busy!!!! I used to get out of singing and dancing on stage at the summer camp I worked for during my college days by volunteering for lice duty. I'd sit and comb out kids' hair with a couple of friends in quiet isolation, and I enjoyed it.

    But that was not the same as what you went through. May you all stay lice free!!!!!!