In December, we had a show-down with some unwanted visitors (you can read about that here.) We thought we won but surprise, surprise- they’re back!
Last week, I got a call from my younger son’s school, which is never a good thing. They never call simply to say you have a wonderful child, or to let you know they have a spa treatment gift basket waiting for you in the front office. Perhaps they should start doing that to really mess with parents’ heads…
As I listened to the school nurse, my blood went cold. Lice. My first thought was, “Oh, crap. Not again!” My second thought was, “Oh crap, he slept in our bed two nights ago!”
On the way home from school, we stopped at Wal Mart to purchase the weapons… um, I mean lice treatments. As I walked to the checkouts, I had a déjà vu moment. I was sixteen again, buying feminine products: no matter how I held the boxes, I couldn’t conceal the contents, and it felt like everyone stared and judged. As the cashier scanned our four lice-related items, she pretended not to notice what they were. I wondered if she fought the urge to scratch her head as much as I did. If she didn’t, I bet right after we left, she at least changed the latex gloves she wore.
If I even think the word “lice”, my scalp itches and I swear I can feel things crawling on me. The temptation to shave my head is high, but I remind myself if I did that, I’d look less like Demi Moore in GI Jane and more like a cancer patient. The fact that I’m so susceptible to suggestion is funny to me, because I’m not the hypochondriac- my husband is.
In hubby’s defense, he comes from a long line of hypochondriacs. His mother has been dying of something since I first met her nearly twenty years ago. (She’s still alive, by the way, but was just in the hospital for chest pains.) It’s interesting that my husband can swear he’s caught a cold if someone sneezes twenty feet away, but he was the only one not scratching his head!
We’ve endured the shame of diagnosis and shopping for the cure and we’ve seen different shades of hypochondria. We’ve survived the lice treatment (though we’re scheduled for a follow up this week) and I’ve almost recovered from the sixteen loads of laundry. As I ponder the events of the past week, I search for any nugget of enlightenment I can find, just as I always do when I go through an adverse situation.
I’ve got nothing.
Maybe I read too much into my experiences. Perhaps I’m supposed to learn to accept that sometimes life sucks… just because it can.