‘Round We Go

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!”

03-02 WeaponsOn 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.

32 thoughts on “‘Round We Go

  1. Carol Ann Hoel March 4, 2014 / 6:13 AM

    My grandchildren got them a few times. I went through that same embarrassing trip to the checkout counter to buy the stuff. Buy it we did. Scrub a dub dub. A few weeks later, it happened again! The reason heads were being inspected at school became obvious. There was an epidemic in the school. When the epidemic ended, the problem ended. The cycle did finally stop. Take comfort in that. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites March 4, 2014 / 7:50 AM

      There is an epidemic at his school, too.. and it’s not contained to just one classroom. Yesterday, he brought home a pirate hat from another kid and you’d have thought he brought home a nuclear warhead – I had him empty his backpack outside and I soaked everything in the lice-killing spray. I left it out overnight and this morning, gave him instructions to give it back and not bring anything else home! Thanks for sharing your story of hope, Carol Ann 🙂

  2. nrhatch March 4, 2014 / 7:45 AM

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!! I am sorry that you are having to deal with the SUCKY and SUCKING bits of life and lice again! 😐

    That really sucks!

    • nrhatch March 4, 2014 / 7:47 AM

      Why does my head feel itchy all of a sudden? The power of cyber suggestion?

      • jannatwrites March 4, 2014 / 8:00 AM

        Haha, it seriously is highly suggestible! Creepy little beasties, they are, Nancy 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 4, 2014 / 7:58 AM

      Yeah, it does, Nancy! And life is making fitting in the follow up treatment difficult. I wanted to do it tomorrow, but my older son has a band concert… Thursday I’ll be in Phoenix, so we either get to do the 7 days or 10 days.

      Well, you know what they say, a family that picks nits together, stays together.

      Oh, nobody says that? Guess we’d do well to find a better family activity 🙂

      • clarbojahn March 4, 2014 / 10:11 AM

        WE used to have quality time in the ER when younger son kept breaking toes and fingers and getting lacerations large enough to get stitches. Not bugs but just as draining. The ER of course had to happen in the evening and we would be there until three AM on the eve of when I had to get up at five to go to work. Oh Yeah, my husband had died so I couldn’t even call on him to help. 🙂

  3. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156) March 4, 2014 / 7:51 AM

    Oh hell no!! My kids have had them before and it is NO FUN at all! So sorry you have to deal with this. HUGS Just remember this too shall pass. ♥ I have featured you today on my blog because I think you are one amazing writer and I love your site.

    • jannatwrites March 4, 2014 / 8:05 AM

      I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with them, too. Lice rank right up there with mosquitoes when I question God’s reasoning behind allowing certain creatures to exist 🙂 My poor son was all embarrassed to go back to school with his new (shorter) haircut. He didn’t need to worry… his skateboard face plant this past weekend has garnered much more chatter than his haircut 😛

      You chose to feature me? Wow, Kathy, I’m really honored! I’ll have to check it out (I’m narcissistic that way 🙂 ) Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment on what I write.

  4. Sean March 4, 2014 / 10:54 AM

    Ah yes, the joy of continually combing and combing and then bombing and spraying and washing, etc…… Just remember, short hair is easier to maintain and you could be Demi’s double in GI Jane 2. I do hope the best with ridding yourself of those wonderful creatures. Yes, lice suck, literally. Take care of yourself and your family. Always appreciate your writings.

    • jannatwrites March 5, 2014 / 10:15 PM

      Haha… I’m still doing laundry and it’s after 10pm! Oh gosh, with my pale skin and dark hair, I cringe to think what my head would look like shaved. Ew! So far, everything is coming up clean. We did the second treatment tonight and Saturday night will be our weekly comb out night, so I hope to prevent the problem rather than try to treat it. Thanks for stopping by, Sean!

  5. Sarah Ann March 4, 2014 / 11:54 AM

    This will stop happening! Not having had kids, I have my nephews to thank for my last itching experience, thankfully a long while ago. We resorted to lots of conditioner – it worked as well as the medicated stuff.

    • jannatwrites March 5, 2014 / 10:17 PM

      I had read that on the internet. I think I’ll use that when I do the weekly comb throughs. Am hoping to catch anything before they hatch. Maybe I’ll do twice a week 🙂 Thanks for the tip, Sarah!

  6. Debbie March 4, 2014 / 11:59 AM

    Janna, my head’s itching just from reading this!! How awful that you’ve had to go thru this twice in such a short time! Thankfully, Domer missed out on the lice experience. I don’t recall doing anything special as a preventative, other than the usual precautions, or I’d certainly share. You’ve had a rough winter, haven’t you? Hope the little creepies will find their way into someone else’s home!

    • jannatwrites March 5, 2014 / 10:19 PM

      I think the problem is that they’re finding their way into too many homes so they aren’t completely going away. I never encountered this as a child, so it’s all new to me. (And I’m sure not a fan of that stupid fine-tooth comb!) Thanks for itching along with me, Debbie!

  7. Lance March 4, 2014 / 4:25 PM

    That sucks, I’m so sorry.

  8. pattisj March 4, 2014 / 9:00 PM

    Sorry to hear you have to deal with this again. One of our granddaughters had a bout of those not too long ago. Thankful I’ve never had to do the clean-up you described.

    • jannatwrites March 5, 2014 / 10:21 PM

      To me, the clean up is much worse than the treatment itself. I have to say the second round went much better since my younger son’s hair is short now 🙂

  9. Martha B March 4, 2014 / 9:07 PM

    You poor girl! I can only imagine how much fun you are having right now. I remember trying to scrape together enough money to buy RID when our apartment had an outbreak back when I was in college. So yucky, and that stuff is not cheap!!!
    Best wishes to you, hope this is the last time! I gotta go, because thinking about this is making me itchy.

    • jannatwrites March 5, 2014 / 10:23 PM

      I was shocked at how much money those kits cost (with the two rounds, we’ve spent well over $100.) My hair is thick and naturally curly, and I imagine it would be a cozy habitat for lice, so I’ve done the treatments too. Sorry to make you itch, Martha. I won’t write of this again (unless of course they visit a third time. At that point, I might seriously consider home schooling.

  10. diannegray March 4, 2014 / 10:02 PM

    Argh! I realised I scratched my head when I was reading this. How embarrassing…

    My kids got them when they were at school and I washed everything (clothes and sheets etc) in eucalyptus wool wash (for years) and they didn’t get them again. I may have told you this before (can’t remember) but it really keeps them away. On a side note I also wash the dogs in this as well because it keeps the fleas away. You can get cheap brands and it doesn’t matter – those little critters hate eucalyptus.

    Best of luck 😀

    • jannatwrites March 5, 2014 / 10:27 PM

      Haha… you scratched your head 🙂 The power of suggestion is undeniable!

      I saw you comment last night, but was too tired to respond to anything yesterday. I ordered eucalyptus laundry detergent… will be here Friday. (I’m willing to give it a shot!) It’s pretty pricey, so I think I’ll pick and choose what gets to use it. I do remember you used eucalyptus oil in your bug repellant…I’ve got those things written down, now just have to save up the money to go shopping! Thanks so much for taking time to read and offer tips, Dianne. I’m definitely open to suggestions 🙂

  11. Eric Alagan March 5, 2014 / 4:49 AM

    Yes, I recall the last post on lice – gawd!

    All the best, Janna – all the best,

    • jannatwrites March 5, 2014 / 10:28 PM

      Thanks, Eric! I really don’t like using the harsh chemicals (get rid of the lice but end up with cancer) so I’m hoping I can stay on top of it. I’ve put calendar reminders in my phone so I don’t forget the comb-throughs.

  12. agjorgenson March 5, 2014 / 10:10 PM

    I feel your pain (itch). We have three girls, and as children they had long blond hair. I remember hours and hours of nit-picking, and then after the children were done, it was time for the parents. It was hell…

    • jannatwrites March 5, 2014 / 10:31 PM

      I think it would definitely be worse with girls, Allen. It was bad enough before my son’s haircut. I’m hoping he will choose to keep it short. The girl he has a crush on liked his hair so he might go with it 🙂

  13. Silverleaf March 6, 2014 / 8:42 PM

    Ugh. I feel for you. My son had had them 3 or 4 times by the end of grade 2, twice within 4 months. The loads of laundry is what kills me. The last time around, I threw his backpack into the washer and closed the door on it in my haste. It ripped the inside of the machine to shreds, which was serious in and of itself, but that was the first load! I spent a day at the laundromat trying to hold everything at arm’s length. Inconspicuously. Hm. Now *my* head is itchy.

    • jannatwrites March 6, 2014 / 9:27 PM

      Oh gosh, four times? I’d go insane! I couldn’t imagine dealing with that at a laundromat… although, if it wasn’t busy, you could do several loads at once, so that would be a good thing. I hope this is the last of the lice… I’ve put on our calendar Tuesdays and Saturdays are fine tooth comb throughs. Not that I’m paranoid or anything… 😆

  14. Sandra March 11, 2014 / 6:21 PM

    Oh, no! Not again!? We’ve been hearing about it in our school, as well as friends from other parts of the country. 16 loads of laundry? Poor you! Just that alone would make me insane. I’m so sorry, and I hope they never come back again!

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2014 / 10:09 PM

      Oh, I hope you don’t get them, Sandra. I think they’re gone, but I’ve got it on my calendar to do comb throughs twice a week (a reminder actually pops up on my phone!)

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