Tuesday, February 14

Lice. Nits. An Infestation.

Head lice are tiny insects that live on the skin covering the top of your head, called the scalp.

Head lice infect hair on the head. Tiny eggs on the hair look like flakes of dandruff. However, instead of flaking off the scalp, they stay put.
Head lice can live up to 30 days on a human. Their eggs can live for more than 2 weeks.
I thought I would educate you a little bit before I begin my story. My mom says I had lice once when I was a small child. I do not remember this. She may be fibbing. I don't know. Phillip said he had lice as a small child. I believe him. I knew people who got lice and I remember the routine checks in Elementary School performed by the school nurse with her blue plastic gloves on. I remember praying each time... "Please God don't let there be lice in my hair, I really don't want to shave my head." I think one of my sisters actually had the lice. It was probably Jill. ;) What I never expected was, one of my children having lice. EVER. I have never even thought about it. Until this weekend. 
Let me start by saying... Sunday before last, after church I looked back at Emme, she was singing a cute song or making silly faces...I can't remember exactly but, I turned and looked at her a I noticed a little tick like bug crawling on the off-white bow on her dress. I quickly plucked it off and examined it. Being the big expert that I am I showed Phillip and said "Look babe, Emme has a tick on her. I wonder where that came from?" and I flicked it out the window. I never thought about it again. 
Saturday night, we planned on going to dinner with Phillip's dad for Phillip's birthday dinner at Luigi's (one of our favorite little restaurants in town). Well an hour before we were to meet his dad I decided I wanted Emme's hair to look a little more presentable at dinner. It resembled a large birds nest constructed of hair, twigs, goldfish crumbs, some left over sandwich, sand and whatever else got stuck in there. I am just now, after 3 weeks, getting to where I can comb Emme's hair with a wide toothed comb when wet. Her hair has been crazy matted and really dry and course. I have been working with protein rinses and deep conditioners. Well Saturday I was almost able to run my fingers through it while it was wet. While combing and stroking her hair I noticed these little specs floating in the tub. I stuck my finger in the water and worked one of the out on the edge of the tub. As soon as I lifted my finger to where I could examine the little spec it started crawling. Beckham is in the tub with her at this point. Just close your eyes and imagine this scene. Try not to laugh. I then started yelling "Phillip... Emme has TICKS!!!!! OMG! GET IN HERE!!!!" Instead of being sicked out, I felt curious and I being to explore her head... They were everywhere and I could pull them straight off the hair shaft. They weren't attached to the scalp. Phillip gets an on call nurse on the phone and explains to her what is going on and she informs us that they in fact are not ticks but.... LICE. I don't know where in my head I thought having TICKS would be better then having LICE. So we cancel dinner plans. Dry our bug infested girl off and head to Walgreen's to get some Lice treatment and a nit comb. She had HUNDREDS of nits and bugs in her hair. (Nits are the little Lice eggs)

When we got home bath time and debugging began.  Phillip administered the shampoo treatment while I took pictures. This needed to be documented. 

After an hour and a half combing through her 'fro with the comb pictured above she is finally LICE FREE!!! There were hundreds of bug in the water and little eggs. I should have taken a picture of that. Combing through her crazy hair with that FINE toothed metal comb was an nightmare adventure. Her hair has been so matted on the ends that we couldn't get the comb through some parts so I decided to just cut the tangles out. When I would cut them and flick the cut hair in to the tub, the bath water would separate the hairs and little bugs would float free. I am now thinking she had some many matted tangles in her hair because she had bugs trapped in them and so the knots got bigger and bigger as the bugs got trapped. Poor thing. 

What's funny sad is now that I look back, she has had signs of it all along. She has been scratching her head like crazy since we picked her up. I just assumed that her scalp was dry from never being conditioned and oiled properly. We think she came over with a few bugs and eggs and then those bugs laid more eggs. Lovely I know. I also have had a crazy itchy scalp this last week. So bad that, at 8 in the morning one day last week I booked it to Target to get some Head and Shoulders. I thought...Wow this is the worst case of dandruff I have ever had!!! It was insane! And the Head and Shoulders HAS NOT been working. It usually does! Fast! Now we know!  

I am excited to say after spraying, washing, combing, shampooing and doing whatever else you need to do to get rid of lice we are LICE FREE. We have conquered the BUGS!  

1 comment:

  1. Oh Girlfriend, I am glad to hear you are lice free!! Hopefully this will be the last time you have to face this problem. But if it's not, do not despair. It's so, so common in elementary school! My mom was a school nurse growing up and would tell me about dreams she'd have with giant lice in them because of all the lice she'd deal with at school. Eek! Glad everyone's bug free for Valentine's day!!


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