Monday, July 19, 2010

Lord of the Lice

So, I didn't plan on writing again about the whole lice issue. It's been at least a week and I've been silent on here. That's because lice are persistent little buggars and until you cannot see one tiny speck of their eggs (nits) anywhere on your child's head, you are not in the clear. Seriously.
Somehow I was missing this point. I was lead to believe that if I used the special shampoo as directed, then applied the gel as directed before combing through the hair, as directed, the lice would be RID of. Yes, well perhaps the first indicator that this was going to be a long haul was finding many live lice still after the said killing shampoo immediately, 1 day later, 2 days later and still 10 days later. Or the fact that the box didn't say you must pick out every single tiny stubborn nit or they can hatch and lay up to 8 eggs themselves a day- but they weren't supposed to hatch. The gel was supposed to kill them.
So here's the dealio. If lice enter your household by whatever manner, you will be bound to your home, your child's head, your washing machine and your vacuum cleaner until they are gone. You must wash all of the infected person's clothes and bedding in hot water and dry on hot temperature. You must sack up in plastic bags all stuffed animals and non-washable items and store away (preferably someplace hot like the garage in the summertime) for two weeks. Take their comforter to the dry cleaners and tell them about the lice. Back to the bedding: you should wash it every day. EVERY DAY!!!

Now, let's get to the hair. Boys- easy- shave 'em. Not my preferred look for them but it takes care of the issue pretty quick. (The boys didn't have it, though, thankfully.) Girl- easy- shave 'em. Hah! Okay, you could if all parties agreed, but since that is highly unlikely, follow along.
1. Call your mom. Most likely, you or a sibling had it growing up so she knows all about it and is a sympathetic ear. It's part of mom-hood and someone should tell you about it before you decide to have babies.
2. Call your sisters and tell them. They need to know. They have stories and then they'll quarantine all the nieces and nephews until you wave a white flag.
3. Go to Sally's Beauty Supply or whatever beauty supply place you live near. Buy some tea tree oil shampoo, plastic cape, shower caps and a lice/nit comb. Make sure it has metal teeth- NOT PLASTIC!
4. Go to your local grocery store and buy some real mayonnaise (not miracle whip) and some vinegar.

When you get home comb through girly girl's hair with a fine toothed comb to smooth out. If you happen to catch any live lice in the teeth of the comb, wipe them into a paper towel or toilet paper and put in a sandwich baggie. They can hop around pretty quickly and don't squish to death very easily, so you want to trap them. Then start with the mayonnaise and coat thickly every single strand and bit of hair with mayo. Truly. Barabara at Sally's says the cholesterol kills them (lice having heart attacks- funny!). Who knows? But the mayo traps them and suffocates them. Leave this on for a good while. We left it on overnight for Audrey. That's why you need the shower cap. In the morning, rinse the hair with vinegar. The vinegar is breaking down the shell of the nits so basically they die. Rinse it really well with vinegar. Believe me, you do not want to do this more than once, so don't hold back. Rinse everything out as best as you can with water. Then start with the tea tree shampoo. This shampoo has some sort of essences that the lice do not like, so they are repelled by it. I had Audrey wash her hair with the shampoo two times but she still smelled a little salad-y when I was combing through her hair.
Now grab that lice comb with the metal teeth. It is VERY FINE. If there are any tangles whatsoever in the hair, you will have tears galore, so make sure again, you can comb through it easily before you start. Start at the base of the neck and near the ears. Lice hid and lay their super-glued eggs near the scalp. In small sections comb through all the hair, removing anything from the comb with paper towels and pinning aside gone through hair. If you see any nits, remove them with the comb, your fingernail or even snipping it out with scissors (but not too many snips). Hopefully you will not see any live ones. If you do, bag 'em. Wet hair is easier to comb through, dry hair is easier to see the nits. Once you are done, have them shampoo up again. Check everyday, removing any nits you see. I combed through quite a bit with the nit comb since it pulled them out very well and also dug up any live ones. If you do see live ones, you are going to have to check on it a bit longer.

Sorry to bore you with the details, but this has been my last week. Consumed by lice. But God again is teaching me things through it. Like the chance for Audrey and I to be together. Sure, we wouldn't choose this as our all time favorite thing to do, but it still has put us together and has given us the chance to practice patience and long-suffering with each other. Plus we watched some fun movies, like The Music Man. (You need to be prepared with some entertainment for them as combing through her hair took at least 2 hours every time.) And also, I am VERY THANKFUL for a washer and dryer. I ran that thing night and day. Anything you kid touches with her hair has the chance to become infected and then spread to another family member. So you should wash it. You may seriously contemplate locking them in their room and sliding toast under the door for meals until the whole ordeal is over with!

I know the treatment is weird. And you may not want potato salad for a while. But the other alternative is harsh chemicals. I tried that and it didn't work and the little plastic comb that came didn't work either. I felt a little scammed. Maybe it will work for you. It isn't the end of the world, like in my previous post, I thought it was.
The end will be when the ants and fruit flies completely take over the house. (I do not know what is the deal with the pests this summer!)

My mom found the mayo/vinegar combo at this site and it helped the most.


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