Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Heebie Jeebies - A LOUSY Week.

It's been several weeks so I think I'm ready to post about our bug ordeal. At least I thought so until I started searching for pictures and now I've got a hefty case of the heebie jeebies! It was pretty much the worst week EVER. Since December, the Kindergarten class has had repeated lice outbreaks. I wish they had given me a heads up because maybe I would have been able to save Keslie and myself! Unfortunately, I didn't find the little buggers until both Kes and Anika had a full infestation. I was doing Anika's hair for church and I noticed a movement so I looked a little closer. Yup - live bugs in my daughter's hair. I had already done Keslie's hair and hadn't noticed anything so I did a quick look-through - yup! There they were. I'm having a full-fledged panic attack at this point.

This is a picture I found on the internet. These are lice eggs . You find them close to the head on the hair shaft - unless they are dead and then they start to drift away from the head. They are whitish/yellowish or if they are getting ready to hatch they can start to look brownish/blackish. At least that's what I noticed. =)

The live bugs from birth to adult. We saw each stage. Cool. Right?! Haha!

Nathan ran to CVS and picked up RID while I gathered every single thing in my house that could possibly be washed. I went a little overkill here - I probably could have left my boxed clothes in the boxes and it would have been fine to not wash everything in the drawers. I bagged up all the stuffed animals and anything else that couldn't be washed and threw them in the garage. All hair stuff was thrown out. The cleaning had to be put on hold so that we could start the nit picking process. First, we washed their hair with RID - supposedly this kills the live lice. Yeah - not so much. We went through each girl's hair 3 times that day and found TONS of live lice and tons of eggs. Nathan wasn't very good at catching the live ones so that was my job. =) You can't kill them - they don't squish, they don't drown and they are hard to suffocate. We just flushed them and hoped for the best. At 9:00 PM (yes - the girl's sat through almost 8 hours of picking! Poor things!) I ran up and finished cleaning their room. They went to bed and Nathan went through my hair. Not much to be found but we wanted to be sure. We cleaned the living room and then headed to bed.

On Monday we continued the pick through and the laundry and the cleaning. I was pretty confident that we had wiped it out but that night we found another live one on Keslie! I was SO discouraged! The next morning we found one on Anika. I was getting pretty tired - going through hair strand by strand is no picnic and it gets old after the 20th time! Plus, I had been doing laundry since Sunday and still had a huge mound (that I kept adding to) and in between the nit picking I was cleaning like a mad woman. I was restricting where the kids could go and what they could touch - I was turning into a psycho. =)

On Tuesday we did the Mayo treatment. We covered our hair in Mayo and then covered it with a shower cap. People swear by this - supposedly it suffocates the lice and it makes the hair slippery so the eggs just slip right off. It was pretty gross having mayo in my hair so I decided I would go clean the van to pass time. It wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done! Sun makes mayo runny and pretty soon I had mayo leaking down my neck and forehead. SO GROSS! I persevered and finished the van and then we ran upstairs to rinse it out. I went through their hair again and didn't find anything! Success! Then I blow dried their hair and used a straightener from root to tip hoping to kill anything left with the extreme heat. We did that every day for the next week. Wash, pick through, blow dry, straighten. My girls are champs. On day 7 we did the second pesticide RID treatment.

Here we are in all of our mayo head glory! Now do you understand why I always played the boy in all the girl's camp skits? =)

I kept checking their hair 3 times a day for a week and then it tapered off to one time a day for awhile and now it's just every once in awhile. We found a few random eggs over the next couple weeks but none of the live guys! Are your heads itching? Mine is just thinking about it! I'm a pro at spotting eggs and bugs so if anyone ever needs a professional nit picker then you know who to call! =)

Here is some interesting lice information:

• Lice hop, jump, & fly
• Shaving the head will take care of the problem
• Pets carry lice
• Flea & tick products are safe on people
• Treatments “just in case” are safe
• The products work as well as advertised
• Lice only live on dirty people
• Lice carry disease

How do you get lice?

• Head to head contact
• Sharing combs and brushes
• Head to head contact
• Sharing hats, helmets, hair accessories
• Head to head contact
• Sharing coats and scarves
• Head to head contact
• Sharing beds and pillows

Lessons learned:
* If there is ever a next time (please, please no!) then I won't panic. I won't do laundry for 2 weeks. I will definitely wash the bedding daily and anything else that may have come in contact with their heads but I went a little overboard this round.
* The best way to get rid of them is by going through the hair section by section. And I think the heat helps. The pesticides and mayo I'm not so sure about. Although, I would probably do it the same way if there was a next time.
* No more sharing brushes.
* Lice is not a dirty people thing and anyone can get it. If I'm going to send my kids to public school I have to be willing to accept the risks. =)

I hope you all have a great weekend! =)


Susan said...

oh my heavens.. seriously?!! I'm SO sorry you had to go through this... but I'm glad you got through it and are now a lice expert!! Emma's starting kindergarten in the fall.. and now I'm totally freaked out! I definitely have the heebie jeebies!!

Nicole said...

That was disgusting and my head is still itching. Maybe I caught lice from reading this?

Charly said...

We went through the same thing with my girls about a year and a half ago...AWFUL!!! It is a bit of a nightmare for sure. I still to this day when I am doing their hair and see even the slightest bit of something...AAAUGH WHAT IS THAT?!?...and it might be a small fuzz or just a really blonde highlight. Haha!

Kellianne said...

I'm so sorry! Kenzie got lice a few months ago and it is awful! I still find myself checking the girls' hair periodically. Just the thought makes me shudder! I've heard DEP gel daily in their hair can help repel them. I'm just hoping we've done our round and are done forever!

Tim and Amy said...

yikes. def gross. i remember i had lice once when i was younger & aunt carol came to the rescue. we went out into the backyard so she could see in better light.... blah. def gross. but i'm sure the girls weren't as scared because you covered your hair in mayo as well! :o)

hope you guys are doing well!

mindy said...

i havent been checking blogs lately... & then i see this! haha.
when i was in elementary i got Lice several times- to my moms dismay! she would take us out back in the sunlight & use her magnifying glass and check each of us. i remember doing those treatments several times. NOT fun! and so so itchy! you & your poor girls!! but at least you look cute in the shower cap! :)