Last week, Joe was out of town. After giving the little ones baths on Tuesday night, I noticed a little something that was "off" in Spenser's freshly-washed hair. It looked like a fruit fly or a gnat. But upon further inspection, it appeared to be a tick ... or worse. Head lice.
As I found a few of these bugs, full panic set in. This is our first case of lice. And there was some living in my girl's hair. I checked all the boys, and they seemed fine.
Joe was out of town, and because I wanted to treat this sooner than ASAP, I called his mother to stay with the children so that I could drive 20 minutes into civilization to remedy this problem. $58 later, I was armed with shampoos and sprays.
And then my hell began.
I shampooed and combed her hair for hours. (Not getting started until 10:30 p.m. and ending around 1-ish.) I was up until 2:30 a.m. doing laundry. Then laid in bed with an adrenalin rush (and complete and utter paranoia) until I first closed my eyes around 3:30. My eyes did not stay closed for long as the horrible bug dreams started and I woke up often to turn on the lights and inspect my bed. I didn't know if it was the paranoia, or sympathy itch, or lice itself, but I was one itchy mama. (Poor Joe was in Florida itching at the news.)
By Wednesday morning, after two hours of total sleep, I re-checked the boys and discovered lice. After a return trip to the store, and $110 later, I had enough shampoo and spray and new pillows for a small army. Or, in other words, our family. All in all, five of the six had it. Thankfully, all the cases were mild and I caught it just in time for it to spread around, but not totally infest their heads.
About 50+ loads of laundry later (I kid you not), I feel less icky in my house. I can relax when my head is on my own pillow. I cannot relax when I am sitting on the sofa (which is vacuumed daily now).
My hands are raw. I'm still itching up a storm (I did treat myself, just in case!). But I survived with minimal tears. I have never been so tired in all of my life. But, I had super-human strength that carried me through. All of my children got nice new hair cuts for Easter because I decided it would be easier on me to re-treat their hair this week. Spenser had her final treatment yesterday. Today is the day for the boys. So far, all is good.
So that itchy rash from last week? Yeah. That pales in comparison.
(And I feel that I must apologize to you now. I'm sorry that I made you itchy. Go ahead. You can scratch. No one can see you. And just be happy that you've been at a safe distance from us this past week.)