Saturday, August 24, 2013

Annual trip to Oregon: Disaster strikes!

This post would be more accurately named "Disaster discovered." On Sunday morning, I was showing my mom the strange dandruff in Hattie's hair that wouldn't brush away. "Melanie, that isn't dandruff. It's head lice!" The next 5 days were a nightmare. All three of my kids were infested, as well as myself. When I reflected a bit, I figured we had had it for a while - during my trip to Minnesota and Iowa I complained of an inexplicably itchy lower head and shoulders. I called both Tandy and Laura to inform them...upon inspection, Tandy and her two girls were infested, and two of Laura's daughters were infested. All three of us had an exhausting week of shampooing, nit-picking, laundry, cleaning, and more nit-picking.
We spent two solid days washing anything the girls or I may have come in contact with. And we put all of Grandma's stuffed toys and dress up clothes into "quarantine" for 2 weeks. But the worst was certainly nit-picking. One day I nit-picked for 7 hours, painstakingly going through every millimeter of my girls, and Laura's girls' hair. I think I may need bifocals a little sooner after that day!
Anna allowed me to cut her hair, making nit removal much easier. I love her new do.
 We put some tea tree oil on Anna's hair, which supposedly repels lice...doesn't kill the, but they don't like it.
After my initial shampooing with the pesticide shampoo, I still found a live louse on my, so I put mayonnaise on my hair for 8+ hours. Very smelly to wake up to. But is supposedly smothers them. It's worth a shot, right?
We researched other alternative lice-killing methods and tried using Cetaphil soap - drench the hair in soap, remove as much as possible, blow hair dry, then wait 8 hours before washing it out. It's hard to know how much it helped...but it did give me a little piece of mind at least.
I've tried to remember to check them every few days for more. I live in daily fear of another break out. It really was 5 of the most exhausting days. My mom was a saint through it all, spending hours doing laundry and nit-picking my hair. I certainly wouldn't wish this on anyone. I think it will be many months before the paranoia disappears whenever I feel a slight itch on my head anywhere!

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