Two nights ago with an olive oil saturated top knot housed beneath a shower cap, I practiced yoga. Not because of some gimmicky yoga rigmarole promising a better workout. Or because I was deep conditioning my hair. But because Little Thing gave me lice.
Yes, you heard me.
I turn 35 a week from Sunday, and I caught lice.
How could I not? Five-year-olds are snuggle monsters. I tried my best to keep her noggin away from my head, but it’s damned near impossible. How do you explain to little things that you can’t snuggle them for fear of cross buggy contamination? You can’t.
Since I threw Little Thing under the bus last week to the interwebs, I decided, against my certifiable proven less than stellar judgement, that I should be transparent about my own lice woes. I mean, ten years from now she could Google me, click on the post from last week A Little Thing Tale: Merry Licemas, read until she’s mortified that her mother has loud capped her trials and tribulations for all the world to see, and never speak to me again. Her future teenage self might forgive me more quickly if she realizes I tossed myself into an alligator-infested canal headfirst for her sake too. Maybe.
I digress. Let’s rewind two weeks.
Upon discovering the initial louse in her hair, I developed phantom itches. I Nixed myself the following day. My husband, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law checked me repeatedly. Still, I itched. Until three days ago, they found only dandruff. Then the last time I had Goose (my husband) check, he found six nits. When I washed my hair two days ago, I discovered a louse clinging for dear life on a blonde hair that came loose with the wash. I pinched the damn bug seven or eight times until it stubbornly died.
Licemas wasn’t over.
I cried in the shower.
I toweled off, dressed, and cried some more.
I proceeded to gather the laundry, strip the beds, and spray all surfaces with lice repellant, a bottle full of essential oils.
Passing through the living room, I slipped in the sheen of errant lice repellant that missed its mark and half-splitted on our hardwood floor.
I cried harder.
This is rock bottom, I thought, and it surprisingly smelled of peppermint, lavender, and tea tree oil.
I ruminated over the advice dispersed from last week’s post and decided it was time to get a specialist into the house.
I settled on LiceDoctors because they were the first service to answer. They dispatched a lovely woman to my house that afternoon.
Over the course of two and a half hours, she olive oiled, combed, and picked nits from Little Thing’s and my hair. She then cut the olive oil with Dawn soap and told us to rinse. We followed up by shampooing and blow drying our hair. Subsequently, she performed a dry nit check, finding no nits on either of our heads, and oiled our hair again.
She left explicit instructions to oil up before bed, comb it in, and sleep with it on for four nights in a row. Each morning, we were to wash it out, blow it dry, and perform a dry check. After four nights of sleeping in olive oil, we are supposed to repeat this process every fourth night for a month.
What have I learned through this whole process?
- Some super lice and their nits (eggs) inhabit the world. They have grown immune to over the counter and even prescription chemical treatments. We unfortunately caught the super lice.
- Lice can only survive 24-36 hours away from the human body.
- Olive oil is super hard to get out of your hair.
- Lice are hard to kill. They can breathe for six to eight hours even through attempts to smother them via olive oil or mayo strangulation. Olive oil and mayo do nothing to kill nits.
- I don’t own enough towels.
- Lice can infiltrate your dreams, cause anxiety, and make you sleep deprived.
- Nits are not contagious. Only lice are.
- Nits grow once laid. At an early stage, nits are so tiny that they can’t be seen nor caught with a comb. That’s why it’s important to check for nits everyday.
- Sunny windows are da bomb.
- Nits hatch anywhere between 6-10 days after being laid.
- Once lice are discovered, it takes three to four weeks to completely eradicate.
- The internet is full of conflicting information regarding how to get rid of the bad mama jammas.
- We’ve spent a Chiquita banana load of money trying to rid the household of them. I paid LiceDoctors $338. I spent $60 on two useless Nix treatments. I coughed up $75 for the prescription strength Sklice. We’ve bought a Robicomb, other nit combs, new brushes, lice repellent, spray bottles, Lice Ice, new hair ties, vinegar and on and on. My low ball estimate of what we’ve actually spent is $700.
- A lice infestation is more of a time suck than Candy Crush, Red Ball, and Facebook combined.
(Citation: Information was compiled from LiceDoctors, the CDC’s website, and personal observation. Corrections to the data or pointing out flaws in my reasoning are welcome.)
As of this morning, no lice or nits are visible in my hair nor in Little Thing’s.
The house is in various degrees of shambles as is my state of being.
At least Little Thing remains her happy little self. (Chirping gems like, “What’s 100 plus strawberries?”)
This Mama Rama Jama needs a massage, SEVERAL stiff drinks, and a good laugh.
Are the lice-a-days over yet?