Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Uninvited Christmas Guests

We got to Ohio last Monday evening, just a few hours after my brother and his family.  The kids were so excited to see their cousins, and they had a grand time playing together.

Tuesday morning I decided it would be a good time to get the girls' hair trimmed, since it had been a long time (maybe since right before Verity was born??), and the ends were pretty ratty.  We headed on over to Great Clips.  We didn't have to wait long before Grace got called back.

And it was only a few more minutes before I got called back to the chair, where the lady pointed to a little black dot on her head that was moving around.  "Your daughter has lice.  See that one?  And here are the nits . . ."

Argh . . . . . . .  I felt ill.  I wished the floor could open up and swallow all of us!  How mortifying!  Could this possibly have happened at a worse time?!?  I knew Melinda's girls had dealt with lice back in October, and they had come back once, so I knew it was a pain to get rid of them.  The lady asked if I wanted her to check Anna and Faith.  I said yes, but I knew if one had it, they all had it, since they share a bed.  Of course they all did.  Ack!!!

 The 2 minute drive over to Walmart was very gloomy, lol.  Anna pointed out that she had mentioned several weeks ago that her head was itchy.  I had looked at her scalp then, though, and I didn't see a thing, so it might have been a dry scalp after all.  Or I might have completely missed an infestation, who knows??  And really, "What difference does it make at this point, anyway?", as they say.  The girls all had lice, who knows if anyone else in our family did, and we had exposed my parents, their house, and Dan, Melinda, and their girls.

I had immediately texted Melinda to find out what to get.  Since she had dealt with lice recently, she had tons of good advice and knew what didn't work.  We bought a chemical treatment (we used "Vamousse", which was a mousse, instead of a shampoo, which included nit combs), an electric "zapping" nit comb, as well as tea tree oil, and a big carton of coconut oil from Sams.  We also got a ton of disposable shower caps.

When we got home, everyone had already started washing all the bedding and laundry in hot water, and Melinda checked everyone else.  Praise the Lord, no one else had any signs of infestation, although I think all of us would agree our heads were suddenly *much* itchier, lol.  The girls had all been playing with hair the night before, as well as sleeping in the same room/beds, so Melinda decided to be really careful and check them each night for several nights to make sure they didn't get reinfested.

I put the Vamousse stuff in the girls' hair and started the laborious process of combing through all their hair with the nit comb.  Fortunately none of them have what would be called "thick" hair, so that was a blessing in this case.  It still took several hours to do all 3.  We ordered pizza that night, lol. Then, before bed, when their hair was dry, I went through their hair with the electric nit comb, which got quite a few more nits, alarmingly.  Melinda and I mixed tea tree oil with coconut oil and slathered that all over the girls' heads, covered it all in saran wrap, and then put the shower caps on them for sleeping.  That tea tree oil certainly smells strongly, and man was their hair greasy in the morning!
In the morning, we used the electric nit comb again, and it only got one thing, so that was a relief.  Progress!  We washed all the sheets again, did the nit thing again that night (nothing came up--whew), and did the coconut oil treatment again Wednesday night.  Thursday morning was another session with the nit comb, which picked up nothing, so we are thinking we are through the bad part.  We have continued to check the girls' hair regularly, and I'm sure I'll be doing that once we get home too, since we're not 100% sure where these lovely critters came from.  We're wondering if they didn't come from Faith's gymnastics class, since at some point they sent home a letter saying there had been a lice outbreak.  I checked everyone and didn't see anything, but I didn't keep on checking.  I had already told Christine to check Elena, since the girls are together so often, and they always do each others' hair.  Indeed, she also had lice--the gift that keeps on giving!

It really was the grace of God that we found out here in Ohio.  The timing seemed terrible to me, but looking back, it was a blessing.  It was the day after we arrived, so there wasn't that much time for infestation.  If we had found out before we left, I probably would have had a nervous breakdown, honestly.  I can't imagine how I would have dealt with all that, as well as trying to pack and get ready for Christmas.  Instead, we drove away cluelessly, leaving any lice in our house without a host, so hopefully they are all dead now!

Lice weren't the only uninvited guests this Christmas.  Anna dealt with a big stye, which is a staph infection in an eyelash follicle, in her left eye, her first one.  I have no idea what would trigger that, since she doesn't wear eye makeup or anything.  So random--not unlike the lice, actually, lol.  Once she started doing warm compresses faithfully (every 2 hours for 15 minutes at a time), the eye finally started looking better.
And Grace caught some little bug too.  She had a fever and a really sore throat.  I was worried about strep, but she seems to be better now.  At least she's eating again, since she really has no extra bit of fat to lose!  It was funny that she was running a fever on Christmas evening, since Drew ran a fever last year then.  I had to run out to a drug store to buy children's motrin, but fortunately Grace can swallow pills, so I didn't have to go anywhere this year.  Whew!  Again, no one else seems to have gotten this bug, which is a blessing, but it just really weird.  Why all these random problems and sicknesses this year over Christmas?!  I think I need to start intentionally praying for good health over Christmas break starting in the beginning of the school year!

1 comment:

Beverly said...

Oh my!! So sorry you and your girls had to deal with all that! It makes me think of Charis and her horrific experience with bed bugs the very first night she was at Bible camp this summer. So terrible to have to deal with it at all, but we were oh-so-grateful that it was NOT in our home!!