lice update

I have a free hour and 24% on my laptop.  Time for a lice update.  (Musical introduction, please!)

Within an hour of publishing the last post, I had heard from five different sources, not all local, about an expensive but definitive lice treatment.  One of the sources was our family doctor (Julia needed a flu shot).  She related her own experience of a multi-month war against the tiny critters with a daughter who has long, thick hair.  After persevering for months, she brought her daughter to The Bright Side salon in Sun Prairie for treatment and the war was over.

Yesterday was two days post Monday’s treatment and Julia took a bath after her doc appointment, washed her hair and I combed it out.  I found many nits but I was still imagining that I could handle those nits myself. 

Comments and email kept coming in.  

Thank you, my village!  Enough people had stories of weeks and months of treatment after treatment to move me to further action.  Enough people recommended the AirAlle Treatment that Patty at The Bright Side uses to tip me over the edge. 

Some facts: Just laid lice eggs take 7-10 days to hatch; newly hatched lice take another 7-10 days to mature and start laying eggs of their own.  Each louse lays 3-5 eggs a day and can live for up to 30 days.  Do the math!!  

And of course, there is no way of telling when Julia’s nits were going to hatch.  Oy! Ok, treatment now!

So, I got home from a meeting at 8:30 last night, called and left a message for Patty at The Bright Side, figuring that she would get back to me when she opened in the morning.  She called back before 9 and offered my a 7:45 appointment this morning.  Mine was not the only after hours call that she’s ever gotten.

It took about 75 minutes for her to use her machine to kill the nits and then comb out Julia’s hair and get rid of the dead nits.  Patty did not find any live lice on Julia and told me I did a great job on Monday.  (Proud mom moment!  After feeling somewhat badly on Monday for not spotting the lice before the school nurse, at least I did a good job getting rid of them. Also, thank you Robi Comb!). However, there was the nit situation.  Patty said that Julia has a tough head of hair to de-nit (Hardest hair of the month!  Really, she said that.).  Long, thick, shiny, slippery hair!  Interestingly, clean hair attracts lice.  (So, good moms keep their kids clean and clean kids attract lice.  Hear the chuckles?) The hot air treatment kills nits (one recommendation for pillows and things that cannot be washed is to put them in a dryer on hot).  She combed and picked many of the dead nits out of Julia’s hair when she finished with the treatment.  

Then, she checked me.  Julia snuggles, watches movies and sometimes sleeps in my bed.  So, here was a perfect storm.  Yes, I was infected. Eek!

Again, she didn’t find any live bugs (probably again thanks to the Robi Comb that I’ve been obsessively using.) and she said that the number of nits was small enough to imagine they were laid by a single or a very few lice.  However, that would not have been the story in two weeks.

Again, eek!  And Uck!

I had the treatment and I am hoping we are done with lice!

I had done everything she recommended to clean up the house except for putting combs and brushes in the freezer overnight.  Something I hadn’t read about.  And we have a 30 day guarantee.  With luck and a bit of vigilance, I will have no reason to make use of that guarantee.

Yesterday, I did find a silver lining to this excursion into the land of the louse.  Getting lice is rather social—hair to hair contact for the most part.  Julia has never been a kid with friends who sleep over or share clothes and brush each other’s hair.  I haven’t deemed her overnight camp ready and she hasn’t done that.  But over the last three months, she has been much more engaged with other kids.  She went to cheer camp just before school began, and she has traded hair styling with a few girls.  And possibly, these social activities have meant lice—a very social condition.

So, Oy and Eek and Uck, but also Wow, Julia is learning to be social. 

Ummm, just one more silver lining. My mother (whose voice is still enshrined in the back of my brain no matter how I try to extract it) as well as at least one influential person in my old life would have gravely cautioned me not to air my dirty laundry in public and publish my last post.  Sometimes over time, I’ve wondered about what I’ve chosen to write here.  Too personal? Too private? Too much to share with readers who might be strangers? However (which could be all in caps), the quick and efficient help and advice I’ve received in the last 24 feels like such a thumbs up for sharing.

And so again, thanks so much, my dear village!

3 thoughts on “lice update

  1. Oh yes, we have been through that situation, all 5 of us once and then just the girls. We tried all that goop and finally I tried just mayo and the shower cap steam, going for natural. She hated it. Eventually we got it under control, read finished, but it is a messy problem. I know it is a common problem in all sorts of school situations, and one that is seriously eewed, but it is not discriminatory between economic environments.

  2. Love your post as always. Surprised this is the first time Julia has had this. I think each of my kids had it at least once. And I think you are amazing for writing About it. Air your dirty laundry!!! I’m with you!

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