Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Worst Day EVER

Okay, so I'm sure I've had worse days, but it doesn't really compute that way right now at this point.

Tuesday night I was washing Olivia's face when I saw something in her hair. My mom had put the fear of lice in me when I was a teenager, and I've never quite recovered. She went absolutely berserk when my little brother had bugs in his hair. She spent the next couple days frenetically checking our heads, washing our bedclothes and curtains in steaming hot water and treating us (and herself) with chemical shampoos, if we had bugs on us or not. (to this day I'm certain my brother was the only one with lice...)
So, as I'm leaning over dear Olivia's head I'm actually quaking with fright. I find something that looks like the photos of 'nits' or 'lice eggs' on her head.
But other than the things I found on her head looking like 'nits' there was nothing else similar to a lice infestation. No bugs on any of the kids heads, the 'nits' were several inches up the shaft away from the scalp and although the 'nits' were stuck to the shaft of the hair, they were easy to slip up and off of the shaft. I was so confused.

I called the pediatrician and the world's dumbest nurse called me back. She only gave me advice from the times her children had lice, she wouldn't give me competent somewhat medical advice at all.

"Just go to The Walmart and buy a bunch of the Nix stuff and treat everyone in the house with it. That's what I've always done. I just line 'em up and put the stuff through their hair, make 'em sit for an hour
(the box says 10 minutes, by the way) and I do myself too, cause I can't check myself, ya know?"


"MmmHmmm...I know you can't check yourself. I read on the internet that the chemical's are dangerous and that you shouldn't treat the children with the chemicals unless they have live bugs on their head. And I've checked the younger two children, no nits."

"I could never see those eggs. I think they're impossible to see. And the bugs run all over the place and can jump from head to head. (which I learned later is totally untrue)"


"So you're saying that I should treat everyone in the house with the chemical shampoo, even the baby?"

"Ya, just don't leave it on as long."


I thanked her and hung up the phone. Everything she had just told me was contrary to what I had read on the internet but as things are I'm already inclined to hose down all the kids with bleach...

I decide to call back and talk to a different nurse. I called back, said I'd like to either speak to a different nurse or the doctor. Finally after waiting for a half hour, the doctor gets on the phone:

"Are you sure it's an active infestation? For some odd reason we find nits on kids heads all the time that are dead or don't hatch. Don't treat the children with no nits with any sort of chemical solutions, it's found to be very dangerous."

So I sit there like an idiot for a moment, deciding whether or not to rat out the idiot nurse. Because she pissed me off with her ignorance I totally ratted on her! The doctor didn't seems surprised and said that it was probably time to update the staff on lice removal and policies.

I won't bore you with all the horrible tortures I put my kids through yesterday, mainly sitting in my lap for hours and hours while I pulled and twisted their hair. I called the school this morning and they said they can be in school as long as there are no bugs in the hair. The school nurse checked them and said I did an excellent job, no bugs, no nits.

I feel so freaking tense right now I could snap. I bet all of you out there, mothers or not, are super glad you're not me right now!

On a much brighter note, I got a custom order for a set of matching mother/daughter headbands. The little girl one will be cream and pink and the mother one pink and brownish. Just plain stripey with a strip of vintage buttons up the back of the head. They're looking pretty good so far, I'll post photos soon and everyone can give me honest feedback! RIGHT?? Right Mo Fos.

9 comments:

Lana said...

i'm glad you ratted on the idiot nurse, i so would have done the same thing. my mom teaches first grade and has to deal with the little buggers more often than i feel comfortable with.

Prunella Jones said...

I've heard mayonnaise works to kill lice. Might be worth a try if need to.

Pop and Ice said...

God knows the internet has lots of info, but you shouldn't trust it for medical advice. You know how doctors love it when you say, gee, I read this on the internet. It's only one step above "My Chiropractor thinks this..."

bearer of three said...

I cannot believe the nurse told you that! she shouldnt give you advice based on her own experience..what an ass!!! Im glad you didnt harm your poor kids with althose chemical...

erin said...

Lana,
I can't imagine being a teacher. Ever. Ever. Ever. Seems like too much work to be worth it! And all of the colds and flus! Ugh.
Pru,
I read the mayo thing. I searched their whole heads and only found a few nits, and the school nurse confirmed they were clean of everything...for now!
Pops,
In this case, most of what I read on the internet was right. But if I were a doctor I would be really sick of parents who think they know so much better than me.
Bearer,
She was an ass. But if they would have had bugs on their heads I would have used the chemical shampoo...there is no way I could handle attempted to delouse my kids on my own.

lizzie lou said...

i've dealt with this a bazillion times (oh, okay, only four, but still), so here's my two cents. if the little buggies appear, consider using olive oil instead of the chemical stuff. i've had the exact same results with both (neither kills them all, and you still have to comb out every single last one of the lice and nits with the tiny lice comb). by "neither kills them all," i mean that as you're combing those dead bodies out, you'll inevitably come across a few wriggling, live bodies. yyyyuck.

The Angry Georgian said...

First time I see lice in my childrens' hair, they're getting shaved!

Sass Pizzazz said...

Hi, thanks for following me! I vaguely remember having lice once as a kid, but I think I may have blocked most of the experience out, because it's no fun sitting there while someone combs out your whole thick head of hair looking for bugs. I'm really glad your kids are bug-free though. Maybe you should make them wear shower caps to school? ;)

Sam said...

Oh, I'm sorry. This is my worst nightmare, and I'm sure I'll be dealing with it soon enough, based on all the notes they send home from preschool with "someone in the school has been infested..." Glad it's all better.