Saturday, November 8, 2014

Roses and Thorns

Every Rose Has Its Thorn...and on Monday morning we discovered our little flower had a few -- in the form of unwelcome guests. Just as I finished braiding Natalie's hair, my trained eyes zeroed in on a light-brown sesame seed sitting on the crown of her head. Only it wasn't a seed. As I held the little bugger between my thumb and index finger, a four letter word escaped my lips... LICE!
"No!" Natalie cried.
I wanted to cry, too.

Three years ago, Noah brought it home...twice.  Since that time I have religiously doused their heads daily with products like Lice Shield and Fairy Tales which contain rosemary, citronella and tea tree oil that are supposed to repel head lice. Perhaps these new visitors have faulty sniffers.

As a seasoned warrior, I knew what had to be done.  I immediately began stripping the beds and stuffing dozens of stuffed animals into garbage bags.  I had no idea how deep the little pests had penetrated our home.  Next, I grabbed a flashlight to scrutinize Noah's head.  Upon finding nothing, we all jumped into the car to get Noah to school.

My next stop was Walgreens.  I knew from experience that they regularly carry an array of products.  After consulting with the pharmacist, we settled on Walgreen's brand of Nix.  However, on the way home, Natalie took it upon herself to read the label...

"Mom, this stuff seems really toxic," said Natalie
"Yeah, it's a pesticide.  It'll be okay," I replied.
"I don't think we should use it," warned Natalie.
SIGH... "Alright, I'll call the doctor and see what other options are available," I said.

Unfortunately, while there are a couple of prescription medications available...due to a rise in cases -- we couldn't get our hands on them.  Pharmacies can't seem to keep up with the demand. The two brands we tried to get are called Ulesfia and Sklice. We ended up using the "toxic stuff" and after nearly two hours of combing, removed a second adult louse and about 20 eggs.  (The doctor called 8 hours later to say they'd located a box of Ulesfia, however, when I went to pick it up, I experienced sticker shock.  It cost $100, and though the pharmacy tech was quick to point out that my insurance was saving us $600. I chose to leave it and take my chances with the OTC brand. Apparently, lice aren't the only blood-suckers.) While I was relieved that we caught it early, my consolation was short-lived as I gazed at the mountain of laundry.

By Friday I was almost caught up with the loads and happy to have a distraction.  Noah had his follow up visit with the ENT to find out if his ear surgery was successful.  As the doctor peered into Noah's ear, I held my breath.

"Looks good.  He can get it wet." said Dr. Pete.
"It does?! He can? You mean..." I stuttered.
"Yep.  No restrictions," replied Dr. Pete.
"Noah! You can play again! Back to OT! Back to the playground!" I cheered
"Mom! Hive five!" said Noah.

By the time Noah and I had returned to the car, the good news was still sinking in. Noah actually began crying -- he was so happy. For the last three years he has been plagued with monthly ear infections and wore a custom-fitted ear plug to prevent water from entering his ear during showering or at the pool.  We still have to revisit the doctor in two months to have his hearing re-tested, but things are definitely looking rosy again.


  1. Oh my oh my oh my..... oh how I hate those awful buggers!!!! It seems you truly ARE a queen at dealing with them... Lice is EVERYWHERE.

    And bless Noah's heart!! I am SOOOO happy for him... for the freedom he has been handed!!! Thanking God for new beginnings for that precious boy!!

    1. Thanks, Chris. We are feeling pretty happy over here. :-)

  2. Great post! I couldn't imagine having to deal with lice.

    1. Thanks! Unfortunately with kids it's not's when. argh. And, like bedbugs and fleas -- lice are becoming resistant to treatment. The problem has been so huge in some schools that they've started having all kids put their coats, etc into individual plastic bags so that clothing items are kept separate in the closets

  3. Hello -

    First, thank you for visiting my blog today via SITS. Second, I am grateful that I or my daughter has not experienced lice. I believe our hair texture can deter it a little, along with the oils we use.

    I am so elated to hear that your son's ear infections have been stopped and he can enjoy getting wet (as he desires).

    1. Thank you! You are lucky Yulunda! We've tried all kinds of preventatives - keeping hair braided and using sprays but it seems the problem is so rampant as lice has become resistant to treatment. blech! All the best to you!