I Learned That I Was Crazy When She Caught Lice



**I wrote this and never posted it! Join me as we jump back to July.**
I was brushing her hair right up until the moment that my heart stopped.
“Is her hair moving? Why the hell is her hair moving? No freaking way is her hair moving” I find myself thinking as my brain is scrambling to wrap it’s tiny little confused brain cells around any plausible explanation for what I am seeing.
Yep, something is moving alright, but it’s not her hair.
It’s a bug. Oh no wait….it’s not “a” bug, it’s “bug’s.”
Lice to be exact.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you suddenly feel as if you are the dirtiest person on the planet? No? Just me? Well let me tell you, I’ve had that week. The entire freaking week has left me walking around feeling as though I need to tent my house for extermination, take a bath in bleach, and send the children off to daycare inside of large Ziploc bags to protect them from other germy people.
First the Boy Child came home from daycare with a lovely case of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Next I realized that there was a mouse in my house and now I find myself sitting here staring at the head of my daughter….who apparently has lice. 
Wait….do I have lice too? Is my head itching? Yes, my head is definitely itching BECAUSE OF ALL THE LICE I MOST CERTAINLY HAVE.
I make a call to the daycare center that my children attend and the director barely finishes saying hello before I blurt out “Hi, you know how sometimes you call me and say things that I don’t want to hear, things like “hey your kid just threw up and you have to come and get them? Well….my turn. My kid has lice and I think she got it from another child at your center.”
Sure enough, they check and she is only one of about 7 little girls that are now growing their very own personal lice farms right on top of their teeny tiny heads.
Gag. Me. Now.


After I managed to calm myself down from nearly passing out due to a combination of a panic induced heart attack and anxiety induced hyperventilation, I did a quick Google search looking for a lice removal company. I was certain that if you can hire a company to pick up dog poop in your yard, you can most certainly hire someone to pick bugs out of your hair.

Sure enough, there were two places right in my town.
I obviously wasted no time in calling them so they could exterminize my child. Through my panic stricken voice I managed to squeak out “Hi, yes, my daughter has lice and I have a bad case of hypochondria so I’d like to make an appointment for both of us. When? How about right now.”
They give me a quote that while isn’t cheap, isn’t entirely unreasonable (considering that I might have actually been willing to sign over my bank account just to GET RID OF THE LICE). I do a few mathematical calculations on my cellphone in my head and realize that in my current financial situation, it is better for me to fork over the money to a professional so that the daycare center will allow the Girl Child to come back right away, rather than attempt to remove it myself and miss work due to the daycare policy requiring that you keep your child home for several days after a lice diagnosis (I confirmed with the director that she could come back right away if I had her professionaly nit-picked).

I’m also fully aware that while I could pick bugs off the Girl Child’s head, I can’t figure out how to investigate my own head and I’m a bit too mortified to call one of my girlfriends and ask them to come pick bugs out of my hair.

Fun times.
Ten minutes later we are on our way, her happily chatting in the backseat, me swatting at my own head as I delve further into the abyss of paranoia that is convincing me that the lice are not only breeding in my hair, but that they have already formed a government, set up a school system, and are building a subway line from my right ear to my left.
We arrive at the lice salon where we are greeted by two overly happy women holding some very scary looking combs. Once settled into our salon chairs, my daughter having chosen a movie and being given a portable DVD player, they get to work.

I’m fully aware that this is a place where people routinely come while wearing their own head critter farms, and I’m afraid to touch anything.

I begin to ask the girl looking through my hair a relentless string of panicked questions that are coming so fast I’m not even giving her time to answer. “Did you find anything? Do you see anything? Is there anything in there? Are there any on my head? What’s going on up there?” 
I become aware that I am positively the most annoying client on the face of the planet.
Two hours and $167 dollars later my daughter is lice free and I have been assured that I myself do not have lice, I am actually just crazy.
We leave with instructions to wash all our bedding, vacuum the carpets and the couch, put any hair accessories in the freezer for 24 hours, and to check our hair every two days for a week.
So what that actually looks like is that before we even leave the place, I wrap not only my daughter’s car seat but my seat as well in plastic trash bags, pulling only the seat belts and safety buckles through. On the way home we stop and buy all new hair brushes. When we arrive home I seat her IN THE GARAGE with a few books and instruct her not to move while I clean the house (or at least until I had a designated lice free area to park her inside).
“Clean the house” as in I wash not only the bedding, but I start washing every single piece of clothing that is hanging in our closets. I vacuum not only the carpets and the couch, but the curtains and the inside of the vents as well. I bleach everything in the kitchen and bathrooms as well as wipe down everything and anything that I can possibly get my hands on. Anything that I can’t wash such as the Girl Child’s American Girl doll and the Boy Child’s stuffed animals, I put into a trash bag where I intend to suffocate any remaining little bugs of Satan…I mean lice. Then I tackle the car.
When I am done I am fairly certain that my house would pass a hospital isolation unit inspection standard of cleanliness.
Forget checking our hair every two days, oh no, we are going to bang out the nit comb before breakfast and after dinner because I’ll be damned if any of those little suckers are going to get a chance to breed on our heads again.
It is now ten days later and thankfully I have yet to come across any lone survivors of the hair farm annihilation. We had our follow up at the salon and I’m happy to say that we have been deemed a successful extermination case.
We caught lice, something that unfortunately a good majority of kids in the school and daycare systems catch. We fought it, we beat it, and I learned that I am an absolute hypochondriac.
But still….there were bugs living on my daughters head and drinking her blood….so can anyone really blame me?
Is anyone else feeling a little itchy?
No?
Just me?

Fun times.

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35 Comments

  • Mzfuzz
    November 30, 2014 at 12:49 am

    *scratches head* No, I'm fine. Why do you ask?

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 30, 2014 at 4:52 am

      Ha! The crazy is spreading!

  • Evelyn
    November 30, 2014 at 2:39 am

    enough to make a person itchy. I've always wondered why it is that little kids are the ones that get lice, but once they are 10 and older, they don't get lice. Also why don't grownups get lice?

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 30, 2014 at 4:53 am

      Its usually because lice need direct contact to walk from head to head or clothing item to clothing item and so children get it because they touch heads, share hats, and are just generally a lot closer than adults are. It tends to spread in schools and daycares because they hand their coats next to each other 🙂

  • Koro
    November 30, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Ahhh, now my head itches!Fun story: I used to have horrible hygiene as a teen, and I hardly ever washed my hair. Close family members would always sneer, “You're going to get lice.”I never did.Years later, as an adult, I learned that lice only infest healthy and clean scalps. Clean. Scalps.I told my mom this and she laughed so hard she about messed her pants.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 30, 2014 at 4:54 am

      Haha! Yes, I knew the lice liked clean hair so that made me feel a *tiny* bit better, but not much lol

  • Katy Anders
    November 30, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Oh, that is horrible. I'm not going to think about what I just read. As someone with 4 little people in the house, I don't believe I'm even allowed to imagine this.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 30, 2014 at 4:55 am

      It was my worst creepy nightmare come true. Actually though, not that I EVER want to get it again, but it really wasn’t that bad. A solid day of hard labor and grossness, but overall not exceptionally terribel- if that makes you feel any better…

  • Anonymous
    November 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Ugh! I had to check every kid's head for lice at the summer camp I was working at (as an assistant teacher mind you…NOT the camp nurse!). Thank goodness I didn't find any. I did find a pink cupcake sprinkle in one girl's hair though…Thanks for making me smile (and also cringe this time) once again Eden. Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for you. Love xoxoxox

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 30, 2014 at 4:56 am

      That’s no fun lol! I would ask for a raise lol! I can’t believe anyone would want a job at the lice salon. I kept asking them why they do it, weren’t they grossed out, didn’t it freak them out that they would get it, and they really didn’t seem to care, they said “we don’t touch our heads and we keep our hair back and it’s fine!”

  • Anonymous
    November 30, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    How about the boy child? How did he manage not to catch them from his sister? (Just wondering!) !?!?!?

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 30, 2014 at 4:57 am

      He has super short nearly bald buzzed hair, so I don’t think there would have been much for them to hang on to! I was SHOCKED that I didn’t have it. They told me that colonies of lice can only eat one blood type or their digestive systems explode, so I’m assuming my daughter and I must have different blood types. She had it pretty bad and we share hair brushes, pillows, we snuggle, and I didn’t have it (thank goodness!!!)

  • Jennifer Holter
    November 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I have the same fear of bed bugs! Scary little creepy buggers!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 30, 2014 at 4:58 am

      I CAN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT THEM. I don’t even know what I would do, I would lose my mind if we got bed bugs. I am that person that leaves the luggage outside and checks the hotel room beds before bringing the luggage in.

  • Sara A.
    December 1, 2014 at 5:16 am

    I don't blame you at all for this. Bedbugs have been spreading down the East Coast and into the Midwest. I don't know what's worse, those or roaches! Maybe waterbugs? My skin is CRAWLING right now!! I've got a phobia of bugs and rashes. Anything with a close repetitive circle pattern makes me itch.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 1, 2014 at 2:40 am

      Ugh my parents house had those waterbugs and when I got my first place I took my old mattress with me and low and behold, a TON of them came with me because they were IN the mattress. I AM SO GROSSED OUT. I threw it away and never saw another one again.

      Now the roaches, get this, my ex’s old apartment was infested with them and we couldn’t figure out why. They were EVERYWHERE. You would turn a light on and several thousand would go running for cover it was that bad. We cleaned, had exterminators out, everything, and they didn’t get any better. We were engaged and at that point I was living with my grandmother and I was like “no way in hell am I moving in here” so we got a new place. As we were trying to pack up his stuff they were falling out of the bottom of the TV, they were in between the pages of books, and we finally decided we couldn’t take his stuff with us. We hauled EVERYTHING to the dumpster, TV, books, furniture, small appliances, video game systems, everything got thrown out. We should out and then bagged up all his clothes and took them directly to a laundromat before heading to our new place. The only thing he took was a large framed photo.

      So we move into our new place and about four days later I come home at night, turn the light on, and immediatly see four roaches on the wall go running behind the framed photo. They had been hiding out in the backing of the picture. My ex literally jumped over a couch, grabbed it, and threw it into the parking lot (slightly dramatic).

      Roaches, NEVER AGAIN.

      About a year later we ran into the building manager of his old apartment. Turns out the guy that had lived below him was not only a hoarder, but had been sent to prison. His family had been mailing his rent check in every month so no one knew he wasn’t actually there. When the checks stopped coming they let themselves into the apartment and I guess it was floor to ceiling garbage and rotting food. A perfect roach breeding ground!

      Yucky.

  • GE
    December 1, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I lived in a third world country until I turned 17. I've had lice, intestinal parasites, some kind of mosquito borne encephalitis, and even recently had a brush with ringworm. That's just the highlights.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 1, 2014 at 2:30 am

      Wowzers!! I can’t imagine having intestinal parasites 🙁 I have had ringworm a few times though. I was relieved to find out that ringworm is a fungus and not an actual worm, because I had it on my face THREE times while I worked at the petstore. They told me to stop kissing the kittens people would leave outside for us, but did I listen…..noooooo. I couldn’t help it, they were really cute ;(

  • Anonymous
    December 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    My mom came home with bed bugs from staying at a motel. She had them for three years before she finally realized what they were! She had this horrible rash on her arms and neck. She went to specialist and they took samples of her tissue and no one ever told her what it was. One night she woke up to a bunch of them eating her! It cost me over 8 thousand dollars to have them exterminated! That didn't include the 4 nights we had to stay at a hotel! It was the worst! I really hope no one on this blog ever gets them but the thing to do is take care of it right away! Because we had them for so long it took a lot more gas to exterminate them! I hope everyone here had a very happy Thanksgiving and make sure to always check your hotel room before taking any bags inside! Michele

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 1, 2014 at 2:30 am

      Oh my gosh NO. That sends shivers down my spine. I literally cannot even process that….

  • GE
    December 1, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    It wasn't SO bad, because it was caught early. I didn't have symptoms, but my younger siblings did and a blood test showed my eosinophils were high. That's a kind of WBC that goes up when you have parasites. I was lucky to be an upper middle class kid by most standards.

  • afairytale84
    December 2, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I did AmeriCorps right after I graduated high school and spent 8 weeks working in a homeless shelter in Sacramento, California. One of the families at the shelter, 3 weeks into our project, had to leave because they had scabies.I was CONVINCED I had scabies. Absolutely convinced. My whole body itched. I washed all my laundry multiple times.I've worked in the child care room of our local YMCA for about 9.5 years. The number of kids who have been diagnosed with lice, hand foot and mouth, etc. is insane. I always itch after hearing that the Kid Who Sat In My Lap Yesterday now has lice.No, it's not just you. 😉

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Alright, so now GE reminded me of the time that I had ringworm and now you have reminded me of the time I had scabies. Darn you people I just keep feeling ickier lol!!

      When I was in high school my family went to visit my father’s friend in Arkansas. We stayed in a trailer in the middle of the woods and I got scabies. The itching was UNBEARABLE and I was FULLY CONVINCED that the bugs were still living under my skin. Since it’s contracted from person to person I still have no idea how I got it and no one else did.

      It was a miserable few weeks 🙁

  • GE
    December 2, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    At least we can all feel icky together? Grossness solidarity. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    December 3, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Ugh! I agree. I'd be itching all day. Gross

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 2, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Right!?

  • Ashley Kim
    December 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Oh my god! I'm now sitting at my work desk, quietly freaking out because my scalp is itching. My sister and I had long, waist length hair growing up. We're Asian, so yeah…Asian hair. She picked up a monster case of lice in 3rd grade and I promptly freaked out, as I let her sleep with me the night before the discovery. Luckily, I escaped, as did the rest of my family. Thanks for clearing up that little mystery…Sister's the only one in the family with a different blood type! (For clarification, we're adopted.)

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 8, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Oh wow I could not imagine getting lice out of asian hair, it’s so thick (Im jealous).

      Yay for mystery solving though!!

      *Hugs* and don’t get lice!

  • Facebook
    December 21, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Went thru this like 3 times last school year. Horrible! No professionals in the area that I could afford. That would've been great! Kids at school kept passing them back and forth.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 21, 2014 at 3:34 am

      Oh gosh, THREE times!!?? I would have lost my mind.

  • Facebook
    December 21, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Yeah – wasn't fun. Was really great that my ex discovered them. the 1st time. Ugh – had to hear it from him, of all people.

  • Jim F
    December 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    My youngest daughter had bedbugs, after a few weeks of seeing red itchy spots on her arms and back did we finally figure it out! We saw them in her bed, but you have to be quick ‘cause they scatter very fast. They like hiding in the seams of the matterss. I goggled what to do and this is what I did:Removed and threw out the carpet in her room.Vacuumed everything.Cleaned everything with isopropyl alcohol 90%, especially the molding where the floor meets the wall (I saw some hide there) even in her closet. Lined the space where the wall meets the floor with baking soda, the entire room (closet to).Put the mattress and bedspring in sealed bags and taped the zipper, there are cheap ones at Walmart but don’t use them, they rip easily and even come with tears in them. There is a bedbug grade bag at Walmart, I used that. Didn’t want a new bed with bedbugs in the room.The problem stopped, haven’t seen a bug in years, yes years. Everywhere I looked said it was going to cost $1000s but I spent like 6 hours doing everything being very thorough and got rid of them. The best part, my daughter, maybe 6 or 7 years old out at the time, out of the blue came up to me and thanked me, a sincere and genuine thank you. She melted me. I didn’t realize she was paying attention.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      December 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Oh my gosh nooooooo. I literally could not deal with that.

      NOPE.

      Nope!

  • Meutia Arianti
    May 4, 2016 at 11:18 am

    It's cheaper in my country. Hahaha. 167 USD??? Wow! So here in my country we just need, more or less, 5 USD to remove lice. There is a lot of shampoo product to kill lice.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      May 13, 2016 at 9:46 am

      It was a lice salon where they remove it from your head without any chemicals 🙂 They literally go through all your hair strand by strand and pick them out! Yuck! Daycare required we have our hair professionally checked before the kids could go back.

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