Thursday, February 18, 2016


It all started the Sunday after my last post. Baby R started throwing up in the middle of the night. By lunch the next day, S was also sick. Thankfully that wrapped up by Tuesday evening. However, Wednesday morning, Baby R said her head was itchy. DH and I, having had zero experience with lice, initially dismissed it as a stalling tactic and wanting another stay home day. However, after looking more thoroughly, calling the school nurse, calling the pediatrician, posting on FB for advice and, of course, Googling, we confirmed she did, in fact, have lice.

DH ran to Walgreens to grab a box of RID. I sent S to school with the neighbor. Got Baby R shampooed and combed out in about 2 hours. Then, per school protocol, sent her to class. I took the rest of the day off so I could take everything in the house that could be washed to the laundromat and  do 10 loads of laundry at once, get my car cleaned, bag everything in the house that couldn't be washed and put it in quarantine in the spare bedroom, and vacuum the carpets and the couches and under all the furniture.

In the last four years, our experience has always been that whenever there was a case of lice at the school, a note was sent home to let everyone know they need to be on the lookout. FYI, this year, the CDC downgraded lice from a health risk, to an inconvenience. If you've ever had to deal with this pesky bug, you know that's an understatement. Our school district, as well as others nearby, no longer notify anyone - not even the teacher of the classroom in which the afflicted child attends.

I checked everyone else in the family every night and every morning. Each night, I spent an hour combing out R's head to get rid of the nits just like the instruction video showed. Each morning when Baby R woke up, I had her get undressed in her bed and go straight to the bathroom to put on clean clothes while I stripped her bed and washed the sheets. And yet, Saturday morning, as I was checking S before taking her to cheerleading, I found she was infected.

DH had stocked up on RID after the initial discovery, so I immediately treated S. She has a tender head and hair that's so long it's almost down to her rear end. Several friends recommended professional lice removal services after my initial inquiry, but I couldn't fathom the idea of paying $90/hour for someone else to do it, regardless of how daunting a task treating S was going to be. But after spending 3 hours combing out her hair, I simply couldn't get the nits out. I called Combers and they were able to get us in right away.

While there, I asked them to check me, and I, too, had it. Obviously, I was going to have to have them treat me as well. DH is amazing at many things, but this was a bit outside of his skill set. Thankfully, Combers just had a flat fee instead of an hourly rate.

Sunday morning when I was combing out R's hair, there were dozens more nits than there had been the previous few days! Clearly another one had hatched; R had scratched one spot so much she had a scab. I felt terrible; clearly I wasn't doing a good enough job myself. I bit the bullet and took her to Combers, too.

The woman there was very supportive and told me I'd done the best I could. I found out that part of the reason I was having so much trouble was that the comb that is provided in the OTC products is inferior and only gets about 50% of the nits out. I purchased one from the salon, and it was much more effective. I also found out that the RID is a pesticide. Not something I would have used on my kiddos had I known!

I continued checking the boys twice a day, combing out the girls nightly, and having DH comb mine. He was a trooper about doing it, and I bit my tongue through the painful pulling. Unfortunately, a few days later, I found nits on DH, so he treated his hair with RID, and I added him to the combout routine. I thought we'd made it without Cinco getting it, but unfortunately, he finally had it, too. I wasn't going to treat a toddler with the pesticides in RID, and I wasn't going to spend $120 on professionals either, so we just shaved his head. My poor baby!

We girls had a follow-up visit 9 days after our treatment, and we were all clean. Hallelujah! Finally, it seemed life would be back to normal.

And then the next morning, Cinco had a fever and we had to keep him home for 2 days.

I'm happy to say that we had our second follow up visit at Combers this week and it also came back clean, so I'm optimistic that the plagues have finally ended at our house.

(This was not a sponsored post, but I'm including a link to Combers website because I thought they did an amazing job and would recommend them to anyone unfortunate enough to have to deal with lice. They also have a lot of good information on the site regarding myths and facts about lice.)

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