Pediculosis

I am so fucking SICK of lice. Sick sick sick sick sick SICK.

Not only do I have very long, very thick hair. I am also ALLERGIC to their FUCKING BITES.

So the children are swanning around, three weeks after returning to school, harbouring communities of the vile creatures (as it turns out) and are showing not the slightest sign of anything at all. But the moment one small insect moves into my hair and starts noshing on my scalp I come out in huge, weeping, bleeding weals that itch like FUCK. They hurt so much it wakes me up in the night.

“One of you children has LICE” I roar and lash out the nit comb and gallons of conditioner. In fact one has both lice and nits in abundance, the other mostly nits.

I change all our bedding and towels and boil wash them because old habits die hard despite the advice on the NHS page:

There is no need to wash clothing, or bedding, if they have come into contact with head lice. This is because head lice quickly die without a host to provide warmth and food.

I go to the chemist and pay vast sums of money (well vast in our circumstances) for some noxious poison, no doubt based on some deadly organophosphate and treat all of us, leave on the lotion for longer than the recommended time, go through each head with the nit comb again. “Die, bastards, die” I chant as I rake the metal teeth of the comb over every square millimeter of scalp.

The children don’t like it. But their suffering is AS NOTHING compared to the FUCKING AGONY I have to endure when undergoing this procedure. The water runs red with the blood seeping from the open sores which have been ripped by the teeth of the comb and further inflamed by being suffused with vile and corrosive chemicals. And my hair’s nearly two feet long.

There are precisely TWO lice in my hair.

So that was three days ago or so. This evening, thinking it was merely an overcautious formality, I got out the bug-busting kit and gave the children the once-over. The first under the comb showed not a even nit. How happy he was. The second adopted the position (head bent low over the side of the bath). And we all stared in disbelief (for this is a communal event) at the vast hordes of lice and nits immobilised in the pools of conditioner combed from his hair.

This, of course, meant that I had to go under the comb again myself. Nada. Zip. Nothing. Just lots of scabs removed from the previously healing wounds.

How can this be? How can we all have exactly the same treatment and it appear to have made not the slightest difference to one of us? Three days isn’t even long enough in the life-cycle of the louse for some mutant poison-resistant nits to have hatched. And besides, all our lovely lice must surely be related and therefore would share any resistant genes that had been handed out. Wouldn’t they?

I’m seriously, very seriously, considering shaving all our heads.

10 Replies to “Pediculosis”

  1. OMG! How hideous! Positively Biblical in proportion…
    I read the NHS on lice and learned that at least dogs can’t get them. Shudder.

  2. Yup. Biblical. And I haven’t yet mentioned the mice in the kitchen cupboard who seem to think the poisoned bait is some kind of life-enhancing treat. Sigh.

    Acutally 2ndSon (he who is nit-free) has a theory about the recrudescence of lice… it’s 1stSon’s Lynx Dark Temptation (Chocolate Effect) that is proving irresistible, particularly to the female lice.

    I have a theory too. It is that 1stSon didn’t wash his hair with due care and attention in the days following the application of the poison and what we witnessed were corpses. At least that’s what I devoutly hope.

  3. Don’t get me started on what a waste of space and money that damn cat is. The mice moved in when *he* was in charge of the house. Despite my inserting him bodily into the cupboard in question he shows not the slightest sign of realising that there’s any invasive life form there at all. He’s HOPELESS. And he can’t even catch flies.

    No, it is the faithful, feisty and desperate-to-kill canine who is my chief helpmeet in the matter of mice. She can hear them moving around under the floorboards as well as in the cupboard and shows me exactly where they are. She’d kill them too, snippety-snap, if she could get to them. I’d love to see it happen. I think it’s her constant patrolling presence which has meant that the damn vermin haven’t made it beyond the cupboard (the one under the sink… they’re getting in through a hole around the sink outlet pipe. I have wire wool to fill it with when they’re all DEAD).

  4. Having undergone a proper scientific study with a sample size of 3 – me (thick hair) 1st daughter (thick wavy hair) 2nd daughter (thin straight hair) – I think you’ll agree all bases covered – I found that chemist bought nit preparations had no effect at all. 2 or sometimes 3 applications made no difference to our little visitors. No happy smiling children, no fluffy hair, no well ironed clothes, no Victoria Wood voice over as per the advert. Both girls have a tendency for eczema so not too keen to use lots of chemicals.

    I then tried an aromatherapy preparation I made up myself from a book in my own collection. Slop it on, wrap your head in clingfilm, pop on a hat or fetching swim cap and sleep in it. Wash out in the morning, proapbly a couple of times as it is rather oily! Et voila, nits gone and shiny, shiny lovely smelling hair remain!!

    I have passed on some from my vast vat of oil to friends and it seems to work for them too. I can let you have the recipe of you are intrested. If nothing else you might get a nice back massage out of it!!

    Love, Kx

  5. Ah how I hate them! They took up constant residence in my daughter’s thatch for about six years. Her mum was against all chemicals so we had to rely on tea tree gloop (how is that not a chemical? it irritates every part of me), combing and incantations which were about as effective as self-regulation, then napalm my own scalp when she went home. Seems to have passed now. I frequently did shave my own head, and sometimes because of ‘visitors’ (our adopted euphemism on handover) – I’d recommend it as a liberating and almost spiritual experience, plus it encourages people to stroke your head which is nice.

    I was going to ask whether Maizy was doing owt about the mice, being bred for exactly that prior to the career change into being petted, but I see you’ve answered elsewhere. Good luck with both.

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