Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Swore I Wouldn't Blog About This

In rebellion against my blogging tendency to sugar-coat my life, I have a confession to make. I'm coming clean because I love you and always, always want you to know that your form of crazy is completely, legitimately normal. We're all in the same boat. Together. The lines we draw of "us" and "them" are lies. Straight up.

What I'm putting off saying is that my family decided to take part in a major way with September's awareness theme: head lice. I'm so nervous to tell you this, my heart is pounding. I'd have loved to discover this month's theme by way of a flyer, but no, we Carlsons seem to do everything in a big way. My kids got head lice. My kids. That I home school. 

How? I do not know. But apparently, sharing brushes and sleepovers are not the only ways to get it. Head to head contact was probably the culprit since my kids like to hug on everyone. This was the first thing I learned about lice, but it wouldn't be the last. I also found out over-the-counter treatments can do nothing, and prescription treatments can be pricey. Our doctor prescribed the newest, best one that doesn't yet have a generic. It cost $300 a bottle and we needed two. So thankful for insurance and CVS that gave us our money back for the treatments that failed. If you're wondering why we paid for the newest and best, all other prescription treatments have to sit in your hair 8-10 hours. That's fine if kids are headed to bed, but otherwise, you're stuck at home all day and by the time we got a script, we'd been quarantined for two days and going nuts. 

That was Friday and Brian was due to leave town at the crack of dawn. He either took pity on me or was slightly afraid of me, because I'd disassembled the car seats when I thought we were lice-free and was ticked just thinking about putting them back together dirty. So, he stuck around til the pharmacy opened and picked up the script. I'd say I owe him one, if it weren't for what followed. Hours applying my daughter's shampoo - root to "I'm growing my hair out like Rapunzel" tip. Also, twenty loads of laundry, vacuuming furniture, quarantining pillows, stuffed animals and dress up clothes. Freezing hair thingies, brushes and picks in Zip-locks for two hours. Cleaning out the van and putting together said car seats. Getting kids ready for church the next morning, by myself and combing a louse out of my own hair. 

This was my fear all along. In that moment, I believe like the song says, "heaven came down and glory filled my soul." I say this because I didn't scream. The kids were playing happily so I calmly shut the bathroom door and went to work shellacking my own hair. I prayed there'd be enough left over shampoo and there was. I thanked God it wasn't the 8-10 hours kind because we were going to church. And we did thanks to $300 a bottle stuff that works. 

It's the stigma that makes this hard to tell. I know we're progressive and realize lice isn't a result of poor hygiene, but still. Stigma's are strange. We can understand the truth about something and still feel quite differently about it. For instance, I was okay with people medicating for depression until I had to. Besides coming to terms with being dependent on something to feel okay, I wondered if people would think I was weak or lazy, taking a pill to make it all better. I got over it and now I'll tell anyone about postpartum depression's ability to become long-term and not to mess around with it. I watch my girl friends closely after they have babies and tell them when I'm worried. I talk because I want the next person to take the step to be whole again more easily than I did. 

But back to lice. I hope none of you have to duke it out with these nasty little bugs, but if you do, or if there's something else about your life that makes you feel sub-par, don't. You're amazing and whatever you're hiding in your closet, I could probably match. And God gets why you are where you are, which C.S. Lewis points out in his quaint, old-England tone. I'll leave you with this comforting thought and hopefully not too many imaginary itches. Also, if you bump into our kids, we called it a rash so they wouldn't be scared by having bugs on them. So if you could just play along...



5 comments:

  1. Oh, lice are such a pain! My brother returned from India to visit us for Christmas and had picked it up in the train. New Year's plans were cancelled as his wife fine tooth-combed his hair, we threw pillows and blankets in air tight bags and I held my breath that the kids wouldn't get it. So relieving when it finally passes! And a perfect example to remember we're ALL human--none of us immune to all of our human conditions, including lice :)

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  2. OK, I'm ready to confess. Over my lifetime I've experienced cockroaches, head lice, scabies, AND bed bugs!!! My granddaughters are allergic to insect bites--heaven help this family!

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  3. Thank you for bringing up the hard stuff! Sometimes I look at my life and it is so easy to look around at the visible version of other people's lives (facebook posts, scrapbooks, blogs, or just the week to week impressions we get in passing) and wonder why I can't get it together! One thing I am realizing is that we all have battles to face and that it doesn't necessarily mean that we did something wrong. Life just gets that way and we can't usually see it coming and we are rarely prepared for it when it comes. But, God does see it coming and He pulls us through it all somehow!

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  4. Trina - at least you would've had exotic, imported lice. : ) I jest. It feels good to come clean, especially to a chorus of "me too"s. Thanks guys.

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  5. Tea tree oil is awesome for head lice!! If your kids play sports or go to public school just put a cotton ball soaked in tea tree oil in their lockers, gym bags, or were hair accessories are kept. Also a few drops in their conditioner will prevent them from ever getting it. Head lice is just one reason I hate stuffed animals....you have to thru them in the dryer and then into plastic bags just like bedding. SO MUCH WORK!!!!

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