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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Four Letter "L" Word

You don't see it coming. It hits you when you least expect it. Once you've got it, it gets in your head and is difficult to shake.

The Four Letter "L" Word has invaded our home. It's not love. It's Lice.

Now, before you think that we are dirtbags, let me just say that lice in Argentina is like the common cold in the US. No one wants it, but everyone gets it sooner or later. You don't go running to hang out with someone who has lice, but no one batted an eye when I informed them that our precious little girl had these nasty little buggers. The kids at school, her playmates, anyone she was in contact with over the last few days, literally no one took issue with the news.

This is strikingly different than my experience where if someone had lice in school they were expected to stay at home for at least a day or two, and even then you were scooting your desk away from the poor kid. When I told the other moms at Gretchen's kindergarten, I got messages back that said "Don't worry, it happens", "It normal!" and my personal favorite "It is that time of year...". Who knew, there is a time of year for lice?!

Anyways, I'm glad we went through it down here, this country is prepared for a breakout. After a bath, I checked Gretchen (who had recently complained that her head hurt to my mom) and confirmed that, yep, she had lice. I went to the closest pharmacy immediately, like, within seconds I was there, and asked for a peine para piojos, aka a nit comb. So, for all those folks out there afraid to ask for the translation of these nasty little creatures; piojos = lice, liendres = nits (the lice eggs). I hope you weren't eating.

The pharmacist recommended a treatment for a 2-year old child. I have no idea what chemicals it contains, I just wanted to contain and eradicate as soon as possible. So, I walked out of the pharmacy with a treatment called Nopucid and a nit comb called Assy 2000. (Apparently Assy is the most popular anti-lice product brand. How can you not laugh at that??)

After her bath, while her hair was still wet, we painstakingly combed through her lovely locks, every.single.strand. and rinsed the comb in rubbing alcohol. When her hair dried, we applied the treatment - not for the faint of heart, the stuff smells terrible -and then covered her with a swim cap for 10 minutes while the treatment worked it's magic.  My this time, we were starving, so we had dinner with the lice treatment doing it's thing. Gretchen didn't seem to mind.

 After the 10 minutes was up, we rinsed (and rinsed, and rinsed) and then washed her hair again. Before her hair was dry, I went through each strand again with the comb. Mommy's hair salon is what we called the whole process and she was a saint through the whole thing. Honestly, she probably thinks lice is the greatest because she got to play on the iPad for like 2 hours while I combed through her hair. The combination worked - we have been lice-free for a while now, and it only took one treatment.

We washed her bedding, giraffe blankets and pillows that she uses everyday. We also threw in the clothes she wore that day (including jackets) and all of the throw blankets on our couch. We vacuumed and dusted and cleaned all of the items used near/for the treatment. That being said, we didn't go crazy with the cleaning, we just washed the items that had been in direct contact with her head.

Miracle #2, no one else has been effected! We have been looking through Alex's luscious locks every day and nothing has been detected, and both Jon and I have avoided this fate.

So don't discriminate against people with lice, it's just bad luck sometimes! And it was much easier than I thought to get rid of the little pests - one night of hard work and we were good to go.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know! We'll have to be on the lookout.