April 1, 2016

The Lice Chronicles Part I

(In which my son gets lice)
I realize that is a horrifying picture over there.  It expresses a bit of the terror I am feeling after yesterday.  This is part I of the “Lice Chronicles”.  I am desperately hoping there is no part II.

Thursday was an example of how a crisis can sometimes override a mood. I was lucky enough that while I am struggling with what seems to be mild cycling, I was not so depressed that I couldn't rise to the challenge nor was I manic and unable to maintain the necessary focus.

I had stepped away from work to attend a “poetry cafe" that Jacob’s gifted class had worked so hard on. Mary and I had just enough time to hear Jacob's poems before Phillip's teacher called to inform us he had lice!  Perhaps it is an overstatement to call it a crisis, but we had to spring into action.  Every member of the family had to apply lice shampoo and comb out any bugs and nits.

It turns out that only Phillip actually had lice so there was minimal work for the rest of us. But, when you have lice, you need to comb it all out. That means we spent almost two hours trying to comb a nonverbal four year old with autism.  For the situation, he was incredibly well behaved and cooperative.  He did not jump, scream, or struggle to get away.  Only toward the end did he attempt biting us a few times.  But no hitting.  Despite all that, he would not keep his head still.  The shampoo recommends combing for two hours for shoulder length hair.  For Phillip, we probably should have spent four hours doing it.  We could only hope we got it all.  Turns out the next morning Mary found two more nits.

Mary and I had a big misunderstanding.  I wanted to shave my head but was concerned that she should check my head first to make sure I didn’t have lice.  She actually wanted the same thing.  I thought she was trying to talk me out of shaving my head.  I stupidly went ahead and shaved it without checking.  So now there is no way to know if I actually had lice.  Furthermore, it is my responsibility to look for lice in Mary’s hair.  If you’ve never done it before… it’s hard.  I can’t stand it’s my responsibility alone to determine if she is lice-free.

As far as my suspected cycling, I still think I am.  This has been a huge stress.  I was able to focus a little more on work the next day but still spent a good deal of time unfocused, distracted, anxious, and antsy.  I am just hoping so much that we have got our family, bedding, and house free of lice.  It’s so disgusting.

Here's my first selfie for this blog showing my new hairdo.  A week ago I never would have thought I'd put a picture of myself on here.  However, the hypomania has caused me to create an Instagram account and Twitter account.  I've got selfies all over those accounts.  So what difference does it make?  Not sure... I sense another blog post about privacy lurking in there.

Image credit: Wikipedia Head Louse

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