12/27/2012

The lice are on your scalp. Don't let them mess with your mind.

My mother used to have this picture on a sweatshirt.  She was a woman known for her humour, but she was also known for how stressed out she could get. Normally, with life's stressors, we can cope.  Work can stress me out, but I can go home at the end of the day.  If the kids are stressing me out, I can usually find a sitter for a little while.  However, if you have head lice, you don't feel like you can get away from the stress - it's with you day and night, wherever you go,  and since lice problems aren't fixed in a day, you get to feel this stress over time. It can wear you down.

We have to be intentional about how we deal with this stress.  I covered this in the post below , but it so important to remember.  We work hard to get rid of head lice, but we also have to work hard to push past our own panic and fear.  I once met a woman who chose to sleep in her car in the winter thinking that the cold would kill the bugs.  You know, sleeping in freezing temperatures could also kill her!  Step out of your emotions and let your intellect help you assess the real risk of head lice over the perceived risk.

If you don't deal effectively with the head lice, what's the worst that could happen?
  • Your head could get really, really itchy.
  • You're hair wouldn't look pretty.
  • You could pass it to someone else.
  • In very rare cases, you can have a greater allergic reaction to head lice. (In the bazillion people I've met with head lice, I've only met one person to have a worse reaction - she had swollen glands and flu-like symptoms. Her doctor told her to take an over-the-counter antihistamine.)
If you go crazy dealing with head lice (spending tons of money, losing sleep, missing school/work, stressing out), what's the worst that could happen?
  • You could get very sick - physically and psychologically.
  • You could put your financial stability at risk. 
  • You could put a strain on your relationships.
  • You could lose your job or fall behind in school.
These problems are greater than the problem of having head lice. Head lice cause the first group of calamities.  We cause the rest.   Try to keep head lice in perspective.  Give head lice the attention they deserve, but don't give them one second more.

2 comments:

Meg said...

Thank you for this blog. This is the second infestation of lice to "hit" my family and somehow this time I am just losing my cool majorly. I was up at 2 in the morning, unable to sleep, after discovering one louse on my daughter's head after having done 2 OTC treatments and daily checks and combings.

Today I'm getting a GOOD comb, some conditioner, a new kid's movie and adjustable lamp. We're going to sit down and do just as you've said and I'm not going to freak out anymore. I really appreciate all the information and your matter-of-fact, calm tone and advice. Deep breath. It's just lice.

Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

Well done! It is clear that you WILL beat this.

After you've done a thorough combing with your good comb, and checked the hair of everyone else in the house, take a break. Don't comb every day - if you comb every 2-3 days you will still catch any newly hatched lice before they grow big enough to lay eggs. Once you get to 100 strokes with no lice or nits, you are done for the day. Once you have had 2 weeks with no new lice findings, you've beat it. I still recommend regular routine lice checks to catch any new cases of lice(my own kids get a quick combing - about 50 strokes - once a week).

You should be very proud of yourself - controlling the panic is NOT easy, but it will get easier with each passing day.
All the best.