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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Ah Fanabala!

Ah Fanabala! In case you never heard those words before, let me explain: they are a not very nice Italian-American expression. And it's what I've been yelling over here at the Bird's Nest for the past five days. Because this was NOT a very nice week.

If this were Facebook, I'd be dropping all kinds of cute words on you pretending my life is just one big, fantastic slice of heaven. But that's not me. I can't front like that. When I'm upset or something is wrong in my life, I'd rather put it out there. Somebody else may have gone what I'm going through or I may be able to help someone who's about to go through it. So here it is:

One  of my girls caught lice from  school. To most people this is an annoyance or a mildly unpleasant experience and nothing more. To me, this is a monumental horrific trigger that could end up with me being committed. It messes with my head in more ways than one. Lice are bugs. I know I jack around a lot about having panic attacks, OCD and  phobias, but I seriously suffer from all three and the thought that bugs were on my kid's head, on her pillow, in her clothes, in my house, makes me crazy. Literally, crazy. Certifiable.

Needless to say the response I had to this discovery threw me into an all out OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) fit.  I had an immediate panic attack and couldn't breathe. I started to freak out and I didn't know what to do. I couldn't calm down. Nothing The Husband said or did helped me and he didn't know what to do. So he called in the big guns: my mother. She came over and was able to talk me down (a bit). Believe it or not, my mom just happens to be an RN who started out  her career working in a psychiatric hospital. Later in life after she had me and my brother and sisters,  she decided to take a job as a school nurse. Having worked in both capacities she knew exactly what to do and how to help me. Thank  God she came right over. I was absolutely petrified and paralyzed with fear. Before she got there I couldn't even calm down enough to sit down or touch anything in my house:  I was convinced that everything had bugs crawling on it. 

It's been quite a week! My hands are raw from washing them so much. My POOR, POOR kid's head is so sore from me obsessing on getting every single nit (imagined or otherwise) off of her head. No exaggeration, I think I went over her head a thousand times, pulling each strand of her hair, just to make sure there is nothing left. (It took me seven hours before I was satisfied the job was done.) I threw away every pillow in our entire house. I washed all the girls clothes, sweatshirts and coats, (even if they didn't wear them) and sanitized them. I tossed every single brush, head band, comb and hair ribbons my girls owned-out in the trash and made The Husband put the trash cans out down at the curb, because I couldn't handle thinking there were still close to our house. I threw away all of the sheets and the comforters on all the beds, just because I couldn't handle the thought of any of them possibly having any bugs on them. I had my cat dipped and then barricaded her in my room while I opened all the windows and sprayed poison all over the house. I would toss out all of the furniture too, but that's where The Husband drew the line.

The thought that the lice could possibly spread to MY head, has kept me up all night phantom itching and scratching and imagining all kinds of horrible things are crawling on me. This entire week, I made my mom come check my head, over and over and over again. While I cried and sprayed vile, filthy cusses out of my mouth in both Italian and English. I would say something particularly fowl and then immediately start apologizing to my Bible-toting, God-fearing, never uttered a cuss in her life-was- going-to-be-a-nun until she met my Dad mother!  Thank God my momma loves me unconditionally and has a great sense of humor. Because she started laughing and said "I knew you had OCD, panic attacks and all of the other phobias but I didn't know you could add Tourette's to that list!"  She has been so patient and kind and I realize without her tremendous support and help this week, I might just be sleeping in a hospital bed.  (Which brings on a whole other bunch of phobias and fears but I'm not going to allow my mind to go there.)

This was a week I'd never, ever care to repeat. Unfortunately, the treatment of lice is not considered complete until the infected head is retreated with the shampoo, 7-10 days from the date of the first treatment. This is NOT what I wanted to hear.  I can look forward to repeating this horrific pattern all over again, in another week from now. Cue the "Ah Fanabala!"  And again, just  like I said to mom, I'm sorry but I can't seem to stop the cusses from flowing whenever I think about this.

Has anyone else ever had to deal with head lice? How did you handle it? Did any of you start hyper-ventilating or cussing like a drunk Italian sailor?  Anyone start getting itchy and scratch their head just from reading this post?

40 comments:

  1. No kids, so I've never had to deal with it. I wouldn't panic, but my house would become the cleanest on the planet after that discovery. And my hands would be raw as well.
    Glad your mom knew what to do.

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    1. The Husband started calling me "Lady MacBeth" the other day. It's fitting.

      And Thank God for my mom! Don't know what I would have done without her.

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  2. This brings back memories of my mom combing through my hair with those tiny bamboo combs to pick out lice. What a nightmare. I'm happy to say I haven't experienced this with my own kids yet. Ugh.

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    1. This is the first time ever with mine. They all have such long, thick hair it makes it close to impossible to know if you got it all or not. Plus, every time I found a nit I'd start freaking out all over again. What a mess!

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  3. I'm itching now! Seriously lice and little bugs yuck, I can sympathise with your anxiety. My kids (and I) had them a couple of times when they were younger. I was straight down the pharmacy for the shampoo to get rid of them.

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    1. I have never washed, shampooed and combed this much in my life. My shoulders and arms are tired. Don't know how hair dressers do this all day long! It's misery.

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  4. I know how you feel, Jay, even though I don't have kids. Here was my lice experience: I work for voc rehab. I was in a home doing some computer work (this was the home of a hoarder). It should have been my first clue that I tell her I can't work on the computer, but I legitimately tried because I know these people need help. She had stuff stacked to the ceiling. I felt very claustrophobic and the pathways I had to wind around to get to the computer were barely wide enough to accommodate my body. It was very chilly in the room (she had the thermostat turned way down). I asked her why it was so cold in her house and she said "It's to keep the lice calmed down. When it's warm you can see them jumping off the stuff." I just about lost it, but finished my job and got the hell out of there. I must have scrubbed for days. I kept asking myself, why wouldn't she disclose she had a lice problem beforehand?

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    1. Oh Michael NOOOOO! You are a good man to stay and help her. I would have been like "Deuces" beotch and hit the door immediately. I know I could not have stayed thinking their was lice all around me. Just watching that show Hoarders throws me into a panic attack.

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  5. It happened to us. My son brought them home. I was so shocked and grossed out (they are freaking UGLY little critters!!) that I did a thorough clean like yourself. I even blew up the microwave nuking hair clips...would have been cheaper to chuck the hair stuff than buy a new microwave...but oh well, tis done.

    I called my son's teacher, who was on the verge of retirement and she told me this little gem: Keep boy's hair short. Lice need a hair shaft of a couple of inches to be able to climb it...and girls? Go with braids. She said back in the old days, there was a reason short hair and girls in braids were part of the student dress code.

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    1. My girls (and I) all have really long hair. Ironically, I always make my girls wear their hair in a braid for school because I was afraid of them getting lice!! UGH. And I threw away a lot of stuff I'm SURE wasn't necessary. But I couldn't even think about putting my head on a pillow that might have had a bug on it. I am bananas, I know.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Sheena! Throw up a couple prayers for me, if you don't mind? I need them!

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  7. I'm so sorry about your week jaybird. Lice would probably be a major creep out thing for me too. Once, we thought we had some kind of weird bug-rash thing because my oldest daughter had a rash and we went to a weekend clinic instead of our regular doctor. We went nuts cleaning the house. Then we went to our doctor and he said in an aside to me, "this is a rash that's usually spread through sexual contact, I don't think your daughter has had that, and this is more likely a result of one of her allergies acting up."
    Oh . . . wait, that weekend clinic doc thought my very young, extremely sheltered daughter was doing that?! Whoa! and then implied that it could spread to the family through clothing, towels, etc. Whoa!(I was kind of furious and you don't want to know what I said actually)
    Anyway, my house was clean, every person and the dogs and cat and every piece of bedding and clothing was disinfected, and then we treated my daughter for allergies, and her rash went away in a few days.
    I hope that next week is way, waay better!

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    1. That's awful! And how the heck did that doctor confuse allergies on a kid with an STD? What a turd.

      Tyrean- I feel the worst for my poor kids- they are traumatized! Not only by the lice, but by my wild over-reaction. They know I have issues but they had no clue how deep they ran when it comes to bugs. I can usually hide/suppress my fears well. This, just pushed me over the edge.

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  8. OMG! You had all my sympathies at lice. Do you know about Fairy Tales Shampoo? It's this all natural rosemary hair care that I insist my kids use every time they wash their hair because I can't deal with lice. It's not supposed to get rid of lice, instead it makes their hair an unwelcome environment for bugs. My daughter's been at several slumber parties where everyone has come home with lice except for her.

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    1. I did not know about Fairy Tales shampoo- but my crazy ass did have my girls washing and conditioning their hair with rosemary scented products AND keeping their hair in a braid at school, prior to them getting the lice. Just because I was always so fearful of this happening to us! But I am definitely going to check out that brand now. I'll try just about anything that will keep it away. I am so afraid they will get re-exposed. Thanks for the tip Johanna!

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  9. Been there and done that. While probably not to the extreme that you did. I admit that I am itching and scratching just reading your post.

    And here I thought I was going to read you A to Z Reflections post. Imagine my surprise when I started out...I thought...AH, oh, sounds like it didn't go well. Ha, ha, ha.

    Hang in there, this too shall pass!

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    1. Thanks so much. Sorry I haven't been able to get to anything all week. I've been "crazy" busy. Literally, crazy. So I didn't get a chance to critique anything. All I have been doing is washing, cleaning, itching, scrubbing, freaking...repeat.

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  10. Yikes! I totally sympathize. I think I'd go absolutely OCD if my kid came home with lice. I like his longer hair, but I'd shave him and then attack the house to make sure not even one bug did survives. It'll pass, though. One day, you'll look back on it, and lau- well, maybe not laugh, but not clean everything in the house!

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    1. If I had boys, I would have shaved everything in a blessed heart beat. All three of my girls have long thick hair, and it's a nightmare!!

      And yeah, I'd don't think I will ever look back on this and laugh. Maybe cry...but not laugh. It's been too much stress to ever laugh about it, even though that's what I manage to do with everything else.

      Fingers crossed no one ever gets it here again.

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  11. You did go overboard didn't you? My one and only experience even remotely approaching this: I had been in private schools all my life and at 14 I was sent to a government school. Right at the beginning of term (semester) we all had our heads checked for lice, I was totally insulted that anyone could possibly think I might have lice. Just remembered I complained about an itchy head to my doc a couple of years ago, and she did the same thing.

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    1. I heard that it's natural for someone to involuntarily start feeling itchy when lice is mentioned. I can say for a fact as soon as I have told anyone, in a matter of minutes they all start scratching. It's like a yawn. If someone yawns near you, you are bound to start yawning.

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  12. My condolences. And your husband has my admiration for letting you get rid of as much stuff as you did. I'm frugal to a fault and would have seen nothing but greenbacks going in the garbage. But now, if it had been snakes...

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    1. Hi Jeff- believe it or not my husband is pretty frugal too. But he knows how hard it is for me to get past the whole thought of bugs being on something. I really did petition to throw away the couches. He was like, "Uh, Jen, I love ya and I get it and everything, but that's NOT going to happen!" LOL. I have to give him credit too because he allowed me to throw away a whole lot more than was necessary!

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  13. I've never had to deal with head lice, but I absolutely hate bugs and suffer from panic attacks, so I can easily see why this was so nightmarish for you! *hugs*

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    1. Heather- it was freaking awful!! Worst panic attacks I have ever had. Couldn't sleep all week long. Every time I started thinking about it again, I would start hyper-ventilating and getting chest pains. JUST awful. Thanks for the hug, I could really use it.

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  14. Mother Dragon would have done the exact same thing you did. Just instead of hyperventilating, she would have sanitized us all through fire. Only then she would have been happy.

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    1. If I had a blow torch Al, this place would have been on FIRE.

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    1. I don't think boys get it as often as girls, especially if you keep your hair short.

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  16. As I sit here scratching my head in horror and sympathy, I'm thankful to say I've never had to deal with it. I don't think I would be as incredibly affected by it as you were, but I would probably be close behind. I think the fact that they can be easly transferred is what would freak me out. I would want to throw everything away, too, can't blame you there!

    Thank God for your mother and her understanding and sense of humor and helpfulness! I hope and pray this is the last you see of lice!

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    1. Please do! I'll take all the prayers I can get K. I need them. This pushed my crazy over the edge. Trying to reign it in now, but it's not something I can really help or dismiss easily.

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  17. And here I thought I was the only one who said, "fanabala" all the time. My daughter started saying it and I was like NOOOO!!!

    I'm so sorry you're going through all this. How horrible. I hope it's done and over with for good. My heart goes out to you.


    Elsie

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    1. Hey Elsie!! YAY glad I'm not the only one. I had to tell my girls NOT to repeat what comes out of my mouth, or any of my hand gestures, LOL. Because us Italians can cuss with our hands just as fluently as with our mouths :)

      Hopefully, this is our first and last experience with this. I don't think I could take it again. So awful! Especially with little girls and long hair.

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  18. oh, man- I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how hard it is when lice creeps you out that much. There was an outbreak in my girls' school last year and ALL THREE ended up with it. Not only that, but no matter what magical potion I tried, the lice kept coming back every other week until I finally cut all their hair to chin length and got the strongest mix on the market. By the end of the month, I was so tired of washing and re-washing bedding, soaking combs and brushes, etc. But they did go away and we haven't had another outbreak since (thank god). Until the cat brought home fleas last month...but that's another story. *sigh* Hope you have a better week!

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    1. UGH! It's so awful with girls. We all have long hair over here, except The Husband. It's torture. None of them want me to cut it either. Fingers crossed it doesn't come back. I might loose what's left of my mind...

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  19. Wow. My hair is like my pride and joy, so if I got lice, I'd probably curl up into a little ball and sob endlessly. I can't imagine that. I've never had it, and never even knew anyone who had it, but good luck, and I truly hope you don't catch it!

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    1. Thank God-so far so good. Although you can only imagine how freaked out I am. The Husband, has very little hair. Not because he's bald but because he keeps it high and tight (ever since he was in the Marines) But even he started itching and feeling all creeped out after a while. It really messes with your head.

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  20. Fanabala means "f___ck off" right?

    Anyhoo, my youngest had a friend over. And a day later, his mother calls and says that her boy had LICE. I FREAKED OUT. I started examining all my kids' hair. Then at night, I swear I felt the little critters on me. Luckily, no one got lice.

    I don't think...

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    1. Pretty much. Although there are stronger ways to say it, like va fangul. Which is usually accompanied by a not so nice hand gesture. Italians are big on hand gestures- I know at least five different ways to say f off with your hands.

      Oh man, Jay- I felt SO bad because this past weekend we actually had one of my other daughter's friends sleep over, before we knew. That was an awkward phone call to say the least. My daughter was absolutely mortified but what can you do? I had to call and tell her mother. But I felt like a total leper while doing it. It was painful.

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