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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New visitors and other things not so good

We have Susie, Aunt Josefina, and Neets here for the first time today. At least I think it's a first for Susie.

Susie and I met through Julian B., Aunt Josefina is a friend of Susie's. I'm not sure how Neets found me but I'm delighted she did.

Susie is a student from Idaho. Don't let the picture frighten you. She writes a blog called Susie's Gobhole.

Aunt Josefina describes herself as a wife and mom from "green country" USA. She has a ton of recipes on her blog, That's Life Too.

Links to all three blogs are on last night's MLK post. I'll get them on the blog roll (or Andrea will - let's be honest, Ann).

Neets is from India, Bangalore I believe (I need to consult a map). She's a software engineer who writes three blogs, one called I'm Back. Very interesting young woman and our first visitor from India.

Welcome to all three.

Now, unless you want to be grossed out, stop reading.

Okay, I warned you.

We have the creepy crawlies at our house. The little girl down the street brought them home from school with her last week. Her mother told us right away and we began checking heads nightly. Last night we found the eggs. Nothing crawling yet that we could see. One emergency trip to Walgreen's and we started in. (Elcie's clear we think - she doesn't spend as much time roughhousing with the other kids which may have saved her. We'll keep checking).

We started in on Rochelle and then Rebecca. Their mom and Jonathan were here with their supersharp vision and did the bulk of the combing and all the other nasty stuff. All that thick, curly hair. The pictures at the top of the page don't show it nearly as well as some of the snapshots do. The NIX was burning Rebecca's scalp so we had to rinse it a little early. We couldn't find anything this morning but I kept them out of school for the day just to make sure.

Words can't begin to describe how I feel about head lice. The last time this happened, I had to shave three little heads. I think the girls were in 1st grade and Elcie in 3rd. It was that or fry them with chemicals on a 3rd application and none of the homegrown methods (mayo, etc.) seemed to work. They weren't quite bald but it was VERY short. At that time, the school district had a rule that if the bugs weren't gone by a certain time, they would call Child Protective Services. We did haircuts. The bugs lost their happy home and all was well.

The school tells us that the critters prefer clean hair to dirty. Great. So I should just skip the shampoos? Seriously, there's nothing we can do. Kids are kids and they will swap hats, borrow combs, or put their little heads together to whisper and giggle.

The only bright spot was that we discovered them before the school called me. It's always so humiliating to have to pick your kid up even though we all know it's not usually anyone's fault. They're a fact of life in the public schools.

I didn't post on this last night. I was just too tired and didn't want to think about it any more.

Of course, we're all itchy. We checked each other and nothing surfaced but all someone has to do is say the word and my fingernails find my scalp.

To compound it, Rebecca is sick with a sore throat. I would have kept her out today anyway. She's spending her second night curled up in my bed. I couldn't get an appointment today but if she's not magically recovered by tomorrow we'll go to urgent care or the emergency room. The medical service for low income kids here is getting worse - not better. It's harder to get a same day appointment and next to impossible to get through the voice mail to a live person. The nurse-practitioners have known the girls all their lives and are good at what they do; it's just difficult getting in to see them.

Meantime she's sucking on Cepacol lozenges. I tried her on herbal tea with honey but when she sets her mind to something she can be stubborn and crying because something might hurt just makes it hurt worse. I've been managing to get her to drink water, warmed with a little honey mixed in and a day without food won't do any harm. It doesn't act like strep and I can't see inflammation but then I'm not a doctor. Tomorrow we find out. It's hung on too long.

Of course the kids are part of the Medicare/Medi-cal system which has cut funding which in turn means cutting staff for the clinics and medicine for children.

One example. Last year they covered the cost of NIX automatically when my friend was dealing with lice. This year they don't and it's $20 for two bottles which barely covers two girls with all that hair. Next week we do it again. Luckily we can and still make it through a month. Many can't. Public Health used to keep a supply on a walk-in basis. I don't know if they still do it or if they've been cut off too.

Other than that, Ann, how was your day? Okay thanks.

The Merced paper called this morning. They're printing my Letter about Brokeback Mountain. There are many more important things going on I could have written them about (and have) but this one really got to me. We'll see what comes of it. Our theater assistant manager says her phone's been ringing off the hook for days. Four Golden Globes should mean something.

Elcie outdid herself with good behavior and not one snit. Buzzed through her homework with almost no help and settled in entertaining herself. Rochelle hovered around the sister she usually squabbles with bringing her shawls, fixing her drinks, offering food, and just generally being Rochelle. She was patting Rebecca's back (Rochelle's cure for everything and not a bad idea).

We fed two of the girls and Jonathan went out later and picked up fast food for us. We have to hide the evidence before morning. I don't forbid fast food; we're on a rationing system, but I had food for them. We just weren't hungry ourselves so I used last night's leftovers and didn't cook anything extra.

It's late (or early depending on your way of looking at it) and I should go to bed.

Hope I don't have you all itching and scratching.


Andrea said...

ugh lice - got my first at 16 due to little kids using my horse riding helmet. totally grossed me out!!UGH!
I was short on cash and dumped liquid cleaner (not bleach ) over my head a few times. I have no idea if it actually worked. I was so freaked about it I was treating my poor head every day for about a month.
I will check those links.

madcapmum said...

I don't know if you've heard of this already, and I can't say I've ever tried it myself, but I read somewhere that tea-tree oil kills the little blighters. Best of luck with that, what a frustration!

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about computers and blogging and such, but I have seen PayPal buttons on a few blogs. One blogger put one on her site to help raise money for a brother-in-law who needs a bone marrow transplant. It seems to me that it might be a possibility for you. From what I read, you have a lot of people who greatly admire what you are doing with your great granddaughters. And while one might not be able to send you much, if several of us sent a few dollars, it could make a real difference for you. And you know, it could help us to feel good too. (Just in case you were thinking some prideful thoughts.) We are all in this survival thing together. There, but for the grace of God,. . . . And from what I have read from your hand, I think you are first in line to share with someone in need, so you might consider giving others a way to do that for you & Ray & the girls.

The Subversive Librarian said...

Granny, I can definitely relate. We were lucky to avoid head lice (though we did have to do the Nix thing one year) but we had a terrible time with fleas last summer, and nothing we did seemed to help. Nothing. You get where you feel things crawling on you whether they are or not. Sort of like the DTs, so I've heard!

Your great-grandchildren are beautiful, and I like the pretty purple background!

Hang in there!

Gawdessness said...

Seriously yuck!

I was exhausted from shampooing three dogs and grossed out from doing it too, but it would be much, much worse if it were people lice!

So sorry it started at your house and so horrified by the cuts to medical care for kids.

My mom is in Florida on vacation and was blown away by a story in the news there that basically was talking about how great it was that someone wealthy had agreed to foot the bill for the surgery that a child needed to save his life. If that hadn't happened the child would have been left to die - I guess, because his family couldn't afford it!

If anything keeps me as socialist as I am it is simply the knowledge that no one should die because medical care is too expensive!

Hope you rest up and are free of all critters for a long time.

I really do feel for you!
And it was nice of you to put in a warning.

I should have done that on my post!

Anonymous said...

well, if you read todays post, you'll see we over at the gobhole household are having itching problems as well. my son is wearing a shower cap, to protect himself from me, the monster mother with the possible lice problem. i probably won't get it, but the whole thing really ticked me off. it was sooooo unneccsary. not going into it again, i had that rant.

anyway, thanks granny for adding me to your roll. blog roll, wheat roll, i like them all. rolls are good especially with butter.

i hope your kids get to feeling better, and that the lice is not there. you can email me the home remedy if you get a chance, just in case i do end up getting the nits.

McGlee Historical Preservation Society said...

Ugh. Rachel totally hates lice. It's hard not to be ashamed, I guess. We had them (like everyone) when I was growing up and my sister had that same really thick, really curly (tight curls), really long hair. They loved her. Ugh.

As for sore throats, I'd say have Alice send you some lemsip -- -- the stuff really works and now it looks like they have drops and such too.