By Jacqué Evans
If you’ve ever watched a trivia show like Cash Cab or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, you know that if you're stumped on a question they give you the option to "Phone a Friend", meaning call someone that you know who is an expert on a topic.
Well I’ll tell you, I never expected to be the head lice "Shout Out" call for everyone I know – but here I am. In my nearly five years with LiceDoctors I’ve helped family and friends all over the country solve their head lice problems.
Recently, my old college room-mate and lifelong Bestie, who lives several states and several thousand miles away from me, posted a cry for help on Facebook. She graciously agreed to be quoted on promise of anonymity, so names have been changed to protect the innocent!
Dear friends, I might be in crisis! LOL.
Last night at MIDNIGHT...after Jimmy was in MY bed with his sweet head next to mine, talking with me he says: Mom, my head has been itching all day—I think I have lice!
Holy hell, take me away now! I am in crisis!
Well, I pulled my big girl-pants up and I started looking through his scalp. I did not see any lice. But I saw a few little white things that I worried could be nits. Instantly I started itching from head to toe. Also instantly J’s Itch traveled from his head to his neck to his arms legs and feet as well! Now it’s 1230 a.m. and we’re both a bumbling mess of of Phantom itches.
I texted my girlfriend who is a head lice counsellor as a profession. Side note - I would die before doing what she does - She’s so brave! Anyhow, brave and busy because she didn’t get back to me right away and I was still in crisis! LOL
Ultimately I used an entire bottle of coconut oil on Jim’s head and mine. I wrapped him up in a towel to sleep in and I am praying that if in fact those were nits they’re all drowned and dead now. I have no idea. He says he’s not itching any more.
Any suggestions? Should I wait and see. Should I go to the doctor? LOL what the hell do I do?
Signed~Joan, a Mom in crisis! Ha (no really—but last night at 1:00 am I was close).
Update: the pediatric nurse says that nits are attached so solidly to the hair that flicking them does not budge them. This is not J’s case! He just had a few (soap deposits, dandruff’s, ???) and they came right off the hair! No lice! Amen. No wonder I don’t watch scary movies! The power of suggestion to my brain in the dark-30 hours is a strong force!! Ha ha.
Joan didn’t get a hold of me before she posted this, but we did have an extended dialog (several days worth!) about head lice shortly thereafter. From her description and from the pictures she sent me I was fairly confident that neither Joan or Jim had head lice. That didn’t stop her from calling the Dr’s office (they don’t do lice checks) and she still scampered over to see a school administrator who confirmed it – no lice. But I know that talking with me really helped calm her down. She needed the reassurance of experience and science (what no oil can do and why coconut oil isn’t best) and most importantly - unconditional support.
She needed to hear that no matter what, it would be OKAY. Head Lice are just one more icky thing in the long line of … unpleasant things… that parents can and do survive.
There was a silver lining to Joan's crisis (beyond getting a chance to catch up with my friend), because SHE was the brave one who "polled the audience" by reaching out on social media, several of Jimmy’s classmates parents saw it and checked THEIR kids and guess what?? They found two confirmed cases of head lice in J’s classroom!! If my Bestie hadn’t shared her trauma and spread the word, those two cases could easily have spread like a virus through the classroom, the rest of the school and beyond.
So Good Job Joan!!!!
Because discovering head lice is a stressful event, and I do happen to know quite a lot about the life cycle, science and treatment of head lice - I am willing to metaphorically and literally hold my family and friends’ hands if head lice finds them; I help them through the process of diagnosing and eliminating it. And while I’m not really willing to give out my personal phone number to everyone on the internet, I will share the next best thing:
Here’s YOUR phone-a-friend shout-out number for head lice:
Call if you suspect you or your child has head lice. Call if you know you have it. Call right away, or call after you’ve tried several ineffective things and you’re at your wit’s end. But after treating 450,000 successful cases of head lice, LiceDoctors has the experience and track record to treat your head lice and leave you with peace of mind.