Tag Archives: mothers

Lice again? It is nice to know we learn.

Last year I wrote an article for patients at work incorporating the American Academy of Pediatric’s recommendations for the treatment of head lice. Their recommendations and my article we aimed at being calming and reassuring. Lice are indeed gross but – they are not harmful so we mothers need to calm down a bit. As I was writing it I remembered a certain mother’s day I had and changed the article to include this introduction and summary:

Picture this: 0630 Mother’s Day 2008 morning …my dear daughter climbs into bed with me to read a book and snuggles up in the crook of my arm. I decide I will have to do without the dream of sleeping in on mother’s day in order to well, enjoy being a mother. I give into the joy of her good morning love and snuggle in with a nuzzle of the top of her sweet head…only to find….Arrrggghhh! Lice nits! Good grief, what a way to start the day, any day let alone Mother’s Day! So, I did what most mothers would do jumped up and entered into panic/action mode and spent the day (btw that was supposed to be my day) washing, picking nits, combing, doing laundry, vacuuming and cleaning. Let me emphasize the laundry; I totally went overboard with the laundry and did dozens of loads!

And that is really where we need to begin here. So, let’s take a few deep cleansing breaths together (lice tend to reduce the most composed mothers to crazed hyperventilating insane people – me included). Now I know and believe much of what I put my self through that day was unnecessary. We as a nation are too afraid of lice. Yes, they are really, really yucky. Yes, we don’t want them on our children’s heads. However – lice do not hurt our kids (deep breath) and they do not live well or long off of a human head so huge cleaning efforts are unnecessary (deep breath). Having lice is common, does not mean you or your house is dirty and, happens to the best of us (breath).

My Mother’s Day 2008 ended up with a very clean house, 3 slightly traumatized children and 1 exhausted mother. Next time we have lice, and there will likely be a next time, I hope to be able to breathe my way through a more rational response!

So, this week when yet again I was reading and snuggling the very same child and looked below to see…could it really be? Nits? I was able to indeed breathe, relax and not go so overboard. She and I both survived relatively unstressed which made me realize that I too learned in the process of interpreting information for my patients. Glad to know that the deep, subconscious part of my brain that reacts in horror to the idea of bugs on my child was soothed by learning the facts. Education is indeed powerful.

It of course also helped that after a good shampooing the white stuff went away – proving the point that even the “professionals” mistake dandruff for lice!

Advertisements

A Mom First (subtitled: up all night with vomiting 11 y/o)

In the office I am often reassuring parents that there is nothing unusual happening when their kids seem to be “sick all the time”. Primarily they are getting upper respiratory tract infections (URIs)  which are called “common colds”. These are called common for a reason – the AAP  states that children have 8-10 colds in their first two years of life; I usually explain that parents should expect that  their school-aged kids will have 6-10 infections in any given year.  This time of year there is more floating around that the common cold; there are also lot of vomiting and diarrheal illnesses. Of course our little monsters share all these germs making it hard for a household of kids and adults to stay well.

So in new-blog-post #2 I am here to tell you that,  sister, I am right there with you. I fell asleep last night dreaming up another sort of post…it was a lovely one about Alexander Calder and happy art. However, after a night of caring for the third vomiting child in 2 weeks I have changed my mind. I too am left wondering “what the heck”? Since late August (when school started) I am certain there have been no more than a handful of days when all of the 5 of us have been healthy. Colds followed by sinus infections and new colds. Now vomiting mixed with cold after cold. Why is it so hard to stay well? Rationally the doctor in me knows why. Cold viruses are primarily shared by person-to-person contact with contaminated secretions. Meaning that little monster #1 wipes their runny nose and touched the doorknob, the refrigerator, the Lego, the pencil etc and then Monster #2 (or sweet innocent mom) follows behind and touches the same surface. To inoculate themselves they then absent mindedly touch their own nose/eye/mouth. And presto…in 2-3 days a new cold is born. Similar scenario with the throw-ups but with the added bonus that in that case monster #1 may not even be sick but can be shedding virus everywhere they go. Of course, hand-washing helps but – even the fastidious amongst us forget at times.

Okay, back to the real world…laundry load #5 needs to be put in the dryer. See? I’m right here with you!