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Faith and Life: Wading through the lice

September 28, 2010|By Kimberlie Zakarian

Even though the following topic may be common, people do not like discussing it. But the emotions, anxiety and prayer that filled my previous week are just too "real life" to not write about. And the topic may amuse you, or strike a chord of affinity within.

My kids came home from a weekend away with lice, one of my greatest repulsions. I went until my 30s before I ever experienced lice, and to this day, I have not had it myself. But the stress and exhaustion involved in getting rid of it this past week, and avoiding re-infestation, brought my mind, emotions and body to an exhaustion I have not experienced in a while.

During this week, I still had three kids to raise, tae kwon do lessons to go to once they were deloused, speaking engagements, and a full load of patients to see.

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I became aware of our problem shortly after the children arrived home and I was setting a home-cooked meal on the dinner table, candles lit and all. The itching started. I immediately took them outside, and checked. Yes, it was there, much to my chagrin. Dinner was left cold as I took four hours to wash, de-nit the kids and sanitize my home.

The next morning I hired a "lice expert" to come and take any remaining nits out and give me instructions on how to prevent re-infestation. I spent the entire week with six hours of duties: vacuuming and turning all couches, mattresses and chairs over to clean, washing flat surfaces, doing treatments each night on the kids' hair, washing sheets, towels and other clothes immediately after being worn, and spraying repellent on heads every time they left the house.

They did not go back to school or martial arts until lice-free. But a home can take up to two weeks, as everything must be cleaned and covered with a clean sheet twice a day. I went to bed each night exhausted with back and wrist pain that woke me up in the middle of the night. Who knew you could get carpel tunnel syndrome for using a vacuum hose? The pain was this intense; the diagnosis is facetious.

The reason I write about this common but annoying circumstance is this: It felt like a mini trauma to my family. This can definitely be deemed a crisis when we experience these types of things because they affect our time and lifestyles so radically. It was not life threatening, it was not "harmful" per se. But emotionally, mentally and even physically, it affected us all.

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