Meme credit: anonymous… with his approval – thank you!
Worst or Best Case?
We are often asked, what is the worst case of head lice that you’ve seen and treated before? Am I your worst case? Bet you’ve seen some pretty wild cases?
Well, yes. Yes, we have seen some good cases of head lice over the years, some bigger and more challenging than others. After all, we are a head lice clinic that specializes in helping folks get rid of their head lice problem.
“Worst” has too much negative connotation associated with it. And let’s face it, “lice” already has stigma around it. The word “lice” doesn’t need another negative adjective to go with it.
For us, we love what we do. We love helping people in need. We rise to any challenge… well, most challenges! And so, here is the story of one of our “best” head lice cases to date.
One morning I get a call from a parent saying that their kiddo has lice. They are throwing in the towel and needed help. They’ve been battling lice for a long time to no avail.
The parent did warn me that the child had a lot of bugs and sores in their head. We booked an appointment for later that afternoon.
When they arrived at the clinic, we got them set up with a movie and ready in our treatment room. Within a few minutes, Jessica, one of our technician, was in my office describing the situation and discussing a plan of action. It was indeed a great case of head lice!
For the next 4 hours, Jessica and I worked on the client’s hair together. Bugs were literally falling on the client, the floor, and our shirts as we were combing, combing, combing. Their hair was matted and glued together from all of eggs that were present. Detangling the hair was a long process.
With so many bugs in the hair, it was no surprise that the client’s scalp, ears and neck were raw. Lice feed on our blood often leaving behind bite marks. With thousands of live bugs, these bite marks can easily become larger open wounds that often times become infected. It is widely stated that lice are not a health hazard. We are here to say yes, lice can indeed can create health issues.
During that 4 hours of detangling and nit combing, we were able to fill up 22 water buckets of lice of all stages, and nits. During our treatments, we use buckets of water to clean and rinse our lice combs.
We were not able to comb all the way down to the scalp that day due to the open, painful sores. We booked the next appointment 4 days later, hoping that would be enough time for her scalp, neck and ears to heal so that we could finish the job.
On the next appointment, our client came into the clinic beaming with a huge smile. Their hair was clean and neatly brushed. Their sores were mostly healed. It was so heartening to see the joyful anticipation of completing our task.
For the next one and a half hours, I was able to complete a full, three-step treatment. I still pulled quite a few (probably a few thousand) nits off during that treatment, but it was only one bucket! One bucket compared to 22 buckets on the first day – and I could comb directly down to the scalp. The client said it even felt good to feel the comb on their scalp!
Now one could ask, how does a parent ever let a case of head lice get so bad on their child? Honestly, that’s not a helpful question unless there is suspicion of abuse. And in this case, there was absolutely no suspicion of abuse. This was a family going through some difficult life challenges, that was trying at one point to treat at home, and didn’t know places like us existed.
And so goes the story of our best case of head lice to date. We absolutely love our jobs!
Cathy Baran owns Lices Spies. Lice Spies are Shepherd Certified head lice professionals that provide safe, non-toxic head lice checks, treatment services, DIY & preventative products at our Edmonds’ clinic. Located on the corner of Edmonds Way/SR 104 and 236th St SW in Edmonds, WA, appointments can be booked online, anytime of day or night at www.licespies.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.