Monday, December 12, 2011

...Out Like a Lion

...some battles are not waged on neutral ground, with dueling foes of equal strength. Yet others, well...

A simple chest cold suffered just prior to Turkey Day, nearly a month ago, took root in my lungs, grappling on with an iron clasp, and refusing to let go. A ten day standoff left this writer gasping for the simple things in life, like inhaling a breath without choking on phlegm.

The infection led to a bout with the flu. The fun kind, with a raging fever, only to be shaken minutes later with a set of chills causing my molars to chatter as if adding percussion to an orchestra. And with seven kids under our roof, the plague spread on fleeting wings.

...but the best was yet to come.

Just when normalcy fluttered in the distance, a home visit for our three foster siblings, was repaid ten fold in the form of a nasty bout with head lice.

The younger boy unknowingly brought it from home, where this particularly vulgar infestation found our cozy and clean environment full of youngsters, as the perfect place to set up shop and a stay awhile.

...and that they did.

We figured it out the hard way. During bath time, while drying the little girl's hair, my wife thought she'd spotted something moving about in her curls, but wasn't sure. I joined in the search...and it didn't take long.

We were new to this battle, neither of us having ever dealt with an infestation of this variety before. When it was all said and done, every kid under our roof had been infected, including our own. I had to restrain my teenage son, who'd offered death threats to the little ones, indirectly at fault. Their parents of course denied our claim, then later refuted, coming clean on the matter entirely. The louse eggs weren't spread on purpose, but simply a case of a germ-infested dwelling, and what happens when cleaning products go untouched far too long.

The little ones will not be returning home for quite some time.

The infestation took weeks to conquer. One thought to consider...a single louse egg, roughly the size of the head of a pin, can produce an army of bugs totaling in the millions. For anyone who's yet experience the nightmare, consider yourselves among the most fortunate. I wouldn't wish this past month on my worst enemy.

In any sense, for those who've sent emails and comments inquiring as to my whereabouts, thanks so much for your thoughts. I took each and every word to heart.

And best of all...the other day, finding myself at long last with some quiet time, I clutched my laptop to my side, eased downstairs where only the dog knew of my presence, and began work on, "The Fellas." Like a salty breath of air on a Sunday morning along Siesta Key, the moment nearly produced a tear.

2011 has left us limping, but recovering, and gaining strength.

Thanks for reading, and yes, I'm back ;)



Lola Sharp said...

First, I'm sorry you and your family have been so ill.
And, no, I've never even seen lice, but I hate bugs, thus I would be FREAKED the frak out! *shudder*
I'm so sorry for your family's string of bad luck. But I hope all of you are healthy and happy and enjoying the holidays.
May you and your family have a marvelous Christmas and your 2012 be the best year EVER. :)


The Golden Eagle said...

I'm so sorry to hear you and your family have been sick; and the lice sounds like a nightmare.

Glad you're back! :)

L.T. Elliot said...

Head lice is horrible! And you're right, it takes a billion years to conquer. My nieces and nephews got it and struggled with it for months. I still get all itchy thinking about it.

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh, Elliot, I'm so sorry. Bugs and the flu are not something I would wish on anyone. But it's over now, and hopefully, you can concentrate on having the most wonderful Christmas imaginable.

Much joy to you and your family.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Never had the louse problem but my kids went to school with a family that often had problems. The school nurse would check the entire school about once a week until that family got it under control. Glad you got the little buggers under control.

Sarah Pearson said...

Here in England it's a problem that's definitely on the rise since they did away with the 'nit nurse'. Too many parents won't deal with it because 'what's the point, they'll only get it again'.

I'm just glad my kids are past that phase.

Sarah Pearson said...

Oh! Almost forgot to say I'm so glad you're feeling better :-)

Elliot Grace said...

Hey Lola, I humbly believe that we're on the up and up around here. 2012 never looked so good ;)

Hey Eagle, feeling better everyday, thanks for stopping by!

Hey L.T, truly an experience worth forgetting. My daughter and I were the only people in the house not to get it.

Hey Anne, if memory serves, you once called it the creepy crud. You were so right ;) Great to hear from you again.

Hey Susan, upon final inspection, all kids are nit free as of last evening. Keeping fingers crossed ;)

Hey Sarah, yes I've read up on the problems over there, definitely on the rise. Beware the buggers!

Thanks guys, it was nice hearing from you again!


Carolyn V said...

I'm glad you're back.

Ugh. Lice? We've never had it, but we had a niece who had it. And took forever for them to get rid of it.

Cynthia Lee said...

I'm glad you're back.

I'm so sorry about the pestilence and icky germs you've been experiencing. I cringed inwardly while reading your post but I also very much admire you and your wife's fortitude.

Nicki Elson said...

And now I just know I'm going to feel phantom itches for the rest of the day! Oy, what a month you've had -- you do know the Lord only gives people what they can handle, right? You've just got to stop being so dang strong. ;)

I'm happy things have cleared up before Christmas, and here's wishing you only blessings for the rest of the year. Nice to have you back. :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Walking Pneumonia and Head Lice? A modern Job. I've had double pneumonia three times but have been spared head lice. Aaaaargh!

I pray the remainder of the year is blessed with peace and happiness! Roland

Donna Hole said...

Word of warning: blonds and redheads are more susceptible to infestations. Head washing in Tea Tree Oil is usually your best defense before a home visit.

Argh; sickness, and bugs and home visits . . you have been overwhelmed. Nice to see you getting back into the writing.

Anytime I get to sit for a while in writer mode is pure bliss to me too :)

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your extended family El.


DEZMOND said...

oh, you poor soul, I'm sending you a truck of lemons, oranges, tea and soup :)

Anita said...

Some day this will happen to us and I am totally calling you for support! Good luck recovering!

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Daaa-amn El! I think you win the lousy month award. Being sick for ten days with some mutant crud in a freezing house with skyrocketing electric bills and having our house deal fall through doesn't even begin to approximate your woes. Well, maybe. But nah.

May the worst be behind us, and the best yet to come.

Happy Christmas, my friend. that rebel, Olivia

Megan Bostic said...

Glad you're better and the infestation was contained. Happy holidays to you and your family.

Elliot Grace said...

Hey Carolyn, thanks for your thoughts, and yes, it was truly a battle I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Hey Cynthia, thanks so much for your thoughts. You're a sweetheart!

Hey Nicki, yep, will not shed a tear when the chapter is closed on 2011! Thanks for stopping by ;)

Hey Roland, we've indeed had our share of crud this year, I agree. Surely 2012 will bring with it, if nothing else, 12 months of blissful health ;)

Hey Donna, tea tree oil is splashed upon those heads for every visit these days, and the scrubbing they endure upon their return does not make for an enjoyable afternoon, but is necessary to say the least. And so far, so good ;)

Thanks Dez for your thoughts! Bring on 2012!

Hey Anita, thanks for stopping by. The recovery has been slower than hoped, but not without progress.

Hey Olivia, sounds as though we could both use a vacation. Hang in there, sweetheart ;)

Hey Megan, thanks for stopping by, and only the best to you and yours over this Holiday Season!


Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes! That's a lot of nastiness! I'm a teacher, so I've seen the head lice infestations - nasty things. Hope your 2012 is louse free!!!! Take care :)

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