...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 ;)