Monday, October 25, 2010

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play penochle.....

Everything we need to know can be found in nursery rhymes. A week ago, after checking a few concerned emails- it occurred to me I never posted on Lily's health status. Insert hysterical laughter. Make that maniacal. Nope scratch that- sleep deprivation is messing with my mind. And don't scratch that- go wash your hands.

Lily's scans were fine. Nothing to report, everything consistent. The spot matches a bug bite and they will check it out again next round. I called last week to double check because Lily has been experiencing some itchiness and some other symptoms and I wanted to rule out major issues before we try and tackle little ones.
***Warning***Graphic stuff ahead. Not for the squeamish or OCD.

SO the itchiness comes and goes. I thought it was yeast. It's not yeast. The itchiness seems to always be the worst in the evening. Bella's been waking up too. I thought it was because Phil is gone. Something keeps waking her up consistently. Oh nooooo. This whole act is familiar. Somewhere around the inception of this blog we had an episode with worms. No, no, no, no no. Flash back to Port a Potty incident at air show. Somebody put a fork in me. Now. Please. My bum starts itching just thinking about it. I grab a flashlight and sneak up to the girls' bedroom late Friday night. When I said parenting was messy- did I mention the whole bit about pin worms? No need to teach anything else in sex ed- just provide all information about these bad boys and that they Looooooooove preschoolers and Kindergarteners because this group of thumbsucking, orally fixated little germ factories also suck at washing their hands properly. Be sure to highlight the part about how they like to leave the warm cozy nest of the human's small intestine at night to lay their eggs around Uranus. So the poor little thumbsucker itches away in their sleep then sticks their hand back up in their mouth. Life cycle propagated. 

Sometimes if you are real quiet , you can sneak up on them commando style. And you will actually be surprised that this particular set of night ops doesn't even wake the natives. It's a bit of a balancing act, holding the flashlight in the crook of your neck to get proper separation.  Quite comical- one of those times having a spouse around would be beneficial. And I spot the lil bugger running for the hills. Oh crap I'm gonna be sick. I might take the time to be sick if I run out of bleach before morning. I check Bella too- that's another affirmative. I don't know whether to scream or cry. Somehow this is a commentary on my parenting, my hygiene, and everything about me. I could give a care less that this is described as the most common parasite in the world and estimates go as high as 75% of children having them. I don't care that after our first bout of them( when I vowed to never let a handwashing go unnoticed) that one of my good friends - who also happens to be one of the cleanest humans ever- told me she knew all about them and how to look for them. what?  They are completely disgusting, but pretty common I was told. Multiple websites describe them as a nuisance and that the most damage occurs in the mind of the parent. You can say that again. I have distinct memories as a child, peering into my best friend's poo to get a glimpse of the souveneir she brought home from the zoo. There is something completely and absolutely unnerving about something living in your rear. It's wrong. It's even more unnerving to have physical proof that these little buggers are alive and well in my children. I debate just up and moving. I think buying all new personal effects is probably easier than dealing with the trauma of fighting an enemy you can't see- those blasted little eggs.  My bum itches just thinking about it.

I spend the entire night wiping down every surface in the house with bleach or lysol. I am dizzy as the 3rd bottle of lysol runs out. I start laundry in the hottest temperature possible and switch the dryer heat to highest. I know that the only thing known to kill the eggs are UV and heat. I throw stuffed animals and area rugs outside.  Everytime I pass a sink, I scrub my hands. They are starting to burn. By 2 am I am literally running on fumes. I decide to try and get a couple hours of sleep. I know we will be up well before the clinic opens at 6am. At 4 a car alarm goes off- I vaguely recollect thinking it sounded like my car and hope the thieves get their come uppance with a nice case of thread worms.  I don't remember this thought until morning as I am loading the girls into the car- which was still there. It then occurs to me that I have a whole nother realm to disinfect- the car. Where are thieves when you need them?

I was up at 5 stripping my bed and showering. The girls peek in to see where we are going- I quickly steal the sheets off their beds. I hosed their room down with lysol the night before and wiped surfaces- but now that I pulled the sheets up- I feel the need to do it again. I know the lysol won't kill the eggs- but it makes me feel like I am doing something. Like scrubbing every reachable surface in a house isn't considered "doing" something. I am not good  with sleep deprivation or parasites as it turns out. It is late morning where my husband lives and I call to tell him what's up. He is relieved. He thought something was wrong. Oh something is wrong- very very wrong. He backtracks and explains this is easy- it's curable. Easy? Easy!!??? My back is spasming, my stomach is in knots. I have a cough- which I'm sure is from huffing lysol or from parasites who are too stupid to find their way to my a@! and got lost in my lungs. I wonder how 1 person can be expected to launder 5 sets of bedding plus towels, clothes, blankets, etc- daily as well as continuously monitor 4 sets of bums and hands while decontaminating every surface they touch for the next week in addition to all my other daily jobs. Mind you each time they go to school - I have no control over where they stick their hands. I'll trade you your 2 social dinners and afternoons of football for my weekend.

We get to the clinic behind a young man who apparently fell and split his chin open. I wait for the desk clerk to act disgusted as I tell him why we are there. He nicely informs me that he will check everyone in so everyone can be treated. I wish I didn't know the procedure to this. Not how I wanted to spend my Saturday. The doc is nice and despite his reassurances that I am not a failure at parenting, hygiene, and life- I feel disgusting. He continues to tell me that this really is common. Especially in the girls' age group. We probably won't need a second dose- but check in a week or 2 for evidence of new hatchlings. Awesome.

I stop by walmart to get industrial sizes of bleach, paper towels, soap, disinfectants and of course more lysol.  I brief the children on the operating procedures for the next week- at a minimum. I hand out meds. We shower in the morning. This washes away any eggs laid at night. Towels go directly in the hamper. ALL dirty clothes are put in hampers. Undressing only happens in the bathrooms. Any time you itch anything- wash your hands. Every time you go to the bathroom- wash your hands. Before you eat- wash your hands. When in doubt- wash your hands. Only use paper towels for now. Notify me immediately after BM's so that I can disinfect the bathroom. Sheets will be washed daily- do not fluff them. No one wears skirts. Or night gowns. Shorts and underwear are worn at all times. Bella makes a point by immediately pulling her shirt off. She smiles a goofy smile as I glare down upon her. I know she is suspect #1.  I know she will be my biggest challenge in this ordeal. I begin round 2 of disinfecting and continue to tackle the mountain of laundry. I don't even want to think about our water or electric bill this month. This is a recycling/conservation nightmare.  I read about homeopathic cures. Apparently garlic works- I put 5 cloves in dinner. Unfortunately it is supposed to be used as a suppository. Um no. I'd love to hear Lily explaining THAT one to her teacher. A night in police custody is kinda sounding like a vacation right now. I'll stick with the traditional methods. The girls are outside roasting marshmallows on sticks over an invisible campfire they set up on my living room rug. I want to throw buckets of bleach at them, but realize that would be wrong. It would totally stain the rug.

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Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)