Lice, screaming child, then a clothes dryer ready to die, and on a Friday night when everything was closed...it was the last straw. We couldn't be certain that the second treatment would work. We weren't sure the dryer would hold out. Clearly, the deck was stacked against me. I needed backup, but it was too late at night to call my friend and ask for help. I called the pediatricians' office and got their answering service, and asked to talk to the doctor on call.
Well, guess who the on-call doctor was? The same doctor who had seen us earlier that day and who had missed the creepy-crawlies in the kiddo's hair. When she called me back, I reminded her of who we were. Then I asked her if she could hear the screaming in the background. She confirmed that she could, and I told her that it was coming from my daughter, who was enduring a de-lousing treatment. "You really dropped the ball, lady", I told her. She apologized. I told her what we had already done to treat the problem. She apologized again. I asked what else we needed to do to make it all go away. She apologized once more. "Stop apologizing and tell me how to fix this!"
Dr. X promised to call in a prescription for a lice treatment that she promised would be more effective than any over-the-counter product. We would just have to wait until the pharmacy opened back up Saturday morning...
I was so relieved to have a solution that it didn't occur to me that Dr. X could have called the prescription in to a 24-hour pharmacy instead of making us wait. Neither did it occur to me to question her choice of treatment.
It ended up taking a while to get the prescription. Our regular pharmacy was out of the medicated treatment, and had to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy. In the meantime, my mom was warning me against that particular lice treatment, Malathion. I called the pharmacist to make sure it was a safe treatment. He told me it was perfectly safe, but that I must wash my hands immediately after applying it because it is such a strong pesticide. It seems that Malathion is flammable and can cause chemical burns. And the kicker: you need to leave it on the lice-infested head for at least eight hours. The next question was, did I love my child more than I hated the lice? The answer was yes, of course! I couldn't put a toxic chemical on my kiddo's head.
I did go ahead and buy the Malathion, just in case I ended up needing it for myself. However, when I got home, hubby and I discussed our options and decided that we needed a second opinion. I called the pediatricians' office back and asked to speak to a different doctor. This doctor listened to my tale of woe and prescribed the latest, state of the art lice treatment: Sklice. And she told us that, since we hadn't used it before, we would be eligible for a coupon from the manufacturer. That knocked the cost down from about $300.00 to $25.00. You read that right. $300.00 for the most gentle yet effective way to get rid of lice. Even with insurance, it would have been $75.00. Would I have paid $75.00 or even $300.00 to get rid of the lice? Yes, indeed I would have, but I'm glad I did not have to.
One Sklice treatment later, and the kiddo was live-bug free. There were still a few nits in her hair, but according to the package, they were not viable. (Hubby picked them out, anyway. He is my hero.)
The worst part was over, but the hard part was just beginning...