Monday, December 22, 2008

the itching problem

Itch, itch, scratch, scratch, ewwww! That is work these days, because well, the normal scabies and lice problem seems to have gotten worse. I've been catching our shelter cleaners taking short cuts while cleaning the mats, and the clients sleep so close together that transmission is inevitable, but seriously, itchy!!

This week I took Erik to the urgent care center to get wound care and to deal with a "rash". It was a great revelation to him when the nurse told him he needs to bathe more. He was quite pleased that she gave him some lice shampoo and some scabies cream. He took her advice quite seriously too, and was not the least bit embarrassed about his problems (as you and I might be). Rather, he was just happy that he had a solution to his horrible itching.

Lice and Scabies are part of living in a shelter I guess... We keep the mega size bottles of lice shampoo in our cupboard as well as multiple tubes of the scabies cream. On the whole, we're pretty used to the entire thing. It goes through phases and right now, we're in a bad phase. Apparently the urgent care center is not as used to this as we are. The nurse phoned us rather freaked out "Erik has scabies and lice, and well can you come get him, we can't keep him here and oh my, oh my, panic etc..." We kind of wished they'd at least give him the first treatment there, but oh well. It guess it can be frightening (?) for some people. It's not like I want to have to deal with either of them, but if I do, I'll certainly live... I might even get time off work for treatment!

For some of our clients though, the recent outbreak is a source of some contention, and they've decided that sleeping on the street, itch free, is a better option. I'm not so sure about this, seeing as it's till below -30 but to each his own I guess. It certainly is less crowed outside! It was one of these clients who dubbed it "the itching problem" and from now on, that's what I plan on calling it.

Happy Scratching!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I first learned about scabies when I shared a children's storytime at a Community Fair in an inner-city neighborhood.

Three little girls loved the storytime - and stuck around afterward, requesting more, more, more stories!

I happily obliged, but couldn't help but notice the painful-looking red bumps covering their arms...