I don’t remember ever getting or being treated for head lice, as a child. I am sure I did have them, it’s such a common thing in childhood. However, I do remember the first time I realized I had them as an adult.
I was working as a nanny, for a family. They had been on holiday, away in Jamaica with cousins, and came back, and I was delighted to find that not only did they have head lice, but they seemed to have picked up a variety from Jamaica that stubbornly refused to go away, no matter what we tried on them. It took months to clear them. We tried potions, lotions and all sorts of things.
I myself caught them. Squirm, itch.
How did I find out I had them?
I was actually in Paris, on a week away with my best friend, and my head had been itchy. Because I sometimes get a touch of psoriasis, I thought it was that, and ignored it, but after two days of my trying to not itch my head whilst we took ourselves round the sites of Paris, I asked my friend (we went to school together, we have known each other for years) to check my head, and she rather gleefully pronounced, upon inspection, “you’ve got head lice”.
So there I am, stuck in Paris, not confident in my spoken French, with a head full of head lice. I was not comfortable going to a pharmacy and trying to explain, and didn’t want to just go and buy something, in case it made all my hair fall out. So, I wore a hat (and Paris was hot) for the remaining three days and as soon as I got home to London, took myself to the first pharmacy I could find to get solution to deal with the lice. It took weeks, to shift them. Fortunately, my friend had (and still has) a sense of humour about the whole thing, and laughed at me about it (I had a serious sense of humour about it at the time, I can laugh about it now) and teased me. I have photos of me in that terrible hat, looking itchy, at the Eifell Tower, the Louvre and on a boat cruise. (and no, you don’t get to see those!)