I remember in grade school how the school nurse would periodically go through our hair with an orange stick in search of head lice (or at least nits). At a girls' summer camp my daughter went to when she was around eleven or twelve, there was an outbreak too, although she emerged unscathed. But this past spring, in my sixties, I had to do The Treatments for the first (and hopefully last) time in my life - they're rather nasty tenacious creatures, though apparently not a major health hazard. I was blown away by the sheer range of products available at your friendly local pharmacy!

For the record, the product recommended by a tiny little pharmacy on Wellington Street, and which we found effective, was something called NYDA, manufactured in Germany. It comes as a pump-spray and is quite easy to use; it does, however, have to be left on for a full 8 hours (perhaps overnight), before being rinsed out with regular shampoo and water. The whole process then has to be repeated after 8 to 10 days.

Of course, I'm a bit paranoid (or maybe obsessive-compulsive) about such things and while the whole thing was going on I was thinking to myself, "What if it doesn't work after all that?" So I combed the drugstore shelves looking at other potential remedies - the Robicomb (a battery-operated comb that promises to detect lice and kill them on contact - no fuss, no muss!). Or the Shield 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner with natural aromatherapy oils, gentle enough to use every day!! (Perish the thought - were these things actually going to stalk me for the rest of my life??)

Anyway, it didn't come to that. When I went to my hairdresser after applying the NYDA treatments, I warned her about what she might be facing ... and after doing her usual thing with my hair, she assured me that she hadn't seen any sign of lice or nits. But just in case, I've got another NYDA kit tucked away in the medicine cabinet!

So on to the next potential hazard... apparently Ottawa (especially the west end) is considered to be an at-risk region this year for lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks. I'm taking precautions whenever I happen to be out in the countryside or somewhere in cottage country. So far, so good.

Of course, with mosquitoes (rather abundant due to all the rain we've been having) there's also West Nile virus to worry about. And for women in their child-bearing years (not me, but certainly my daughter's generation if they're traveling to exotic locales) there's also the nasty Zika virus.

I guess it could all drive you crazy if you let it...

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