Something is going on with me lately.
It feels like….bugs are crawling all over me.
My head is itching like crazy. CRAZY. And has been for the last few weeks.
I asked my 16 year old to check my head for lice. She made a face, called me gross, and left the room.
So I asked Harley to help me. I went in her room where she was meticulously cutting out pictures of teen pop stars—her faves are Justin Beaver (that’s what she calls him even though I’ve told her REPEATEDLY it’s Bieber—not Beaver), Selena Gomez, and that iCarly chick–and gluing them on poster board.
“Harley, can you look at my head and see if you can find any bugs?”
Seriously. I swear to god that’s how she answered. Like it was no big deal that her mom just asked her to check her head FOR BUGS.
I sat on the floor next to her and she began carefully going through my hair, looking for crawling things.
“These bugs, how big are they?”
“I don’t know exactly—tiny I’m sure. Why, do you see something?”
She studied a little longer. “Nope. All I see is white hair mixed with blonde hair mixed with black hair. Your hair is three different colors.”
I stood up just then and scratched my head. (Seriously, it’s SO ITCHY)
“I know my hair is three different colors. That’s why it sucks being a grown up,” I said as I left the room. “Thank you!” I yelled out over my shoulder.
“No problem,” she said back. And then she went back to cutting out people’s faces. I guess checking her mom’s head for bugs is just another day on the job for her.
Luckily for me I had an appointment the next day to see my gynecologist for my yearly vaginal violation. Also known as the well woman check-up. Clearly this woman was NOT well—but needed confirmation from a professional.
After arriving I was asked to pee in a cup and place that cup in a paper sack. I carried that paper bag (filled with my own urine) around with me like I’d brought a sack lunch with me to the fucking vag doctor. You know, so like while Dr R has her hands up my mother ship and talking about how hot it is outside, I could be enjoying my tuna on toasted rye.
But as I panned the waiting room I noticed everyone else had a paper sack sitting in the chair next to them, so I felt less like a weirdo and more like an elite member of an club.
As soon as I was called back to the room, I undressed, and then sat on the exam table waiting for my doctor to enter.
While I waited I scratched my head. Like a mad person. Scratching, scratching, scratching. I’d scratched my head so much during the past few weeks I’d worn down my fingernails.
Very shortly after waiting, Dr R entered the room. And I immediately broke down and started crying. She sat on a stool in front of me and watched me sob. After what seemed like minutes she asked, “What’s going on with you, Shauna? Why are you so upset?”
She handed me a tissue.
I blew my nose and wiped my eyes (with the same tissue—I’m pretty sure I had snot on my left eyelid—but I didn’t care) and said, “I’m just so stressed out. AND, I think I have lice. More than that it feels like bugs are crawling all over my body. All over me—bugs everywhere! I think I might be going crazy, and Harley keeps calling Justin Bieber Justin BEAVER even though I correct her like ALL THE TIME.”
And then I started scratching my head like a deranged gorilla.
She stood up, walked over to me and placed my hands gently to my sides. “Let me take a look.”
She went through strand after strand of my hair. After a minute she said, “You don’t have lice, Shauna.”
“Are you sure?”
And then she took her prescription pad out of the pocket of her white coat. She scribbled something and then tore off the paper from the pad and handed it to me.
“It’s a prescription for Xanax. Take it when you’re feeling like bugs are crawling on you.”
“You’re not crazy, Shauna. You’re a mom to four kids. That’s a lot. We all feel like bugs are crawling on us sometimes.”
“Well, my thing is not crawling bugs but I feel crazy in other ways.”
“Yes. All the time.”
Hearing her admit that made me feel better. “So I guess we’re all done here? I’ll see you next year.”
“Not so fast. We haven’t done your exam yet. And I hate to tell you this but now that you’re over forty we have to do a rectum check too.”
I wish I’d just had fucking lice.