Trucker husband came home infested!
Pubic louse, courtesy of the CDC
I'm ready to leave and maybe divorce my trucker husband because after the last time he came home, I found a little bug crawling on me in the bed!
I thought it was a spider but it wouldn't crush between my fingers.
See the picture? It's just like what crawled on me! The little bug is a louse! A pubic louse!
What's worse was when we talked he said he had no idea where he got it!
No idea? Don't guys pick these things up from prostitutes?
I know you're no health care expert or family counselor. But when I saw that you answer questions for truckers I took a chance on asking.
I sure hope this question isn't too delicate for your readers. I'm not putting my name or contact info because I'm embarrassed, ashamed and sick over this. Please help.
-----Response from Vicki:
Hello, dear trucker wife. You're right, Mike and I
are neither health care experts nor family counselors, but we will do our best to help you.
First of all, please calm down. I know it's tough when your husband is on the road and separated from you. All sorts of horrid things can run through your mind.
Second, it's a good idea to evaluate your relationship with your husband. Has he ever lied to you before? Have you ever caught him in a lie? If not, why do you believe that he has lied to you now?
Third, at least one official source
of information -- the "U.S. National Libary of Medicine" and "National Institutes of Health" -- says: "Sometimes, pubic lice can spread through contact with objects such as toilet seats, sheets, blankets, or bathing suits at a store. However, this type of spreading is rare." The CDC
says that it is "extremely rare" for lice to spread by toilet seats.
At least one trucking couple disputes the "rare" and "extremely rare" theory of spreading pubic lice by toilet seats.
We were contacted earlier this summer by a trucker and his wife. We'll call them "Frank" and "Candy" because they asked not to be identified, but we have received permission to share what they told us.
They both -- and separately -- picked up at least one pubic louse each in public restrooms in the USA, Frank's most likely at a shipper, receiver or trucking company terminal. This long-time married couple is sexually faithful to each other, which is how they know where they didn't
pick up lice.
In Frank's case, at least one louse latched onto him and ended up laying eggs (or "nits") that hatched into hundreds of pubic lice. He had been scratching more for a few days before he even realized he was infested. By the time he realized there was a problem, the lice had spread as far down as his calves and as far up as his upper arms.
In Candy's case, she found the louse on the inside crotch of her underwear before it had a chance to attach to her body. Right after that, Candy said she inspected her pubic area numerous times by light and mirror to make sure she hadn't gotten infected.
Fourth, Candy told us that the recommendation of using "a prescription wash containing permethrin" necessarily implied going to see a doctor, but that she and Frank refused to go because it would forever be in his health records that he had had an infestation. Also, she didn't cherish the idea of having a commercial insecticide, per se, on Frank's body.
Furthermore, they didn't want to risk being seen buying -- or using a credit card to buy -- an over-the-counter medication like Rid or Nix. She notes that if Frank had needed to get a commercial treatment, he surely would have gone with an OTC
treatment first before going to a doctor. These OTC lice treatments are available at stores like Wal-Mart, but we don't know if they are available at truck stops
Frank and Candy didn't have a fine-toothed comb, so they chose to save money (even though it didn't save them time) by undergoing the long arduous process of her picking off the lice and nits one by one with tweezers. To assist with the removal process, Frank shaved off a lot of his body hair from the waistline down. Frank also used a homemade mixture containing tea tree oil (because he had read that lice hate it). He noted that the tea tree oil mixture can sting in some places on the body.
Daily over a period of about 2 weeks (yes, we said it was a long arduous process), Candy picked off all the pubic lice and nits she could see and frequently washed both clothing and bed linens in hot water. Sometimes, even a little dark speck at the root of a hair turned out to be "a creature" (as she called it), which she removed. She and Frank were also abstinent during this time so that any lice or nits on him wouldn't transfer to her.
Eventually, Candy's perseverance paid off and Frank became louse-free and nit-free again. It took weeks longer for Frank's body hair to grow back.
Fifth, according to Brown University
, "millions of people experience infections from pubic lice or scabies" every year. (Note: pubic lice are also called "crabs" because of their resemblance to the marine creature.) Brown also says that the lice can be spread "by using the same bed linen, clothes, or towels as an infected person." So, you may want to do what is necessary to protect yourself from getting "infected." Lice can't live without human blood but a very short time.
Sixth, it is possible that disease -- including sexually transmitted diseases -- can be spread by being infested by lice. The CDC recommends getting investigated for the presence of other STDs once a person is infested with pubic lice. Frank did not feel it was important for him to get tested, but other truckers or truckers' wives may feel differently, especially if a trucker's wife is pregnant or breastfeeding an infant.
Seventh, Candy reported that although it was unpleasant to have to pick off lice and nits from very private parts of Frank's body, the time they had together with him being so vulnerable actually help them bond closer together. They chose to take this "lemon" of a situation and make "lemonade" from it. To accomplish the task, she needed enough light to see by and enough back strength to do the louse removal and "nit picking."
Candy said the cost of doing laundry was up that month, but that she and Frank successfully weathered the personal storm. You know when a person really loves you when he or she sticks with you when there is a physical health issue of this nature.
This is another example of why we recommend that truckers with sleeper cabs (who are away from home overnight) have a portable toilet
in their trucks. Truckers can reduce the chance of picking up pubic lice on toilet seats when they don't use public restrooms.
A trucker who is by himself on the road and finds that he has a pubic lice infestation may have to resort to using an OTC lice treatment and wash his bedding in a laundromat
So, dear trucker wife, please consider carefully your next move. I'd appreciate it if you would let us know what you decide.
We wish your trucker husband and you (if you ride with him at all) safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.