I — m A 40-Year-Old Professional And I Still Live With My Parents

I’m A 40-Year-Old Professional And I Still Live With My Parents

When I tell people I’m 40 and live at my parents’ house, the most common response is, “Lucky you, I wish my parents lived in London!”

As I sit at my desk, a few feet from my bed, it dawns on me (as it does regularly) that this isn’t exactly where I wanted to be when I turned 40. There’s no gold toilet, no indoor swimming pool, and no butler. Instead, I’m back living and working in my small, single-bed teenage bedroom with two seventysomethings as housemates.

I mean, it’s not the worst situation I could find myself in. I’m thankful I’m not homeless, and I feel lucky that my parents are from London and still live here. But at the same time, it’s frustrating and embarrassing to be stuck where I am. Quite frankly I’m astonished that I even have a girlfriend. “Do you want to come back to my place?” isn’t really as alluring when you have to preface it with, “Would you like to meet my parents?”

My bedroom is also my office. I’m a creative freelancer, which means I’m able to work from home, although that’s not just a lucky coincidence; it’s actually something that’s come about from necessity, rather than an overwhelming desire to work in my pyjamas.

I’ve always found it quite challenging to work in an office environment – I could never deal with office politics, and found interactions with co-workers to be quite confusing, often leading to arguments or causing me to quit. When my last “proper” job around 10 years ago I fell into that deep dark hole they call depression, and was completely unable to work for a while. It was also around this time that I got diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which helped me understand why I had trouble holding down jobs and interacting with people at the office but at the same time caused me to completely rethink my life and my approach to my work.

I decided I was going to attempt to work for myself and go freelance, but there was no way I was going to be able to do this and pay rent, especially in London, and especially while attempting to pull myself out of depression. I wasn’t able to work full-time, and I didn’t want to sign on. So the only available option was to live at my parents’ place while I attempted to get better and build up some sort of career.

Five years later, I’ve managed to shake off the worst part of my depression, and can now deal with my Asperger’s well enough that I’m able to masquerade as a normal person when I need to have meetings with clients or attend optional-but-not-optional social events. So why am I still living with my parents?

Well, as it turns out, buying a house in London is nigh-on impossible, unless you have a well-paid full time job, a large deposit, and a partner in the same position. Or you’re Bruce Wayne. I read a lot of articles that describe how hard it is for young people to get on the housing ladder, but in my experience it extends way beyond that demographic.

I’ve never considered buying a house in the city in which I was born as being a realistic option, and the older I get the less likely it seems. It feels like paying extortionate amounts for rent and having absolutely no security in your housing situation is all most people can plan to experience. You can expect to live most of your adult life as if you’re a student, sharing a house with five other people, queueing for the bathroom every morning like it’s a YMCA, and paying the majority of your income to a landlord who knows you won’t complain about the four-foot-long rat in the kitchen, because you’re worried he’ll kick you out on a whim.

I’m doing pretty well now. I’m healthy, I worked through the worst part of my depression, I have a great girlfriend, and I’m making a lot more money than I was a few years ago. Life is pretty good. But I still don’t earn anywhere near enough to be able to even contemplate buying my own place. Moving out at this stage would still be a struggle, and let’s face it, I’d only be moving to a room in a house, which is essentially where I am now. So what do I do?

The fact that I’m 40 and living at my parents’ house isn’t something that I like to tell people, for obvious reasons. When you’ve finally run out of cunning ways to deflect questions about who you live with and people find out the truth, the most common response is, “Lucky you, I wish my parents lived in London!” In reality, I’d much rather be working in a full-time job and paying rent. Or, obviously, be able to afford a mortgage.

But how could I afford a mortgage and buy my own place? I could ask Oprah, I guess. But more realistically, the only way I can see it happening is by staying at my parents’ place so I can save a deposit. Even then it’s going to be pretty hard. Banks don’t seem to consider freelancers to have proper jobs, even though being in full-time employment means absolutely nothing in terms of financial security these days. Prices are also rising so quickly that it might even be a completely futile endeavour, like trying to catch a balloon by building a staircase out of Lego bricks.


Myths and Misconceptions About Head Lice

Katherine Lee is a parenting writer and a former editor at Parenting and Working Mother magazines.

Chris Vincent, MD, is a licensed physician, surgeon, and board-certified doctor of family medicine.

Zigy Kaluzny / The Image Bank / Getty Images

As common as head lice are, there is an abundance of persistent misunderstandings about them.   (Many of these myths are as persistent as the lice themselves!) Here are some common myths about head lice and the facts behind the misconceptions.

Common Misconceptions About Head Lice

Lice Can Jump

Lice do not have wings.   They cannot fly and they cannot jump. Instead, they move by crawling. That is why direct head-to-head contact, such as kids putting their heads together while playing, is the most common way for head lice to spread from one person to another.

You Are More Likely to Get Head Lice If You Have Bad Personal Hygiene Habits

Getting head lice has absolutely nothing to do with personal hygiene or the cleanliness of a home.   And washing your hair will not get rid of lice, which cling to hair follicles, nor nits (lice eggs), which are extremely sticky and cling to hair.

An Itchy Head Means Your Child Most Likely Has Head Lice

Itchy scalp is one of the common symptoms of head lice. But there can be other causes of itchy scalp, such as seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) or dry skin.   Moreover, some children who have head lice may not experience itching.

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Lice do not care whether hair is short, long, clean, or dirty. Lice thrive in hair, period, specifically on the blood they get through the scalp.  

You Can Get Head Lice From Pets (And Vice Versa)

Lice cannot be transmitted from pets, and pets cannot get them from people.  

Head Lice Carry and Transmit Diseases

The good news is that lice have not been shown to spread disease.   That said, they can be extremely bothersome. Children who have head lice can experience intense itching and develop a rash from the bites, and the skin can become infected from scratching. They can feel irritable and have trouble sleeping because they are itchy. And of course, lice can be emotionally upsetting for a child and for their family.

To Kill the Lice, You Must Stuff All Your Child’s Belongings in Plastic Bags, and Put Them in a Freezer

This used to be the recommendation years ago, but it is understood today that lice do not survive very long away from a host. The best way to handle a lice infestation in your environment is to simply vacuum any items and areas you think your child may have rested their head on, wash their linens and towels with hot water, and put them in a hot dryer to kill any lice or nits.   However, items that can’t be washed or vacuumed may be placed in a plastic bag for 2 weeks, which will kill the lice.

Kids Are Most Likely to Get Head Lice in School

This is a common misconception, probably stemming from the fact that school-age children are at an increased risk for getting head lice. The fact is, kids tend to get head lice from places and activities where they are more likely to have direct head-to-head contact. Sharing personal items, such as combs, bedding, towels and hair accessories may also spread lice, but this mode of transmission is much less likely to cause head lice. The most common sources of head lice infestations are school, camp, daycare, slumber parties, and sports activities, among others.  

Head Lice Are Extremely Contagious and Children Who Have Head Lice Should Be Isolated

The truth is that lice are most frequently spread through head-to-head contact, which allows the lice to travel from one person to another. Since they cannot jump from one person to another, transmission can be prevented by taking such precautions as not sharing personal items and avoiding close contact.   Isolation of a child who has head lice, or keeping him out of school, as long as he has begun treatment, is not necessary.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses have recommended that schools revise so-called «no-nit» policies, which require children to be kept out of school until they are completely free of nits and lice.   Doctors today are advising that children be allowed to return to school once they have begun treatment to eradicate lice.

Natural Alternative Treatments for Head Lice Are Always Safe and Effective for Kids

The truth is that parents must be cautious when using products that are touted as being «natural» to treat their child’s head lice.   Many products are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may contain ingredients such as certain essential oils that are not recommended for use on young children. Always check with your doctor before using any products on your child’s scalp. And keep in mind that no product, natural or not, is 100 percent effective in killing lice and nits.

Head Lice Doctor Discussion Guide

Get our printable guide for your next doctor’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.


Americans who don’t have a bank account at lowest level ever

NEW YORK (AP) — The percentage of Americans who do not have a bank account fell to a record low last year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday, a sign that the economic fortunes of the country’s most vulnerable people continues to improve.

In 2017 approximately 6.5 percent of U.S. households did not have a primary bank account. That is down from 7 percent in 2015 and from a high of 8.2 percent in 2011. That translates into roughly 14.1 million adults without a bank account.

Not having a bank account, also known as being “unbanked,” can make everyday life more challenging. Saving money in a secure place becomes more difficult, doing any sort of online transaction is nearly impossible, and everyday bills need to be routinely paid through expensive check cashers. Without a bank account, it’s also impossible to use other financial services like paying with credit cards, buying a house, or even taking out a payday loan.

The reasons for not having a bank account remained steady from previous surveys, with “not having enough money” being the No. 1 reason for doing so. Not trusting banks was another popular reason for not being banked.

The biggest improvement happened among black and Hispanic households. The number of black households without a bank account fell to 16.9 percent last year, according to the FDIC, while 14 percent of Hispanic households were without a bank account. Those figures are down from more than 20 percent of black households and 18 percent of Hispanic households in 2013.

Even though the FDIC survey showed noticeable improvements, there were still places that showed many Americans struggle to access basic financial needs.

Roughly 19 percent of American households are considered by the FDIC to be “underbanked,” which means they have a primary bank account but use non-traditional financial services like pawn shops, payday and auto title loans, check cashers, and money transfer services. Additionally, one in five Americans are known as “credit invisible” which means they did have any sort of mainstream credit file, which makes it tough to apply for credit cards and get a mortgage.

This story has been corrected to show that 7 percent of households were unbanked in 2015, not 2017.


Dhobi Wallahs At Work In New Delhi

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Pubic lice and how to get rid of them

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Pubic lice, also known as crab lice or crabs, are tiny, parasitic insects that feed on blood. They spread easily and cause itching and red spots.

Lice often live on the skin in the genital area, but they may be present in any area of the body with coarse hair, including the eyelashes, eyebrows, beard, mustache, and any hair on the back or abdomen.

Adult lice are gray-brown and about 1.1–1.8 millimeters long. A person may be able to see them with the naked eye. The eggs and immature lice are smaller, however, and they may not be visible without a magnifying glass.

Lice usually pass from person to person during sex, and healthcare professionals consider them a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, close hugging and kissing can also allow them to spread, as can sharing towels and other personal items.

It is easy to pass lice to another person, especially an intimate partner.

Share on Pinterest Pubic lice may cause itching and red spots.

People can treat lice using over-the-counter (OTC) preparations. It is essential to follow the instructions precisely.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend either a 1% permethrin lotion or a mousse containing pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide.

They note that lindane shampoo, which is a prescription medication, can kill lice and eggs, but it can be toxic to the brain and nervous system.

People should only use lindane if other treatments have not worked or if they cannot use other remedies. It is not suitable for infants and children, older people, those who are prone to seizures, individuals with skin problems, and people weighing less than 110 pounds. People should not use it during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Other prescription treatments include malathion (Ovide) lotion 0.5% and ivermectin (Stromectol). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved malathion for the treatment of pubic lice, and they have only approved the topical form of ivermectin, not the oral form.

The exact instructions for use will vary, but the overall process is as follows:

  1. Wash and towel dry the affected area.
  2. Saturate the affected hair with medication.
  3. Leave for as long as the instructions recommend, then remove according to the instructions.
  4. Remove the nits, or eggs, using the fingernails or a fine comb.
  5. Change into clean underwear.

If lice remain after 9 days, apply the treatment again.

In addition, people with lice should do the following:

  • Avoid sexual contact with others until the lice have gone.
  • Inform any partners or people who may have been in close contact.
  • Consider testing for other STIs.

Even if the lice appear to have gone, the person should continue treatment because if any eggs remain, they may hatch and start a new cycle. If OTC medications do not kill the lice, a doctor may prescribe a stronger lotion or shampoo.

It is important to ask a healthcare professional about treatments for lice, as options that are suitable for body hair may be harmful to use on the face.

The main symptom of pubic lice is itching, which may start about 5 days after the first contact.

A person may also notice:

  • small red bumps or spots on the skin
  • blue spots on the thighs or lower abdomen
  • dark brown or black powder — louse droppings — on the skin or in the underwear

Symptoms can affect the pubic region or any part of the body that has hair, including the eyelashes.

Will I see the lice?

An adult pubic louse is large enough to see. It has six legs, including large back legs that look like the claws of a crab. The lice use these back legs to cling onto the hair.

The eggs are yellowish-white, oval-shaped, and usually too small to see without a microscope. They stick firmly to the base of the hair.

The signs of lice may be visible in coarse hair in the pubic region, but also under the arms and elsewhere.

After treatment, empty eggshells may remain, but this does not necessarily mean that the infestation is still present.


Pubic and Body Lice

Pubic lice are tiny insects that live on humans, usually in the pubic hair. They are passed on through close body contact, such as when having sex. Infestation with pubic lice can cause itching but not everyone affected has symptoms. Treatment involves using an insecticide lotion or cream to kill the lice. If you have caught pubic lice from a sexual partner, you should be tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Body lice are also passed on in close contact. They mostly occur in cold climates and in overcrowded areas where there is poor sanitation and a high rate of poverty. Being unable to wash regularly or wearing the same clothes for a long time increases the chance of catching body lice, so homeless people are at increased risk.

Pubic and Body Lice

In this article

What are pubic lice and body lice?

Pubic lice are tiny insects about 1-2 mm long (smaller than the head of a match). Their medical name is Phthirus pubis and they are grey or brown in colour. Sometimes they are called crabs because their second and third pairs of legs have crab-like claws. These claws are used to hold on to hairs tightly. Lice are blood-sucking insects which survive by feeding on tiny amounts of your blood, which they obtain through your skin. Female lice lay eggs (also called nits) which are smaller than a pinhead. These eggs stick to the hairs in which the lice live. The eggs hatch into lice after 6-10 days. A female louse can lay up to 300 eggs in her lifetime of 1-3 months.

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Pubic lice live in hairy areas of the body. Because they prefer thick coarse hair, pubic lice commonly affect the pubic hair. However, they may also affect body hair around the back passage (anus), underarms, beard, chest and, rarely, eyebrows and even eyelashes.

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Pubic lice only affect humans. They can’t be caught from, or passed to, animals. Note: pubic lice do not live in the hair on your head, as scalp hair tends to be softer and finer, and the lice can’t hold on to these hairs. Head lice are a different type of louse (called Pediculus humanus capitis).

Body lice are slightly longer than pubic lice (about 3-4 mm) but have a narrower body. Their medical name is Pediculus humanus. They are also known as clothing lice because the lice and their eggs can be found in the seams of clothing. Body lice can be found anywhere in the body but tend to avoid the scalp, except at the margins.

How do you get lice?

Pubic lice

You need close body contact to pass pubic lice on to others. Usually pubic lice are caught by having sex with a person who already has a pubic louse infestation.

It is possible to ‘catch’ pubic lice through close non-sexual physical contact with an affected person — such as kissing someone who has lice in their beard.

Pubic lice and their eggs attach very strongly to hair; they neither simply wash or brush off, nor do they fall off. They also cannot survive for long without a human ‘host’ to feed from. This means that you are extremely unlikely to catch pubic lice from clothing, bed linen, shared towels or toilet seats.

Body lice

You can catch body lice by coming into close physical contact with someone who has lice. This need not be sexual contact. You can also catch it from lice-infested clothing, bedding or towels. Body lice are mainly seen in homeless people who are unable to wash frequently or change their clothes regularly.

What are the symptoms of lice?

Pubic lice

  • The main symptom is generalised itching in the affected areas, usually in the pubic hair region. Itching may take between one and three weeks to begin after you become infected. Itching is usually worse at night, when the lice feed. It is due to a sensitivity to louse saliva.
  • Itchy red ‘bumps’ on the skin, in the hair-covered areas, may appear.
  • Faint blue spots may appear on the skin. This occurs where the lice have been feeding.
  • Skin irritation and scratching may cause redness or a rash in affected areas.
  • You may develop eye inflammation if your eyelashes are affected.
  • You might notice really tiny dark brown specks in your underwear or your skin — this is lice poo (faeces).
  • Some people have no symptoms but can still pass lice on to others without realising they are doing so.

Body lice

Some people do not get any symptoms but notice the lice or nits on their body or clothes. Itching at night is common and usually occurs on the trunk, the armpits or the groins. This happens because body lice usually live in clothing during the day, only moving on to the skin when feeding on the person’s blood. As with pubic lice, small red lumps and blue spots can occur.

What is the treatment for lice?

Pubic lice

Pubic lice infestation is treated with insecticide specially formulated to be used on the human body. It kills the pubic lice. The whole body should be treated, twice — seven days apart. You should avoid getting insecticides in the eyes.

The two commonly used insecticides to treat pubic lice are malathion lotion and permethrin 5% cream. Water-based (aqueous) products are preferred over alcohol-based treatments (which may cause even more skin irritation). They are easy to apply and normally work well if used properly. The following is a general guide, giving tips for success:

  • Malathion is suitable for all people.
  • Permethrin is NOT usually used if you are under 18.
  • You should apply the lotion or cream to all your body, including the scalp. This is because the lice can spread and affect many parts of your body and sometimes even the scalp. You should pay particular attention to hairy parts of your body, especially to pubic hair, hair around your back passage (anus), beards, moustaches and eyebrows. Note: this advice is based on national guidelines and may be different to what is said on the insecticide packet. The packet may say only apply from the neck down — but experts recommend that the whole body be treated (taking care to avoid getting the insecticide in the eyes).
  • An average adult needs about 100 ml of lotion or 20-30 g of cream to apply to the whole body.
  • Apply lotion or cream to cool, dry skin. If you have a hot bath or shower, wait until the skin cools down and is fully dry before applying.
  • You should leave the lotion or cream on for the full recommended time and then wash it off. Malathion should be left on for 12 hours (overnight) and then washed off. Permethrin 5% dermal cream should be left on for 24 hours and then washed off.
  • If you wash any part of your body during the treatment period, you should reapply the lotion or cream again to the washed areas.
  • You do not need to shave the affected areas. The lotion or cream will clear the lice.
  • Some people advise washing bed linen, towels and clothes (particularly underwear) which have been used since a week before symptoms started. There is no good evidence that this is necessary but some people prefer to do it.
  • If your eyelashes are affected, ask a doctor for advice on how to treat these areas. Simple eye ointment or Lacri-Lube® ointment is greasy, like Vaseline®, and often applied to the eyelashes with cotton buds to suffocate the lice.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, as some treatments may not be suitable.

Re-apply the same treatment after seven days. Although lice are usually killed by one application, not all eggs may be. The second application makes sure that any lice that hatch from eggs that survived the first application will be killed before they are old enough to lay further eggs. Note: this advice is based on national guidelines and may be different to what is said on the insecticide packet. The packet may say that one application is sufficient — but experts recommend the two applications, seven days apart.

Body lice

Because body lice mainly live in clothing and bedding, applying treatment to the skin is less important. The main treatment is directed at destroying the nits and lice in clothing and bedding. This can be achieved by laundering in hot water (at least 130°F), ironing with a hot iron, drying in a hot dryer or dry cleaning. If there are lots of lice present an insecticide may need to be applied directly to the body.

Clothing and bedding are sometimes treated with insecticide if there is an outbreak in a community.

Do family and friends need treatment?

Pubic lice

Recent close contacts and sexual partners within the previous three months should be examined for lice and treated if infected. Remember, you can have pubic lice without symptoms.

Body lice

People in contact with the body, clothing or bedding of a person with body lice should be examined for lice themselves. Their clothing and bedding should also be treated and they may need to step up their hygiene routine.


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