Dealing with (or not dealing with) bb's (insanity)(16 posts)
I know you can relate. I hit yet another bottom yesterday, where I was an inch away from reaching out to my psych. I was going to ask him to basically put me away. Instead I spoke with a close friend who told me he loved me and that I was overwelmed and this would pass. He was right. Just hearing I'm loved and supported made a world of difference. My plate has been so full with projects, family situations, etc. that when I saw those bites, what I really saw was the top of the heap. Then I imagined all kinds of things. I feel itching when there's nothing there. I kept searching my skin; everywhere to find those bites - the ones that didn't itch. Ultimately the ones that didn't even exist. I have OCD anyway, so someone told me bed bugs are an OCD nightmare. However, I know plenty of people w/o OCD with bedbugs that have reacted just like me. My itchiness and searching, weather true or not, reached an all time high. I freaked - it was like my body couldn't stop shaking, and the fear continued mounting. I cried and cried until I stopped with the help of my dear friend. It's been a long time that I've been going through this and it's not over; but it's no longer bb's or anything else; it's how I react and pace my life. I recommend professional help if needed, and without a doubt reaching out to friends who will be there for you. Like with everything life brings. Sometimes we do the best we can then we have to let go. If we don't it will get us and that's not a solution, that's more torment (which is optional).
Oh you are so right. I don't know if I have bbs anymore. They were at my office anyway, which just makes my crappy job, nightmarish boss and depression only worse. I still get 'bites' but my derm says it's Folliculitis. Do I believe him? Ha. How can I when they look like bites?? I keep hoping and praying (halfheartedly it's true, 'cos God really gave up on me a long time ago) that it will just end. I see a shrink but haven't told him anything. Too embarassed, too scared of the judgement, etc. No-one else knows about my 18 months and counting, of hell.
This weekend was the worst, three 'bites', though one was Foll for sure. It's so [expletive deleted] hard. I am intensely depressed, my life feels like it's over, mind you, it felt that way before but bbs have sent me to the 7th circle of Dantes hell. I wake up and wish I hadn't. Every minute/hour/day is filled with fear, my skin has become a minefield, my worst enemy, I want to just scrape it off and be done with it.
The worst thing is pretending to others that life is just great. "How was your weekend" they ask, Oh fine I say, meanwhile I was bawling my eyes out on Friday night, Saturday afternoon was spent staring at the wall in zombie mode and Sunday I could barely get out of bed. Yet I plaster this fake smile on my face and open my mouth to spew phony words. I drag my carcass-like body around and just count time, waiting for the next itch, the next race to the bathroom to check, the next round of misery to hit me. The days when I get nothing are little glimmers of hope, hey maybe it's ok, maybe it's getting better, I dare to think, but then the cursed itch, and it starts all over again without ever having stopped. And it's back to square one, staring till I'm blind with a magnifying glass, praying to see a hair in the Follicle. And even when I DO see a hair, Im not convinced, how sad is that?
I feel like I just can't win, that this is my life from now on. And I hate myself for being such a loser, a selfpitying, weak person. You're lucky you have good friends.
Hey Losing It,
I am also losing it, and I don't have OCD, but you sound really desperate to me and my heart goes out to you. But you are right, you have to pick yourself up and not let yourself spiral down any deeper.
I absolutely know what a nightmare this is, we have been dealing with this crap since Dec. 4 and there are times when I don't think I can take anymore, luckily I am not going thru it alone and you are right, that helps so much.
I have some suggestions for you to hopefully help get you in a bit of a better place. Don't know how much of this you may have done, but we have totally gone thru our beds and isolated them.
Take your bed completely apart and go thru the mattress with a magnifying glass and flashlight, steam it if possible. If you can afford to, get one of those mattress covers that zip up, but make sure you tape the zipper area closed, closed, closed! Make sure the tape won't peel back over time.
Look at your bed frame with the magnifyer. Caulk every little crevice you can see. You can get white or clear caulk at the depot.
Get 4 large sandwich size ziplock bowls from grocery store (the large ones), also get 4 small round bowls and some mineral oil. Take the small ones and glue them to the inside of the square bowls (centered). I used a hot glue gun. Maybe you could try super glue or an epoxy. (Home Depot) What you are trying to do is to keep liquid (the mineral oil that you will be putting in) from getting underneath the small round bowl which will prevent the small bowl from sliding around and touching the edge of the square bowl.
Place these bowls under the four bedposts, and put in about an inch of mineral oil into the square bowl. This will prevent bugs from climbing onto your bed.
I'm told that some of them will walk up the walls and drop down to your bed via the ceiling. I did not do anything to my ceiling and we seemed to do OK. But I did hear of someone who used a plastic dropcloth that he tacked up on the ceiling over the bed. Make sure the plastic is larger than your bed, tack it up so that it droops in the center so that it forms a 'plastic bowl'. Now when a bug drops down, it will land in this 'plastic bowl' and will not (supposedly) be able to climb up and out (but even if it does, if the plastic extends past the perimeter of your bed, the bug will drop to the floor when he climbs to the edge of the plastic.
Hope this isn't confusing and I do hope it is helpful. Hang in there. The way I see it, nothing lasts forever, good or bad!
Losingit, you really need to be honest with your therapist. They aren't there to make you feel embarassed, they're there to help you. If they make you feel bad, you deserve to find one who won't. And if you're not happy with your dermatologist's opinion, seek out another one. I'm not sure if you're in Canada or the US, but I know that while both health systems could make it tricky, it IS doable. If you see another derm, and they say "yes, it's foliculitis," as well-- say you don't tell them the original one determined it was foll-- then maybe you can relax. Either way, get a second opinion. You deserve more information towards better peace of mind.
I nearly lost my head at the beginning of all of this. I literally have NO idea where I am in the fight. I do know that I'm tired of fighting like mad with my roommate over this. I know many friends and family are tired of hearing about my bed bug issues. I know I'm tired of wondering if every mark is a bite when we find no other signs. So all that into consideration, I know I have to eventually take a deep breath and keep finding ways to move forward. For me it's been finding the silver linings in this situation, which for me have been strangely many. But that's just me, and there is still absolutely NO benefit to having bed bugs decimate someone's life.
Good luck everyone.
Hi Losingmymind: thanks for the tips but I've already been through that wringer. My bb saga started 18 months ago, at a new apt. I moved out of course, but I unfortunately had brought them to my workplace. Yep, it does happen. Long sob story short, my workplace was eventually treated last July and they had the K9 team come back 3 times after and each time it was all clear. I never had them at my new apt (had K9 check it out 7, yes, 7 times last year). So I've been told by doggie and co. that I don't have bugs anywhere at home or at work.
I still tear my bed apart each weekend, cleaning the frame with boiling water. Never see anything though. For me, it's just the skin question. Is it Foll or not? Am I crazy or not? I'm not having a good time right now...
Emmm, I'm in T.O. I know you're right, I SHOULD speak to my shrink, but it terrifies me to verbalize it somehow, as though saying it out loud will make it real. Does that make sense? Saying or even hearing the words 'bedbugs' make me want to throw up. Funny thing is I only started seeing this shrink because of the depression/bbs last fall.
I've thought about seeing another derm but I don't really trust them. I saw one last June before we found out I had bbs at work, who told me I was allergic to something even though I said I may have bbs so it's not like they didn't have a clue about my situation. Doesn't inspire confidence when that derm was rated very, very highly by other patients.
Glad you found some good spots in your own situation (despite the crappy roomie).
Thanks for the support, I'll try hang in there.
Is it possible that these things are the "mystery bites" that a lot of folks seem to be talking about (as well as me and my husband). There is a thread just below yours (I don't know how to cut and paste it). It's called "How to deal with mites. (and mystery bites). Or something like that.
I share your trauma. I cannot look at anything in my house the same. I am always thinking that they are still with me (and they might be) and I cannot stop any of my "bedbug rituals"!
All the best to you! (You too Emmm)
I too, know the trauma of BBs. And I found talking to a professional simply didn't help. Most have never been through the BB experience and I would have to spend a great deal of time explaining the implications of BBs. And even after all that, I often got the senses that they felt I was overreacting. It was all so frustrating.
I agree with losingit that one of the worst parts is trying to pretend that everything is OK with friends and coworkers. It's exhausting to have to pretend all the time.
Eventually, over the months, I began to realize that battling BBs is a roller-coaster. I'll have really bad days, I'll have OK days and I'll have the occassional good day. I would remind myself of this whenever I was riding through the bad times.
The only other coping mechanism I developed was to throw myself into my work so that my brain got a rest for 9 hours a day at the office. Not only did it distract me, but now I'm reaping the rewards with promotions! I wasn't expecting that type of result!
Somehow, someday, somebody is going to find an answer for BBs. I hold onto the hope that one day, in the future, nobody will suffer the way we have.
WOW, two or three of you are scaring the heck out of me. I've considered how I'm going to break my own very sensitive wife into the notion that we might have bedbugs and I'm not finding much help here... Don't take that wrong, I know what a freaky experience this whole bb thing is and it's like in the beginning, the more you read the more freaked out you become at these hideous little creatures. I'd like to know their value to the overall ecosystem or what part of gods plan they serve. Each of us has to remain tough though - these little F'ing things aren't worth going high-rise roof diving over... Good luck to all of us (yes, I included myself in my good luck wish to you... - first time for everything, I guess... Was for bb's too.
How long have you been dealing with these things?
LosingMyMind - 1 day ago »
How long have you been dealing with these things?
I came home from a business trip last September and almost immediately started having something going on with my skin. I've had eczema all my life so have been a close monitor of my skin for years. At first I thought it was some sort of rash then it occurred to me that MAYBE, it's flea bites or something like that. I'd been to a doc, he missed it and my interest and my search continued. It wasn't until the end of last month that I started investigating it as possible 'bedbugs' because of an email that talked about the global explosion of the bedbug problem. That's when the serious "OMG - how can creatures like this even exist in this world" feelings set in as I learned more from ground zero. These feelings of "where can I hide at night and how will I protect my family from these monsters" has since been replaced by my own convictions to erraticate the problem with a vengeance but admittedly, my life will never be the same.
I will never again feel the sense of innocence at my kids spending the night with their friends or their friends spending the night here. I could almost quit the kids soccer without sharing my real reason where my true reason is knowing what I know, I choose not to expose myself to the risk of staying in hotels and sure as heck, will never again think of a hotel room with double queens as a bonus because that allows me an extra bed to store my incoming stuff when traveling along for business - this now is on the BIG NO-NO list. I wrote in another post how the generally dimmer lighting combined with usually dark carpets and bedspreads kind of spooks me out where traveling is concerned now, and once I rid myself of these pests in my home, I'm not anxious to risk getting them back again...
Sounds cynical as hell doesn't it... You know what though, a really dear guy who I have a great deal of respect for once told me that those who got through their lives without any cynicism must not have been paying attention to much along the way. People are better off not having to know and deal with the horrors of things of this nature. But it is what it is, and now they're just going to have to die... lol
Really sorry to hear your 'saga' jcage.
I share your sentiments about your new 'view of the world'. Last year we took our kids to the local hotel with a pool for the weekend, Feb 2008, (a kind of school vacation thing) and they enjoyed it so much that they wanted to go again this past Feb.
It killed me to go but I caved in (my husband reminds me that I can't let it rule my life, (yeah right!)), while we were there, I woke around 5am to use the bathroom and while sitting on the throne I happen to put my fingers thru my hair. I felt a round ball attached to my scalp, (bed bug?) I quickly clenched it between two fingers and all the while frieking inside while trying not to wake anyone. I ripped it out of my head (along with half a head of hair) and it was dried blood. Mmmmm....I felt fairly certain that we left our bugs at home. I swapped beds with my husband the next night and he woke with bites. (We did an bug inspection when we arrived and found nothing)
So now we wonder if it's not where we picked them up. Not sure what to think, which is the biggest dilema of this whole thing, the uncertainty of everything. But there is NO WAY that I will stay at a hotel again unless I can find a way to encase myself in a body bag with oxygen!! lol
Don't even get me started on the kids having sleepovers! Sorry for all the detail, sometimes I find I just want to talk about it, but.............
Good luck jcage.
All right so here's a perfect example of my paranoia.
I had bbs at my office, I am still not 100% convinced they're gone though. So in my work area, which is a cubicle at the corner of joining walkways, with a few small offices nearby I see one staff person lining up a lot of office chairs all in a row. As though expecting a 'line-up' or something. There's no reason for it, there's no major meeting scheduled and all the nearby offices are far too small for all the empty chairs in any event. Total chairs all lined up is about 20. I ask the staff person with the chairs who cracks a joke about 'feng sui" and office decor.
Now in my mind, which is a fairly paranoid, crazy place to begin with, I start deducing what is REALLY going on. And I come to think that someone else in the office must have reported bbs at work, so therefore they're checking all the chairs to have the bb-dog come in and sniff them (all lined up for convenience sake). Of course! Makes perfect sense!
But the chairs are about 6 feet away from MY hopefully bb free cubicle and now I start to panic, what if there are bbs in one of them and they get hungry? I'm the closest buffet. Ahhhhh!! Crappers. I'm getting scared. I'd better ask someone if they have some idea what's going on cos that original staff person was most definitely hiding something! I toddle off to ask another person. "Oh we got new chairs for the Boardroom so the old chairs are being either chucked out or given to anyone who wants them" And yes, I'll be damned if the Boardroom doesn't have brand new chairs.
See? Paranoia at it's best:)
Eww, hair? This is only the second time I've heard of bites in the hair. I tried to tell my roommate a zit or bump on my scalp was potentially a bite, but she wouldn't hear of it. Truth be told, we've gotten those bumps, both of us, well before any of this. Constant drying and styling will do that. LOL I only worry because sometimes she won't rinse her hair-- she'll brush it and say it's enough and I need to chill. Meanwhile, I rinse my hair (times I can't wash it) and still worry. Once or twice I'd blow dry already dry hair for a quick errand out after showering (such as jogging), and I'd wonder. I wish these bugs had no interest in hair/scalp areas.
I understand the irrational conclusions. My upstairs neighbours were vacuuming and I wondered if the bugs had spread before we killed 'em. A few days ago there were a bunch of garbage bags on the step from another neighbour with an X labelled on them, and I wondered. Now, everyone in the building knew what was going on. Their units were dusted when we had our first treatment. I imagine if there was something found, we'd have heard from some understandably irate people by now.
Then there are days I'm at home working and I think, "they must be in the basement. We do laundry down there! They must be on my bike then! And in my CHristmas tree!" It's a bit ridiculous. I give my roommate hell for putting the vaccuum bag to be tossed in two grocery store bags. She says it's enough. Those things get holes in them so easily! And the garbage bin is right outside the house! I have kitchen catchers, and while they aren't perfect, at least there's some sense of air-tightness.
LosingMyMind - 11 hours ago »
Really sorry to hear your 'saga' jcage.
Thanks - jeez, you know what? After reading this thread, "the war on terror" completely brings on a new meaning. I dare say that hopefully aspects of our government will kick in here to urge non-harmful solutions. I mean as I read through some of the messages and imagine the shock and terror felt by so many - holy cow... This is a topic where the importance needs to be elevated before one day these things DO have capability to do even MORE harm to people.
I totally agree jcage.............I know I am constantly thinking of ways to rid myself of whatever is going on and when I thought that there might be some "after mite" hanging out on my skin, I found myself thinking of rubbing acid on my body...........and then I 'woke up' and thought "WTF". Almost hard to believe I am a fairly intelligent person
I would send a link of this site to my congressperson if I thought they might actually take some time and read these posts.
Frankly, I think the "government" has outlived it's original intent. All those agencies that were put into place to "protect" us have "their" own agenda nowadays. Perhaps including the CDC.
Or it's just too overwhelming for these agencies. That's something even I can relate to
I TOLD MY SHRINK! Yay for me. It just poured out of me like pesticide from a spray can. I didn't shed one single tear, didn't hurl furniture, didn't rip any hair out. I just opened my mouth took a breath and started talking. He was perfectly fine with it. I explained about the 3 visits from the dog, the Foll diagnosis, the obsessive compulsive behaviour all of it. It was easy once I got going (Im a natural yapper sometimes - in case y'all didn't notice:)
I can't believe I actually told another person. I haven't told a single soul about anything since it started 18 months ago. Don't know how I feel as yet, relieved a little perhaps. My not telling him had put a huge block on my sessions, I constantly felt as though I was cheating or lying to him, finding other 'issues' to discuss but dancing around the REAL problem.
Anyhoooo, just wanted to pass it on in case anyone has similar experiences.
You must log in to post.