Is it real?(50 posts)
It's been a few days since my last post. I'm trying out the new system (nice work, NoBugs!) let's see if I can make i work as well...
I am now at my parents place. But, far from relaxing, I am getting more anxious then before. So, here's what I did:
- On the morning of my flight, I got out of bed at quarter to 5 in the morning, go to the laundry room and turned on the drier to the highest setting (
it says 90 ºC but I tested before and I think it only goes up to roughly 70 ºC). I put the remaining things for the Vikane treatmentin bags and take my clothes from sealed bags into the drier. Clothes, feather coat, shoes, belt, wallet, keys, my silver thread, basically everything except mobile phones and credit cards. I leave it there for 90+ minutes - no, I DON'T CARE about the effect of heat on leather... :o/
- I go back to my place, eat, take a shower, put on brand new cheap flip-flops and underpants which come out of a sealed bag (I actually wanted to go naked but my mother convinced me otherwise...). I go to the laudry room, get on the clothes right out of the drier (yup, new underpants!), throw away the flip-flops, lock the door and walk away.
- Upon arrival (i cannot help being hugged in those clothes by my mother - hey, I'm only human!), I take the coat and place it on a plastic sealed bag. Same goes for the wallet, cell phones and keys, even before entering the car. There's no other way, the airport is far from home so my mother drives me there. When we arrive, I take two other bags, take my clothes into one, my shoes into the other and take a shower. I wear new clothes that were already here.
Now for the tricky part: my parents haven't had any problem and we have a cat running around the house, which is fairly big and in the countryside. But I still have marks appearing on me. Slightly itchy red bumps, just like before, that disappear in +/- 2 hours.
I'm lost. I don't know what to think anymore. Is this real? I've left this house 3 months ago, after being in here for almost a month and not noticing anything like this. If there was something here surely 1) my parents would have noticed it, especially because my mother is as susceptible as me to mosquito bites; 2) after three months of (supposedly) no feeding, I would bet that I'd get more than a bite here and there - if, if, if...
Tomorrow I'll go and see my doctor. I can almost imagine it - yada, yada, take an anti-histaminic pill and we'll get to work on your brain...
What do you think? By the way, my mother took my bagged clothes (without asking me, by the way, which caused some tension around here, but now it's done...) and washed them. The machine also "supposedly" goes to 90 ºC but we don't have a drier. I just pray this is not what my fear tells me. My father is geting better, although there's still some pain and bleeding, which the doctors say is normal. I want to keep this house the sanctuary it is supposed to be.
All the best
Tiago...My heart goes out to you...What more can you do..you are doing your best...If your parents have no signs of any bites then their home should be ok.....sometimes we scratch ourselves and tear a small pore open..could it be this ? You must really ask your Mother to make certain she has no bites...and you should thoroughly inspect her bed and bedroom and bedroom furniture, inside all drawers, if you come up with nothing, then put some trust into a higher power...that's all we have left ! Deb
Thanks for being so fast - as always, you're on top of the wave! It's not simple to ask that at this point, as you might imagine... In any case, as I said, they live in the countryside. This house is their lifetime achievement, it's only 5 years old, concrete-built and, although it's big, their salaries are not. So you can imagine how I feel about all this.
Living in the countryside, you get bitten by mosquitoes all the time. But I have been talking to them about this for so long and, if there was something here (God forbid!), it's been 3 months, the bites would be noticeably different, I guess. I even avoid scratching myself these days, so I really don't know what it may be. My parents insist with me that it should be an allergic reaction to the bites that is still going on. In any case, my mother's about to vacuum the whole place, it's a good time to do my "securiy checks". This because she is, in her own words, "100% sure there's nothing here", so she gets a bit angry if I even so much as suggest something like that...
BTW, before leaving Sweden I made some allergy tests. Nothing extraordinary came up but they were very generic about it (I already knew about cats, dogs, polen and dust mites - horses were a surprise but I guess it goes into the "furry animals" category).
Everybody tells me to relax about this. Sounds easy, doesn't it? The sun is shinnig, the birds are singing... but my in my head there's just void and very, very dark.
This is what we call the "Holy Week", let's hope the One Above remembers us all!
All the best
I completely understand where you are coming from....I used to be "light hearted".., now I have a feeling of impending doom !! That bugs are going to appear !! Its awful...Your Mother is being defensive...this is a normal reaction. But still she must understand that this bug is epidemic and all proactive steps must be taken. Can you get something like DE where you are???? And just puff it lightly around the baseboards ??? I think that Pet Supply Stores have a lot of good stuff...look around for powders...even a farm supply store...Its good that their home is concrete. Just inspect ..and then have a glass of red wine ! And say a prayer...It is going to take time but someday something has to be invented that will kill these bugs more easily than the stuff now. Soon there is supposed to be a pheromone product on the market that will indicate the presence of bed bugs, This will be a great tool. You could put some around the home and then hopefully breathe a big sigh of relief...I have to go offline..talk later.. Deb
I'm glad your father is doing better! I hope even better than now, soon.
Your mother is thrilled to see you, I am sure. They're likely worried about you rather than what caused you so much fear and stress. It's hard for people to understand until it's too late, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, because you have been careful, you have a good shot of not spreading them. It's not likely they've been there since you were there last (3 months ago)--even if one parent wasn't allergic or wasn't bitten, the other probably would have been.
So try to relax--you're probably having delayed reactions to bites you already got in Sweden. To put your mind at ease, Bugalina's right--freshwater DE, lightly, is probably not overreacting. I'd have a careful check of all the beds in the house too, since you know how to look.I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
Oh... and you know I don't think the dryer is good for leather. But since you tried it, maybe you could give us a report? I believe this is a "first." I hope it went well!
Oi Tiago, it's normal to feel so much anxiety. But you are with your family, you will slowly start to relax. Store up their warmth and love for your return. I'm glad your father is improving!
Btw, I traveled to see my parents before I knew I had bedbugs (but most certainly already had them) and did not infest them--probably because I always use ziplocs when traveling, probably a bit of luck. You have taken extreme precautions and should be fine. Go for long walks and enjoy those family dinners.
All the best...
I can second that - I visited my parents during the beginning of my infestation and did not bring bedbugs home. And I didn't even take any travel precautions at that time. Not that it's not possible, but it's not inevitable either.
On my fourth day home, I found an itchy bump on my leg. I panicked all day. But my family is in Florida, and mosquitoes are everywhere. I also think that bump may have been a delayed reaction to bedbugs, which I believe can happen weeks after you are bit. Your skin becomes hypersensitive, and flare-ups can happen even in places where you never had a bite.
Tiago, you are doing so well. And don't feel bad if you can't relax - sometimes it's just impossible. If the best you can do is to just talk about other things, then so be it. There were many, MANY days when I did not relax, and yet, I managed to continue with my life. Relaxing will come with time.
I admire the exquisite care you take not to spread them. You are a loving daughter. I find that my itchy bumps can come out a couple of days after I am bitten, not necessarily within 24 hours of the bite. Hopefully that is what is happening to you. The stress is unbearable sometimes.
'Keets, the funniest thing about this website is how confused we are about everyone's gender. I thought Tiago was female the first time he wrote in.
On the other hand, almost everyone assumes I'm male. Several other females on the blog that I won't name are always assumed to be male too--especially when we're all telling folks how to do stuff, or putting them in their place. Fascinating, huh?
I won't tell you who those females are because even though you (Keets) know they're women, some others don't, and I'm not in the business of outing anyone.
BuggedinBrooklyn joked earlier in the blog comments, about getting in trouble with "the ladies" on this blog, but he's one of the few who knows who the ladies are!
Hi Mr. Tiago,
Correction: You are a good SON!
well maybe if some of u ladies picked more fem-like aliases we guys would not be so confused. Who ever whould have thought nobugsonme would be a chick?
Oh BTW: I'm a gay white male oooooooooooooooops!
haha hey i kinda thought nobugs was a lady of the night! Oh ps..im gay too if you didnt read about my partner being bit more than me. Oops...
Willo, what would be more feminine? "Nobugsonme-ette?" "Nobugsonmena"? Too long, too complicated.
Haha. How about "Nobugsonmoi."
oh I don't know, nobugs ... I just picked on u becasue you are the key master.
that's it! nobugsonmimi!!!!!!!!
You can call me that, Willo, but ONLY you!
"NoBugs" is is obviously female. "NoBust" would be male!
Can i call you La Nobugsonmea then?
No harm done, Parakeets... I wouldn't have a clue on the gender of some of the other users just by looking at their username. That's internet at its finest, I suppose. Anyway, Tiago is my given name, a very common one in Portugal. You've been having an interesting discussion, these days...!
Back to the issue at hand, and trying to reply to Nobugsonme (this is my second attempt, I don't know what happened the last time), my leather belt and shoes look allright, after being exposed to the heat in the drier. The wallet looks a little bit "old" in some places but maybe if I use some cream it will be OK. So, you can put leather objects in the drier but the leather IS sensitive, so you should be aware that it may dry - be ready to hydrate it like your own skin, afterwards!
I really don't know what to think. After over one week at my parents place, after all I mentioned above and only using clothes I already had here, after inspecting the house as well as I could (and getting my mother "on the edge" because of that) and not finding anything, I really don't know how to interpret these itchy pimples that keep on appearing and disappearing. I've done some blood tests in the meantime, on my doctor's order, although I feel that's a waste of time (what is she waiting to find there, anyway?). I'm trying to convince myself that, after all the precautions I took and given that I'm using clothes that were already here, in a place I didn't set foot for 3 months that this is SOMETHING ELSE. What? I don't know. I feel an itch (arm, leg, thigh, stomach, whatever), I go and check and there it is. A couple of hours later - gone, without a trace. I could almost think that I was imagining it, if others did not verified it for me!
Anyway, I hope you have a good Easter Sunday!
All the best
Hi Tiago -
I am new here, and had been very afraid I had bedbugs from a trip and a stay at an Austin, TX hotel for a weekend a few weeks ago. All the evidence is thankfully turning against that now, however. I woke this morning for the fourth morning with no bites after having laundered everything, shop-vacuuming everything, inspecting the beds and bedroom from top to bottom, and sleeping very poorly for many nights.
I've come to the conclusion that I had fleas in my comforter, and I believe they were there before I left for Austin. I've deduced this from several things, but not the least of which is the anatomy of the bites. They were not very bumpy, not very itchy and not in a line. I would have 10-15 in a group, but they would stop itching very quickly and some of them didn't itch at all. Maybe your parents' cat has fleas? Or, more likely, like what I believe happened with me, you brought the fleas in from outside. They will jump on your pants leg and hitch a ride into the house with you. They'll set up house in your bedding or the cracks in the wood floor or the carpet, and then they'll feed on you. They multiply pretty fast and must feed in order to reproduce.
As I said, I've found no evidence of BBs in my room and we checked EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING. I even microwaved the books that were on the nightstand. I'm still being vigilant, because I'd rather nip them in the bud than have an infestation.
You may be having (and forgive this term, it's not meant derogatorily) a hysterical reaction - you sort of expect bumps, so they psychosomatically appear. I'm not belittling that in the least - it's no sillier than me reading about BBs and itching all over even when I don't have any bites.
Pour yourself a glass of wine, have some soup, read a book. Relax. Be yourself. Be happy to be with your loving mother.
I'm sorry to hear about your father, but I'm glad he's doing better.
I hope I've helped alleviate some anxiety, as this site has done for me. Good luck, Tiago!
Oh, and I thought you were male, I thought Nobugs was male, and I thought Willow was a black male.
I guess my sex is pretty obvious by my name.
WOW ! This is hilarious. All the sex talk... i mean gender talk... is really quite funny! Willow, you and I have communicated, I think I was imagining a female... only because in general (and I am generalizing for sure) females are more likely to get bitten (I think I read that somewhere) or show the bites, and females are more likely to go to support groups and really TALK. So, I just figured unless stated otherwise, EVERYONE on here was female... wow. Anyway... I AM female.
I came on here to read the "IS IT REAL" question, and find some answers myself. I was in florida for a week of BLISS. Slept in a big cushy bed with pillows... OH MY GAWD... PILLOWS !!! and blankets and carpeting and drapes. It was heaven. The bites stopped, I felt soooo good. and clean, and healthy... then I came home. OVER. My face has 2 welts, and bumps appeared on my arm in the same places I once had bites. NOW... keep in mind I have... TREATED 5 times. I HAVE REMOVED MY BED FRAME. I HAVE REMOVED two upholstered (previously steamed and treated) chairs. I HAVE CAULKED and PAINTED my bedroom floor to seal up all cracks. I have removed my antique desk and bought a metal desk and metal bed frame. None of my clothes (which I have few of these days, and wear over and over) EVER touch a wooden drawer or shelf, but REMAIN in their own little zip lock baggies.
So, I'm thinking a few things now. I think I don't have bed bugs anymore. But I think I have a serious allergy to whatever was/is in my body from being bitten. I also think I am paranoid and my have the problem someone described earlier. And finally, I do have two dogs who sleep with me. Tonight I am going to put on clean sheets and try to get the pups to sleep in their crate... and that's all I know.
Good night Nobugsonmie (feminine in French has an ie at the end)
LOL, my husband often quotes Harvey Firestein: "I just assume everyone I meet is gay unless they tell me otherwise."
Wantmyskinback, if they are bites, they will have a red dot near the center. If they're hives, they will be fairly uniform.
I highly recommend Revolution (get it at the vet) for dogs and cats. It's about $10 a month per animal and you buy it in 6 month supplies. It prevents fleas, ticks, ear mites, sarcoptic mange, mosquitoes and heartworms. I know lots of people who use Advantage or something of the sort and give their pets heartworm pills. If you've ever had a cat, you know what a challenge pilling a cat is.
Revolution is great stuff and I've used it for nigh on 15 years now.
You may also have flea bite dermatitis. My old cat would get it if he was bitten by a flea and it would last a month. My husband is extremely sensitive to bug bites and a small flea bite blows up to the size of a half dollar and a mark will remain for months thereafter.
Different people react differently to bites. And they may not be bites at all. You and Tiago both may also be suffering hives from anxiety. Both my husband and I have experienced that before from different stressors.
Thanks Becky. My dogs are frontlined and take the heart worm pill each month. They were both just at the vet (less than 2 weeks ago) and there are no signs of fleas or anything. Tomorrow I am seeing the dermatologist for a skin biopsy on two other bites that just reared. The dermatoldogist can tell if they are insect bites. That's all. If they are not insect bites, then at least I can rest easy.
Hey Tiago, Wantmyskinback, Becky and others,
We had a long discussion about this topic on the blog - search in the search box for "Lingering sensations."
I don't know the answer either, but I have reason to believe my bedbugs may be gone, and yet I still see these same itchy bumps that fade quickly, very similar to what you described, Tiago.
Becky, I know you are trying to help, and while I know that psychosomatic reactions are possible, I don't think that is ALL this is. Stress can do funny things to your skin, sure, but I don't know if Tiago's ever had itchy bumps appearing on his skin like this from stress. I know I never have. We could worry ourselves into feeling itchy, and we could stress ourselves into pimples on our face, but can you stress yourself into making hives appear on your legs?
Also, Becky, how exactly do you know that if it was a bite, there'd be a red dot in the center, but if it was a hive, it'd be fairly uniform? I need to know where you are getting this information. I've been to dermatologists, PCO forums, sent photos to lots of people, and for you to proclaim that this is the easy "bite or no bite" test is a bit off-putting to me. At the same time, if you KNOW this is the case, please tell us more! (Sorry, it's just that if I'm reading your posts right, you never even had bedbugs).
Meanwhile, I have been dealing with small bumps for the past two months. On my face, neck, upper arms, chest and back. Some are flat and whitish, they swell up and fade into pink pimple-like bumps. Others are darker pink and raised up, and they itch more, but they too are tiny and fade quickly, like within a day at most.
Three days into my trip to my parents' house, I found one on my leg. Four days into my stay at my sister's apartment, I found one on my hand. I don't believe I brought bedbugs to either place, and although once I saw these "bites" I stressed out, prior to seeing them I was at my most relaxed state in a long time.
We've treated our house 6 times. There is no evidence anywhere; we have looked EVERYWHERE (and so has our PCO). Yet every few days, I find one somewhere on my body. For a million dollars, are these:
A. New bites from nymphs
B. New bites from bugs that only bite for a short amount of time
C. Old bites flaring back up
D. Papular urticaria, a skin hypersensitivity following bug bites
E. A combination of the above
I don't think it's A. I don't know how they'd be getting past our isolated bed. Plus, nymphs would have probably grown into adults by now.
If it was B, they could be biting me in my car or on my couch, somewhere where I'm awake and they only can sit on me for a short period of time before I move (say 30 seconds). I'm still treating the cars and the house, just in case this IS the answer to the million-dollar question. I'm also going next week to my PCO's office, to conduct an experiment. We will let his bedbugs bite me, to see how I react to those actual bites. (The current plan is, let one nymph bite me for its preferable ten minutes, and let another one only bite me for 30 sec). I'll keep you posted. I know this sounds insane, but that's how desperate I am to know the answer to this.
If it was C, that'd be great, though I'm fairly certain some (like the recent one behind my ear) are in new places.
If it was D, that'd also be great. I've consulted with two dermatologists about this, with conflicting viewpoints. Papular urticaria is most common as a delayed reaction to bug bites in children, and only happens a few days after the bite, yet mine has been going on for months. What the freak?
If it was E, well, I just don't know how I'd know.
But my point is, Tiago, these are not NECESSARILY new bites. They may be old bites flaring up, they may be a skin hypersensitivity which can commonly follow bug bites (see more here: http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic911.htm). They may even just be stress. So sure, try to relax, but also feel good knowing that there are a few logical explanations. At the very least, hey - you're not alone in this. Apparently a lot of us get something similar.
Oh, S. I know, that you know, that I'm in the same place, as you. Only difference is: I've replaced my isolated bed, with a brand new metal bed (not isolated), and I've PAINTED my caulked floor with DECK PAINT and oiled in between layers. I think the bugs are gone too. But I am still getting "bites". Two more on my butt... and tomorrow, a biopsy ! I will keep you posted.
OK, a follow up to yesterdays post. I saw the dermatologist this morning. She took a biopsy on a small bump on my rear. She said it looked like a bite, but since I'd scratched it and she no longer saw the pin dot in the center, etc, she couldn't be certain. However... I NEED TO KNOW. So I let her take the biopsy and we will find out soon. Personally, I think I am having Papular Urticaria. S--- I asked her "would it go on for this long???" and she said "it could...possibly"... and then I asked "isn't it primarily in children?" and she said "not really". Kind of affirmative but inconclusive at the same time.... all I can say is..... I feel better knowing that I am taking action of some sort. I also feel I have beaten the bugs....so... whatever these bumps are I'll Beat them too !!!! YEAH baby YEAH.
So far, I don't think I have/had bedbugs. I'm still keeping watch.
As for the bite/hives thing, I know this from personal experience. I've never had a bug bite without a red dot near the center, and I have, in fact, broken out in hives on my thighs and calves from intense stress. They looked like chiggers, but had no red dots and were very itchy.
I've also had allergic reactions to sulfa drugs (hives and a fat lower lip) and Asian shrimp. I don't know why the shrimp from Asia makes me break out, but any shrimp from the US doesn't affect me that way.
Now, with that said, my husband used to break out in stress hives when he was going to visit his mother (whom he adores) and his stepfather (whom he loathed - well, actually EVERYONE did) who has just passed away this year. His hives all presented on his hands and looked more like a group of bumpy wartlike eruptions. And they lasted for weeks.
So, no, I'm not declaring that Tiago doesn't have bedbugs, and I would never dare to tell someone to ignore bites - after being here for a short time, it's obvious that denial is the best friend of the bedbug. I am, however, suggesting that people who are finding red, itchy bumps on their bodies consider everything they could be. They aren't necessarily ALL bug bites either.
I'm bite-free still, but if bedbugs can go 18 months without feeding, who's to say they aren't just waiting in my closet for me to pull out my luggage? I'm sleeping better, but still not all night. I long for an 8-hour, uninterrupted nap. I have slept, at times, for 10 hours, but that's just from midnight to 10am, waking up for an hour or two in between, sometimes several times, so technically it's 4-6 hours.
I wake every morning and check my sheets and my nightclothes. I strip and examine my entire body in the full-length mirror several times a day. I have now cleaned my bedroom twice (believe me, that's a miracle) from top to bottom.
So no, I'm not advising anyone to be complacent, by any means, and if it came off that way, I apologize, but I don't think it did.
I don't know how long I have to wait until I'm comfortable and confident again.
And I hope that NO ONE has bedbugs.
Thanks for sharing all these experiences. I don't think I realized that stress could literally cause hives. Perhaps I'm just sensitive to the "maybe it's all in your head" line of thinking that I sense from so many people in my life.
I guess more importantly, what I'm learning from your post is that everyone is different. I have had mosquito bites my whole life (grew up in Florida) and I don't recall them ever having a red dot in the middle. They were always like swelled little islands, flat and whitish.
I too have had the fat lower lip from shrimp! I first noticed the pattern in college. I never thought about where the shrimp came from. Your Asian association is fascinating - I'll think about where the shrimp I'm eating originated. That's been the only allergy I've ever experienced.
I appreciate your suggestion to consider everything they can possibly be. I've run through that ever-expanding list so many times now...it's just endless. I am also acutely aware of how, well, acutely aware I am now of my own skin, and how I'm noticing every teeny little dot that I might have previously ignored.
What I know for sure, is that I'm seeing things that I never used to see, that stress has never produced, that NOTHING has ever produced. They aren't like ant bites, or mosquito bites, or even like my first bedbug bites. They are small, white and itchy, and they look weird. They do look like an allergic reaction, but my question is, to what? What am I reacting to? The presence of bugs, still in my apartment? Their remaining feces, which is somewhere in my bed? Their old shells, which are sitting under my carpet? Or, some other household product containing chitin? Some other product containing the same anticoagulant that bedbugs inject?
In Tiago's case, perhaps it is stress. Perhaps it is in my case too. Whatever it is, of course we won't be complacent - how could we. But I think that there is no good "bite or no bite" test. Because everyone is different.
I'm glad that you don't have bedbugs. I think it's good that you are still so careful and vigilant. I know the fear is real whether you've been bitten or not. But be glad, and I mean this with all good intentions, be glad that you didn't actually have them. Because what you experienced - a relatively short traumatic event - will soon be over, and while you might have post-traumatic stress for a while (like your nightmare), that too will fade. Many people suffer from real bedbugs for months and months and months, until they're numb to all the fear and anger. I'm not discounting your experience, I know it was awful, but keep in mind that it could have been worse. You will be comfortable and confident again.
I was reading through this thread and just wanted to say that I do recall having very itchy white bumps on my hands during high school. Seeing it written brought back the recollection. It was a VERY stressful time for me and we're talking prolonged stress! So I'm suggesting that MAYBE be a SMALL part of it??? As BB sufferers--we are under stress for SUCH a long time--24/7 period.
Perhaps ... you might have some allergy to the NEW stuff, like the paint???
Please keep us filled in on the results from the PCO experiment--I'd do it in a heartbeat--it's not that crazy.
Hi S -
I never, ever thought you were belittling my feelings or thoughts or fears. I'm still not confident and complacent, and very coincidentally I've broken out in hives on my inner thighs twice in the past two weeks now.
I've eaten no shrimp - but I have eaten artichokes both times and I think I may have an allergy to them. As soon as I felt bumps on my legs and they itched, the first thought that came to mind was BEDBUGS. I don't think that's what it is, though, after close examination. It totally fits the mold of the hives the shrimp gave me. Oh, and in case you were wondering how I knew the origin of the Asian shrimp, it was on the packages I'd bought at Costco. I've taken to buying it only at my local butcher shop where I know the people and they know exactly where everything they sell comes from.
My husband has recently become lactose-intolerant. Since I've known him (25+ years) he has enjoyed his own blend of freshly ground coffee beans and 1/2 & 1/2 every morning. He can no longer do it and it took him a while to figure it out. He refused for a while to believe that he could be intolerant/allergic to something that has never bothered him before. I have a friend who also says things like, "I'm sneezing and my eyes are burning and watering. It's like I have spring allergies, but I don't." I tell him he does and he says, "I never have before. Why would I now?" Because we develop them as we age. We just do. I've eaten artichokes my entire life and love them. I never had hives due to them until last week.
I'm still so very itch-conscious, and while I'm pretty sure I don't have BBs, I'm still being vigilant. I can also tell you all that due to the many informative things I've read here, I'll never enter a hotel room the same way again. My husband will think it's nuts, but he'll tolerate it.
So, S, you may even have a food allergy that you've recently acquired. As you say, different people react different ways, but I doubt that white bumps are bug bites. Not saying it's not possible of course. Or maybe the laundry detergent you use. It's always possible that bb bites have made your skin hypersensitive and you've developed a reaction to chemicals or wool or feathers. Just some thoughts. Not trying to make you crazy.
As for mosquito bites, I never have a red dot with those either - but every other bite I've ever had, I did: flea, chigger, spider.
In this case, I really hope you have an allergy.
That's exactly what I am wondering - thank you for putting it so succinctly. Whether due to bedbugs or not, I feel like maybe I've developed an allergy to something else. Maybe the hypersensitivity becomes "its own beast" so to speak, and takes on a character of its own.
Willow, thanks for your thoughts. I haven't changed anything, and I haven't added anything to my home except, of course, the pesticides. But I spoke with the makers of the product we're using, and the guy explained exactly what it could do to one's skin, and what it could not. I was able to rule out "a reaction to the chemicals" pretty confidently after that.
Tonight is the bite test. Bite Fest 2007. I plan to try one dead bug (because Jackson Rose on the yahoo group says that with hypersensitivity, one's skin would elicit a bite-like response from even coming in contact with a dead bug!). I will also try one nymph, allowed to bite for as long as it wants, and another nymph, taken away after just a few seconds. I am curious about the "length of time the bug bites" and if that could impact the bite mark.
Finally, I'll watch all my skin for the next few weeks, and see what happens to my old bites. Honestly, I'm hoping for a HUGE reaction - crazy itching, big bite marks, etc. That would help me to know that my body is still a good alarm system.
And hey, if I have little to no reaction? That would suck, but it's still not a guarantor that I'm being bit. I'll just have to stay vigilant.
I don't think I can handle an adult walking on me, it's just too gross for words. So unfortunately I don't think I'll report back on the "are adult bites bigger than nymph bites" debate. Perhaps my boyfriend will do that one - but then again, he doesn't react, as far as we know, to anything. (We'll find that out for sure tonight too!)
Ahh! Wish me luck!
You are one brave chicky Ms. S.
How are you going to mark the spots where you are being bitten (with a sharpie) so you can see if your reactions appear in the same place? Or if they are late reactions?
gooooooooooood luck brave doesnt cover it!
S ????? You ok???
I was going to start a "itching" type thread to discuss everything you guy feel like about itching.
and for us member who might be ultra itchy and scratchy (that's you S. and me) we can maybe talk in grat detail about our bites.
what do you guys/ladys think?
would it be silly to start a thread on itching/bites, and how we react to them?
your thoughts are welcome...
or is it itchyinbrooklyn?
I think its great. My skin chap got dumped at my request becasue it was tooo broad a topic to discuss and I've been really wanting input on how others itchy and scratch
I've been away for some time as I have returned to Sweden - can't really express how that feels... Anyway, I've been reading the most recent output. I have to say I admire S's guts to go and do her experiment. I am very curious (sorry!!) as I've had more or less the same experience for a long time. So I'll be waiting for the second part of it.
In the meantime, I have a new question. After talking to my doctor, she gave me anti-histaminic pills, as I was fairly certain she would. I started taking them a week ago now, as I was still at my parents' place. I would like to know if anyone has ever tried to take this kind of stuff (I'm taking Xyzal, by the way) while in the middle of a battle. My results so far are... inconclusive... Sure, I don't have those 5 mm big pimples, with the red aureola around, which is, in itself, very nice. I did find some red "dots", though. But these stay for much longer time than the other ones do - i.e., over a day. I found them while at my parents' and also now in Sweden.
I am now in a "transition" apartment, where I had never been before. They "Vikane'd" some of my stuff and put it there and, before I entered, I put all that could be heated in the heater for one hour and the remaining things in the fridge (even stuff that doesn't usually go in there!). Call me whatever you want, I can take it... At the same time, my usual hay fever doesn't seem to be very much affected by the medication - which it should, by the way. At home I had some blood tests and, sure enough, my IgE (the antibodies that are produced and cause allergic reactions) values were way off the chart. By that I mean that the maximum is around 150 and my values are around 280... But don't be fooled - they are always that way, in fact they've been worse, before...
So, I'm going to get the contract for my new apartment, next week I'll move in, they're bringing my "Vikane'd" treated stuff and I'll do as until now - waiting, hoping, working and praying...
All the best (go S!!)
PS.: BTW, S, congratulate your boyfriend for accepting to go through with the experiment, not that many people would do it, I guess.
i sent you a pm regarding your allergy med and--google it too!
PS--tell us more about your new surroundings:) sounds refreshing
Thanks, Willow and WMSB. In fact, I already knew how my medication works (again, I'm studying biochemistry) but my point was that I wanted to know if someone who is actually getting bitten has taken it and what the results were.
Why am I being so freaked out? I am now in a temporary place, I signed the agreement for the other apartment but, since it's not available until 2nd May, the renting company is letting me stay in what they call in swedish "the evacuation room". It's a big room, with two beds, a couple of tables and several chairs, a kitchen, no wardrobes, no hangers and, the strangest of it all, the bathroom is next door. So I have to get out of the room every time I need to go there. They brought my stuff that has (I hope!) been treated with Vikane in their chamber and, as I said, I brought my stuff in from my parents place but still put it in the drier, the things I could, or the fridge (it has no freezer, BTW). I have no Internet there, no TV, no phone so it gets a bit... let's say "tough". And THEN, after all I've said and done, I find these suspicious little marks. Clusters around veins in my hands, several others in my thigh/calve (don't know the exact english word, the "top inside" of the legs), forming more or less a line. And one of them was actually bigger than the others (still under 5 mm but bigger) - and itched. This morning I forgot to take the anti-histaminic (I'll take it at lunch time) but I've been taking it for 9 days now. I'm confused, terrified, stressed out almost to the breaking point. I think I'll call the PCO and tell him that, before I move in to the new place, he should take EVERYTHING back to the Vikane chamber again, I'll live for 24 hours with perhaps brand new clothes and nothing more. What do you think? I even got to the point of spreading some DE around and in the bed frame but I can't go much further - it's not my place. My parents tell me that it should just be "some sort of allergy or dermatological condition we don't know what it is", they tell me to stop worrying and go see a dermatologist. I don't really think that would help - do you?
Ummm... help? :o(
Tiago...this is a mystery....do you think you could send the Blog a good photo of these marks that "itch and are in a line "?
Also, it occurred to me...Did you get any signed papers verifying that your belongings were put into a Chamber and treated with Vikane....Personally, I would want to see proof that this was done...legal proof....As for the medication I cannot comment as I never took any...but the "problem" I have with the medication is that it can mask the bites, maybe? And on its own could cause a reaction...I am not a very allergic person though, and yes, my bed bug bites itched but I never required medication for them. Ask the Keymaster of the Blog if you can send them a photo of the marks...maybe someone on the Blog can comment...but I agree about taking everything back into the Vikane Chamber...and I would ask the PCO if your stuff is being treated in the chamber along with other infested things belonging to others...As a matter of fact, because I am a "control freak" as the say in America...I would want to get a look at this Vikane Chamber...and see how it operates.....deb
Yes, it is a big mistery to me as well, although I am assuming the worse. I don't really know how to send a photo but I can try. The problem is that I don't know if you'll see it well in a picture, they are really small. I also understand your point about the antihistamines, in fact, that's what I think is happening here, that I would have the same kind of pimples if I was not taking it. I am only taking it because my doctor mentioned that it might be just a delayed reaction to the bites. I really don't believe it very much - my parent's call me obsessed...
I sent a message to the PCO, to see if he will agree to take all back into the chamber. Everything stops at 16.00 (it's now 16.30) so no chance of getting hold of them today. I pointed out that it is better for them to have one problem solved than 2 or 3 to take care of... As for a written confirmation... I'll try but words are just words - they woun't take care of the bugs, even if it makes them more responsible. Last time they told me they put the stuff in a container, fill it with gas and let it be for 24 hours.
I can't focus on my work. I can't read scientific paper without re-reading every sentence at least 3 times. And I have a big problem with my gels that I woun't be able to solve if I'm not "sharp".
I know - quit feeling sorry for yourself and get to work... I'll see what I can do about the pics.
In the meantime, I ordered some Natl'Allergy covers from their site. They sent me an email asking me for a copy of my credit card (back and front), as well as ID with photo, "because I'm abroad". They've already taken the money from my account, what do they want? I don't like very much... I asked them if it's really necessary, let's see what they say.
All the best
That sounds fishy, Tiago. I will ask them if they can handle overseas orders without doing that.
If you want to send a photo, go to the blog (for link, scroll down) and read the bed bug bites (photos) page (linked from banner at top).
S : I just got one of those itchy spots on my cheek. But I am certain is not from BB's. I could have allergies.... but I do know that I have hypersensitivity and these things raise up for a while. How are yours doing?
I am doing good. Last week, you know, I had two test bites on Monday. On Wednesday, one small itchy bump showed up on my breast, on Thursday two non-itchy bumps appeared on my neck, and Friday I woke up with the faintest white spot just above my lip, with a little pink skin around it. Not itchy. Nothing since then.
Tiago, think of your itchiest bite. Let's say that was a "10." Now, on a scale of 1 to 10, how itchy are these new things you are seeing?
S, these single bumps are some sort of allergy, I'm convinced. And the fact that you've never had them before is proof to me, as allergies can flare up or disappear at any moment in time. Since you have been so stressed out you have additional reasons for bumps. You know that the BIOPSY was inconclusive.
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