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My neighbour's death

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  1. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 6:21:39
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    Yesterday was my fifth PCO treatment. I was feeling quite optimistic because it's been over two weeks since we've been bitten or seen a bug (not even a dead bug!)

    I always chat with the PCO before treatment begins because I have a million questions, and because I enjoy hearing inside information about how they handle jobs...very interesting stuff. But yesterday, after the usual 5 minutes of chit-chat, the PCO team began to discuss how they were going to tackle the multiple sprayings that they needed to perform in our building.

    It was my understanding that only 3 apartments had BBs and that my apartment was quite a distance from the other two. It now seems that the entire section of the building (6 apartments in total) are infested. So I am extremely worried about reinfestation.

    But worse, that they mentioned that Apt. 702 was "showing signs of activity again". Apt 702??!! That apartment is currently vacant, as the tenant committed suicide on June 30th. One morning, at around 6:00 a.m., she threw herself off the balcony. It was horrible. I remember at the time thinking that it was strange that it occurred early in the morning, and that perhaps she just couldn't face one more day. I felt so terrible for her.

    So I asked the PCO "How long have you been treating the apartment?"

    And they replied "Four months".

    Which means the woman battled bedbugs for 2 months and then killed herself.

    My daughter and I have been upset with this news. Of course, I've had my meltdowns, I've had my moments where I thought I would break. It's scary that this poor woman fell apart under the strain and nobody could help her. It just heightens my own fear of breaking.

    BBs are not "just bugs".

  2. satansbed

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 8:08:12
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    Oh how awful. Wow.

  3. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 8:25:22
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    OMG, I am so sad to hear about your neighbor.

    I can understand how the stress could push someone over the brink.

    Let me take a moment to urge anyone that is experiencing suicidal thoughts to reach out for some assistance. Reach out to your friends & family...Call a crisis line...Walk into an ER & ask for help...Talk with your doctor...Some churches offer free counseling services...Contact a local mental health center and make an appointment...

    Force yourself to get out & punch through the isolation. Social isolation can be deadly when you are dealing with suicidal thoughts. Choose to be a survivor.

    A competent therapist can be an invaluable resource to help you preserve your sanity.

    Don't give up. There will come a time where your life will be bed bug free.

  4. bbarebad

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 9:49:07
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    I think it might be safe to assume this woman had more problems in her life beside bed bugs.....however I am very sorry about your neighbor. I hope she finds peace in death that she couldnt in life.

  5. BugsInTO

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 13:53:25
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    I'm very sorry about your neighbour. It's a frightening idea that bedbugs may have contributed to her death. It scares me and makes me really angry.

    Bedbugs are an emotional and financial disaster. Then this disaster gets combined with social isolation. Even if you can get around the isolation, most people haven't had bed bugs, so friends and family are not necessarily able to be understanding and supportive.

    A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to a Public Health Inspector, and she told me that their street nurses (who work with people living in hostels or transitioning to supported housing) have been reporting that bedbug infestations exacerbate their client's underlying psychiatric conditions. She mentioned this because bedbugs are not yet considered a "health hazard" but they are aware that bedbugs are causing real health consequences.

    Your neighbour may have had other issues that made her vulnerable.

    I think there is still a lot to learn about how bedbugs impact our emotional equilibrium.

  6. jannifer20

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 15:15:27
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    I am so sorry to hear about your neighbor. There have been times when I have felt
    hopeless about my situation. I have a team, my doctor who prescripes anti itch medication, my therapist, my prayer group, my CPO. I have not seen my daughter since this started because she has other health issues and I want to help protect her emotional equilibrium. Remember that any of us can call 911 if need be. I think eventually they will come up with an EPA approved insecticide if enough pressure is put on the right people.

  7. (deleted)

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 16:22:13
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    Let a group of congressmen and senators get an infestation - watch how fast the DDT ban is repealed.

  8. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 17:53:47
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    BugsInTO - 3 hours ago  » 

    I think there is still a lot to learn about how bedbugs impact our emotional equilibrium.

    Thanks BuginTO, everything you said in your post was apt.

    My daughter has her B.Sc. in psychology and we've been talking a lot about this. She called her University's Psychology Dept. (in cognitive behavior or affect) and suggested that a good topic for someone's thesis would be the level of stress involved the BB bagging protocol. Her idea (she went into great lengths about it, but I'll put in a simplistic version here) would be to have a control group undergo the protocols that we follow - bagging everything, ensuring all items remain sterile -- and then monitor people's mood plus any changes to obsessive-compulsive tendancies. While there are plenty of studies regarding sleep deprivation, which a lot of us suffer from, she doesn't know of any studies that exist to measure the stress levels of people repeatedly bitten by bugs or having to sterilize and bag everything. (And, as BugsinTO mentions, there are also social and financial implications).

    LOL, FreakingOutInNKY ... I work down the street from our Prime Minister's home, and I've had similar thoughts!!

  9. bugbait

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 23:22:39
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    Amen to the idea of congressmen getting BB.... DDT would return and this terrible problem would be eradicated. We are new to this horror.

  10. tp123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 6 2008 2:06:13
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    How about the capital building! There was a story the obama campiagn cancelled a hotel reservation because it had BB, i think it was hawaii

  11. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 6 2008 11:41:13
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    Bugbait,

    I wish we did have a magic bullet, but I wouldn't put all your hopes on DDT. Not only is it unlikely to be brought back (as someone said before, if they won't bring it back to deal with malaria, probably not for bed bugs), plenty of research suggests that it's not as effective on bed bugs as we wish it was. There was a post to the webpage, I think, about how bed bug infestations were on the decline in the 1930s before DDT came into use, and there are peer reviewed articles about the fact that DDT isn't working in the places it is still used.

    Believe me, when I was still in the throes of the first awful days of my battle, I was standing around friends saying "I'm one of those tree-hugging types who went out and bought a metal water bottle when they got worried about BPA, and now I'm thinking about DDT with nostalgia." So I get the desire for a quick fix. Bed bugs are horrific enough that we are moved to desperation.

    However, I don't think DDT is the solution.

  12. tisIsaidthefly

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 6 2008 14:00:40
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    Yes she probably did have more problems than just bed bugs but then again, sleep deprivation is a quick way to become psychotic. You will hallucinate without sleeping after just two or three days so can you imagine after months of not sleeping what could happen to your psyche? And what about people with Hep C or worse, those who suffer with AIDS and Diabetes is another one to worry about as bites on the legs and feet could literally lead to amputation. Meanwhile, our city officials are doing NOTHING about all this. There should have been meetings held and experts consulted with etc. I don't know what people did years ago but they must have had something, some way to get these dreaded ticks under control. And hey, let's start calling them what they are so people stop thinking it's no big deal. It is a big deal. These are blood sucking ticks and I do not believe for one second that they don't carry disease. Use your heads folks.

  13. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 6 2008 20:37:01
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    tisIsaidthefly - 6 hours ago  » 
    These are blood sucking ticks and I do not believe for one second that they don't carry disease. Use your heads folks.

    In fact, bed bugs are hosts to Hep B and Chagas' disease. Studies show that BBs are not known to actually spread the disease. The Mayo clinic posted information on this in December 2007. The link is below :

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedbugs/DS00663

    Additionally, I came down with anemia a number of months ago and have now found out that BBs can cause this. It is possible that it was my diet, as I was travelling a lot and eating lots of fast food, so I`m not sure I can blame the BBs.

    When our problems began in July, my daughter and I spoke to many city organizations. In mid-July, Housing Help encouraged us to start a tenants association. I did not feel I had the time or energy to initiate such an undertaking at that time. However, we are still upset over what happened to the neighbour. And because 6 apartments are now infested, its possible someone else may be feeling stressed and isolated. And BB information needs to be shared with the other tenants. So, despite our TOTAL exhaustion, we are now discussing how we will take steps to help other tenants.

    OMG, I am so tired. Mentally and physically exhausted.

  14. spideyjg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 6 2008 21:04:08
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    tisIsaidthefly - 6 hours ago  » 
    I don't know what people did years ago but they must have had something, some way to get these dreaded ticks under control. And hey, let's start calling them what they are so people stop thinking it's no big deal. It is a big deal. These are blood sucking ticks and I do not believe for one second that they don't carry disease. Use your heads folks.

    I dug up a paper done by the UK health department in 1934 that cited many many studies on BBs and disease transmission. None was found. There were many practices listed to reduce their spread which are still suggested today. Remove clutter for harborages, heat, sealing cracks, and vigilant inspections.

    Very sorry to hear of your neighbor Kate.

    Jim

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Sep 7 2008 8:55:49
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    Itchy-Scratchy - 2 days ago  » 
    One morning, at around 6:00 a.m., she threw herself off the balcony. It was horrible. I remember at the time thinking that it was strange that it occurred early in the morning, and that perhaps she just couldn't face one more day. I felt so terrible for her.
    So I asked the PCO "How long have you been treating the apartment?"
    And they replied "Four months".
    Which means the woman battled bedbugs for 2 months and then killed herself.

    That's horrible.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  16. spideyjg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Sep 7 2008 12:48:54
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    Sounds a bit tacky but at some point her next of kin will have to sort through her belongings.

    Is there anyway of informing them about the BBs? They will have enough to deal with without getting themselves a bunch of hitch hikers.

    Jim

  17. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Sep 7 2008 12:57:01
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    I hadn't even thought of that! Thanks for the tip Jim. I'll talk to the supers about it.

    Kate

  18. auntbfine

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Dec 6 2008 0:18:10
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    does anyone know if these bb's carry anything that will cause your bones to ache.i get very little sleep since we have gotten them.my arms broke out real bad and itched horribly i went to the dr. and he gave me some meds. but then it happened again and this time i woke up and found them in my bed but since the bites my knees hurt like they have been crushed.just wondering if bb bites are deadly ???

  19. aballen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Dec 6 2008 9:35:25
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    bugbait - 3 months ago  » 
    Amen to the idea of congressmen getting BB.... DDT would return and this terrible problem would be eradicated. We are new to this horror.

    I never wished this on anyone, but that would probably solve our problem pronto.

  20. ineedrelief

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Dec 7 2008 9:08:59
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    All I can say is so sorry to hear about your neighbor. To add to the comments about why no one is doing anything, I wish someone could say. I live in a "government housing hi-rise for the elderly and disabled" and when we got them in August all they did was clear all the stuff that could harbor them in the apartments thy did find them in, "inspected" the rest. No treatment!!!!(on any units) I was clear then, but now 3 months later I'm getting bit like there's no tommorow. I'd like to see my congressman spend one night in my apartment and see what happens. I've got a good one maybe he would...lol


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