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Stressed

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  1. jaygee

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    Joined: Nov '17
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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri Jan 5 2018 12:21:32
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    Hey all,

    Just need to vent a little here, looking for some comfort and reassurance in these trying times:

    About two months ago (end of October), I came home from a trip out to NYC. I had been particularly stressed during this trip and often get hives when I hit a certain stress level, so the itchiness I was feeling wasn't unusual. Plus, I knew there was a mosquito in the room I was staying in, so the couple of bites I had on my arms were explained away. Still, something didn't feel right.

    When I got back home, I still had a couple bites here and there. I washed all my clothes in hot water and dried on high heat just to be safe, but I left my suitcase in my basement (I live in a standalone house).

    A couple days later, I feel paranoid and pretty sure that I have bedbugs, so I convince my parents to call in a dog sniffing service. Sure enough, they alert on my suitcase and find one small fecal spot on a sneaker (though the dog didn't alert anywhere else in the house). They suggest I keep an eye out on my mattress and pillows, which I do - I strip the bed, take the bedding and my laundry to a local laundromat, and run it through the dryer. I find three weird round stains, maybe a quarter inch in diameter, on a piece of my underwear while I'm folding it; these stains are a dark reddish-brown, don't smear, and aren't in a place where I might expect to see underwear stains.

    About five days later, I find one teeny tiny spot on a pillow and have the PCO (same company with the dogs) come two days later and do a preventative treatment - encasements on my bed, climb-ups under all the furniture, and spray on the baseboards. They come in and do that - they don't really have any answers for me re: the spots on my underwear other than "could be a bug that got smushed", but they don't find any signs of anything. I keep the bed stripped and sleep on the mattress cover.

    A few days later, I come home and there's a definite blood spot on the center of the mattress cover - it wasn't there before. It's about half an inch across and smears when I wipe it. Sigh. I bring the dogs back in for an inspection a couple days later - this time, they alert on my bed and a footrest by the sofa downstairs. The PCO doesn't find anything apart from the spotting on my bed.

    Around this time, I am also finding tiny white bugs in the Climb-ups - when I send them to my PCO, she says they may be nymphs and suggests we treat the whole house for safety. Which we do. PCO comes in and sprays, gives us brand-new Climb-Ups and encasements on all the beds (3), dusts inside furniture and around outlets, and says they don't find any new activity. I show him some of the little white bugs and he says they may be really tiny nymphs or cast skins. He doesn't find any new signs of live activity, and suggests I wash and dry all my bedding and linens at least once a week.

    I post the pictures of the bugs I'm finding to this site, and have them identified as booklice. The PCO makes two more visits, each two weeks apart from the last, and does a thorough inspection of beds and furniture with another baseboard spray. He seals up a few holes in my mattress cover with tape at one visit,and gives me an entirely new mattress cover at the next.

    It's worth noting that this PCO has a 90-day guarantee, which is pretty amazing. I've been in the process of taking all my books out of garbage bags (which i did before the big PCO treatment even though they didn't request it), putting my sheets back on the bed, doing all kinds of things to return my life to "normal" because I have this guarantee if things start coming up again. I even go a whole week without checking the Climb-Ups over th holidays, and periodically stay at my boyfriend's apartment (2.5 months later, he has no signs). My parents also have no signs (I live with them, and we sleep on beds and couches when we feel like it).

    The stress of it all, though, is really overwhelming. I had bed bugs in an apartment back in 2013, and even though there was never any sign that they made it to my room, I was still super freaked out about it. This go round, there's the chance they ended up in my bed, so I'm way past freaked out. I know skin reactions aren't a reliable sign, but i did get what felt like bites every 1-2 weeks, which increased during the holidays. I started a 14-day countdown on New Year's where I'm sleeping at home every night, and a couple days in started itching on my elbow one evening. I scratched and scratched and a few itchy red bumps flared up - i don't kmow if I scratched them into existence or if they were bites or hives or what. I also haven't been able to take all my bedding and linens to the laundromat in a couple weeks because of the holidays, my work schedule, and the fact that I'm reliant on using my parents' car (all these, plus having a LOT of bedding and blankets, mean that i need to set aside at least an afternoon and $30 to get it all done, and it feels so futile because I know there's no residual after heat treatment, so I might be doing my linens forever.)

    And then, there's the cast skin. I found it in one of my Climb-Ups just before New Year's, after not having checked for a week and a half because of the holidays. I tried to pick it up on my finger and squished and broke it; neither my PCO nor Lou has been able to identify whether or not it's a cast skin, but I'm inclined to believe it is because I saw it whole before. I'm taking faint comfort in the fact that it was still within the two-week period post-treatment where the chemicals haven't worn off yet, so there's every chance that the bugs are now dead and gone. My parents and my boyfriend are all telling me that it's time I stopped being so paranoid and stressed (mostly because I burst into tears a lot now), but I'm just so worried that they'll show up again.

    Whew! This is a lot. TL;DR: caught a couple bugs, three treatments, no live signs, still stressed and paranoid. Could use comfort and reassurance.


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