When It Rains, It Pours... bedbugs.(7 posts)
I am a newbie. I've been reading this site for the past two weeks. The information that I have learned has been invaluable in my battle against these little stinks. I will be starting a blog soon, but for now, here is my tale.
I am a 28-yr old female who has just moved back in with my parents in Cincinnati for the 3rd time. I had left four months ago to live with my boyfriend in Philadelphia. That turned out to be a disaster- the relationship was toxic and emotionally abusive. I was forced to move back home. My parents are getting older, my dad has health problems including diabetes, past bypass surgeries and bad feet (due to diabetes). My mom just had a knee replacement surgery last year.
By the time I moved back home, my dad was already complaining about itching. He went to the doctor's and was misdiagnosed with scabies. My mom and I wash everything in the house and she prepares to go to Indiana for a month while HER father is recovering from knee surgery. I take her to Indiana and drop her off. Fast forward two weeks (back in Cincinnati)- My dad begins to see bugs on his mattress, on further inspection- I am able to decipher that they are indeed bed bugs- 100's of them. He doesn't seem to care. I begin my research and am overwhelmed by the process.
My mother is in Indiana now (hopefully she hasn't transferred any bugs). I inspect the rest of the house and find a few adults on the bathroom walls, one climbing out of the trash can and a few on the walls in my bedroom (which I have not slept in for the past two weeks). I also find a casting on my mattress.
The following weekend I begin the process of prepping. My dad seems to think it's a big joke and continues to sleep in the guest bed in the loft (bringing the bugs with him). I am ALL ALONE- my mom has jumped ship and is in Indiana. This house is big. My dad is a packrat and my mom is a craft queen. There are carpets, upholstered furniture, bedding (that she made), and fake flowers everywhere.
This is only the beginning of my nightmare. It is Sunday night, I have not slept in 36 hours. I must get my dad's mattress and bedspring out for trash collection safely. I encase the mattresses in plastic so that none of the bugs escape. At this point I am frustrated. I ask my dad if he can just help me get the mattress downstairs. After not giving me a hand all day- this is what happens...
He falls down the stairs. I am now panicked. Not only do I have to prep this entire house, but I have an injured father to take care of. He refuses to go to the ER. My brother, who is a doctor calls a few of his friends who are on call. That night, I decide to sleep in my mom's room. When I turn on the light, I see two adult females scatter off my pillow. I do not sleep that night. We get my dad an rx for pain meds and I take him to the hospital the next day.
My brother lives close by but cannot come into the house until it is treated. He has kids, a wife, and runs his own practice. It is too risky. He helps from afar, but for the most part, I am on my own.
Two nights of hell. The GOOD news is that my dad hasn't broken anything- just a partially torn ligament in his heel and a sprained hand. This is good news (especially for his age 72). On top of getting the entire house ready for the PCO, I now have to help my dad go to the bathroom, walk, prepare all his meals etc. This house has turned into a nursing home/war zone.
After another 3 nights or so of constant work, the PCO comes. She puts down the first treatment. Unfortunately, my dad and I cannot act as bait because he cannot go upstairs to his room and must sleep on the daybed in the sun room on the first floor. I need to be nearby, so I have camped out on the couch. My PCO treated the couches and all the furniture, so I am hoping that will help get rid of these things. I make peace with myself that I cannot contain the infestation, due to circumstances beyond my control.
It has been a week since our first treatment. My dad is slowly recovering. My body has been stressed to the max. For the first time in 28 years, I pooped myself. Yup, that's right. The only thing I can do now is laugh. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, so I try to keep a positive attitude.
My dad is getting antsy. He had a routine before the accident. He is a regular at Mcdonald's and goes to get coffee there everyday (twice a day). He is frustrated because he feels like he is under house arrest. Today I finally took him to get some coffee (after he changed into sterile clothes that I ziplocked).
I struggle with depression. I think that the events in the past few weeks has greatly alleviated my condition. I don't have time to be depressed anymore or feel sorry for myself. I have to save this house. In the process, I am protecting 5 more households by containing these fu*^%ers. I have not seen my nieces, nephews or friends in 3 weeks, but I am hopeful.
I have thrown away 90% of my clothes, books, etc. I used to store lots of things on my bedroom floor. I have bought 4 pairs of scrubs that I rotate/wash/ziplock etc. I do not have the time, energy or resources to salvage these material things. All of my dad's clothing has been pitched. The PCO found harborages in his room- most of his things had to go.
I had an interview with a nursing school last Monday but could not go because of my dad's fall/infestation. I am staying positive though. I have learned to be patient, diligent and hyper vigilant! I am a little peeved that my mom left in the midst of all of this, but I cannot blame her, or anyone. It isn't anyone's fault... right?
Everyday, I am faced with new challenges. Yesterday, my dad decided to sneak out to the garage, where I had bagged trash/items that were bug covered. He opened each trash bag to look for his computer modem. He cannot use his computer because it's upstairs, and he can't go upstairs. I thought I was going to kill someone. I decided to go for a drive and let off some steam before dealing with the work which he had tripled by opening up the trash bags.
When I got back, I told my dad that he risked re-infestation for a $50 modem that could easily be replaced. I told him that if we did not take proper steps to eradicate the problem, we would have to spend thousands of more dollars in the long run. I had my brother talk to him on the phone. My dad finally listened and is now on board... FOR NOW. He's stubborn, but I cannot lose my patience.
Since the first treatment, I have seen only two live bugs, both on the wall near the couch where I am sleeping. I have been vacuuming everyday, washing, bagging, spritzing alcohol in the corners in addition to taking care of my dad.
This site has given me so much strength. I feel for everyone who has posted here, especially people that have young children. The one thing that I have learned through this whole process is appreciation for the little things in life- like loved ones, and that I am indeed strong and resilient.
Thanks for reading!
Hi wcw - Just wanted to say how much I dig your attitude and the way you've gotten on with the bizness of eliminating these bedbugs. You looked at this problem head-on and are doing what needs to be done. Like you said, you are indeed strong and resilient. I respect that so much.
persona-non-bugga: Thank you SO much for your support and kind words! It means more than you know. This site has truly giving me the courage and strength to continue everyday. I have my moments, but my crying spells have gotten less and less. Yayy!
Wow, WeCanWin. You're so strong! I've been doing this by myself, which I thought was difficult, but it adds a new spin when you are living with someone who can't/won't help. You're amazing, and I hope you get through this soon!
Thanks OODB! I felt sooo isolated until I found this site. It isn't fun to feel like you are all alone. It helps so much to know that you are not the only one going through it. I just went back and read some of your posts (I will comment too). YOU are really strong too! It sucks when you feel like you have done everything possible and they come back AGAIN. I wish you luck on your move and hope you get the fresh start that you deserve.
I am a pretty social creature (as most humans are) and it is hard to feel like you are a pariah that cannot go anywhere because of these dumb shit bed bugs. As I was making dinner tonight, I thought about whether or not I really want to stay in Cincinnati during nursing school (when that happens). I wanted to move out of my parents place and into my own apartment, now, I'm not sure that is such a good idea.
I am lucky (as are my parents) that they live in a single dwelling unit. This makes the process much easier but I still have to be vigilant about re-infestation, especially because my dad can be careless. I don't know where the bugs came from, it could even be from someone that he hangs out with at Mcdonald's. It is a pretty well trafficked establishment. Who knows? Anyway, I look forward to reading everyone's posts. Stay strong! We can do this together and remember, you really aren't alone.
Wow WeCanWin! What a nightmare! I am so inspired by your strength. I had a light infestation, (Actually the PCO thinks I had a straggler, but I find that hard to believe.) and I feel traumatized. Still feel creeped out in my own bed, still haven't taken my clothes out of bags, etc.
i don't know when I'm going to feel comfortable in my own apartment. (mostly because I probably got the bb from upstairs. And, know they are in my apartment line. So, I keep thinking they are just going to come back.) But, your experience puts me to shame!! Most people I know wouldn't have the courage you have! Thanks for sharing your story. And, I hope this ends soon for you!
Hi cantstopscratching! Thanks for the kind words!! The fear of them coming back can be paralyzing but we just have to tell ourselves that there is only SO much we can do. We can't control the bugs, or neighbors, or how the landlords (in my case my parents) handle the situation but we can all educate ourselves and minimize spreading these assholes to other people. It will get better- my situation isn't harder or easier than anyone else who has been afflicted with bed bugs. I feel like we are all in the same boat here. The support and stories have been amazing. I am really grateful to everyone who is posting here!
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