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Gift Giving

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  1. paulaw0919

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Dec 26 2007 17:39:52
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    I have a question. We actually went to lunch at Olive Garden at a local mall today and met my step daughter there. Haven't seen her in over 8 months so it was nice. I have this overwhelming fear that she has bedbugs because of us. She lives in PA with her mom and step father, near the Poconos. In fact I just found out today that they are higher risk of getting them because her step father now works for maintenance in a hotel chain there.
    Well, anyway....we all had a really nice time at lunch and then walked the mall for a while. She got to hold her little sisters and brother. (I hate to say it but it scares me.) I fear that we gave them to her back in APril because one of her coats were in our infested coat closet for months before we knew we had the bugs.
    To try and make short of this, we had a very good K9 inspect her home and she came out to be clear. (much much clutter there and alot of panaling)
    Before CHristmas she asked what to give the children and I said to give gift cards for now. Well, she did and that was nice. But she also gave some toys. RIght now out in my front yard there is a Walmart bag of about 6 wrapped boxes that I don't know what to do with. My fear of bringing this in is overwhelming and I'm almost tempted to just give it to good will but don't want to for my kids sake.
    When we came home, I stripped everyone at the washing machine and sterifabbed the car seats, put the shoes all in the dryer. I worry most about the kids because they were being held alot by her. I know this sounds awful, but I have more fear of the family that has been in our home then strangers. I don't really have a problem going to a restaurant persay (I did bag the kids coats there though and didn't bring our coats in--is this normal?) I fear getting reinfested by family more than anything.
    I feel a bit okay because she did get an "all clear" by a K9 back in Oct. (but so did my mom, and unfortunately she thinks she still has the bugs)
    I realize everything is a risk being out in the world again. But when it comes to gift giving, I can't handle it and don't know what to do with this stuff.
    Plus, a neighbor that used to live two doors down from my mothers condo unit gave her some wrapped packages for my kids. Mom put the bag in another bag and ziptied it. But I think that's even more of a risk because she has a good chance of still having the bugs, plus the person that gave the gifts to her to give to us may have them and not know it. (they lived in the same building 2 units away after all)
    Any input, suggestions, comments on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Dec 26 2007 22:59:54
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    Paula, when we revisited S's posts about hypervigilance and PTSD, remember? you said that you would call your therapist.

    A lot of people have had very good experiences with therapy in relation to bedbugs, S included who posted about her experiences here.

    What does your therapist say about this? Your therapy should be giving you, gradually and perhaps slowly, the tools to deal with these events that are difficult for you to manage and the means to perhaps reframe negative thoughts and deal with the emotions that are understandable after your bedbug ordeal. I'm sure that you have discussed your fears with your therapist. I would encourage to call your therapist and discuss this particular situation.

    If I were you, and of course I can never fully understand what you have been through and where you are in your recovery, I would be cautious with my own feelings. If carefully opening the bags and unpacking the presents in a safe, clean location, outside or in the bathtub and inspecting carefully were something that would make me feel secure, perhaps that is what I would do.

    My opinion, that you are (understandably) overstating the risks of reinfestation that you face, is not going to help much, right? The best possible thing is for you to have some useful tools and coping skills, gained through therapy, to deal emotionally with something like this.

    I think you will be fine, Paula. I see your progress already. Life is good, you have multiple blessings, and you will have your joy and peace back completely, I am certain of it.

  3. Bites44

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Dec 26 2007 23:29:16
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    I understand how you feel about the gifts, Paula. We had a similar situation about gift giving here also. Really I think that I would just throw the gifts away if it made me feel better (and certainly not give them to goodwill.) After all they are just "stuff", and in a few days time you will even forget that you had them. And then you will not worry about them in the house. Or maybe you can open them up outside and see what they are, maybe something you can wash?

    If you think the neighbor lives in a building that may be infested, I would certainly not keep those gifts from the neighbor. A lot of people don't know how easily the nymphs especially can be transferred--for example, I found an adult in a pocket book.

    I wouldn't worry too much if the gift givers are upset with you, after all you are the one left with the worry of it, and I don't think that is fair.

    My niece's apartment has been treated twice, and 8 or 9 months from now, even if everyone is sure that the infestation is completely cleared up, I will not accept anything from her house, whether it be gifts, books, clothes, bags, anything at all.

    Even though you may be overly cautious, there are some percautions that are in your control, and the gifts are one of those that you can control.

    Good luck with that.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Dec 27 2007 2:53:58
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    Paula,

    Many gifts are either wrapped (sealed) in a plastic wrap, like games, or are plastic and can be washed. The plastic-wrapped presents should be absolutely fine. If it makes you feel better, why not wash the washables in hot soapy water (balls, plastic rings, whatever)?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Dec 27 2007 6:15:12
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    Sorry to hear you are going through this. I think the best advise I can give is:

    Isolate presents, inspect by hand and if possible unwrap down to a plastic sealing (thats easy to clean and make sure its free).

    Also please follow the advise of chatting with a professional therapist, to put things into perspective I am in and out of some of the most heavily infected properties int he UK on a regular basis. In cases classified as 8,9 or 10 /10 I am often in them for 3 to 5 days at a time. I don't wear paper suits and am careful where / if I sit down and yet I have only had 4 bed bugs in my house in over 5 years now.

    Bed bugs are intelligent creatures but not enough to plan ahead and find ways of getting to you through friends and relatives. Yes be alert, be cautious but try not to fall into the pit where these things rule your life, they are niche creatures living along side man since our days in caves with all the best will in the world we are unlikely to be able to ever 110% eradicate them from the face of the planet so tolerance and vigilance is needed.

    Regards,

    David Cain

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  6. paulaw0919

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 2:07:06
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    Thank you everyone for responding. Nomo, yes therapy is helping with my aniety and hyper-vigalance issues. Trying to find exactly "how" vigalant one should be. Traveling with small children makes puts thing in a different perspective. (crawling and rolling on floors etc)
    I'm just now starting to feel a little comfortable in the house. For example I've painted a few rooms...and when one of the twins throws their blankie out of the crib I just give it a shake and put it back w/o too much anxiety. So yes things are getting better. We actually bought to new metal bar stools for the kitchen that have a small cushion on them. I get out with the kids alot more, just put them on the floor w/o changing their clothes. Sometimes I throw their jackets in the dryer to make me feel better I guess. So improvements are good.
    My step daughter I think I should have no fear on..but it's having contact with famiy/loved ones that were here during my infestaion that I can't get over. Traveling with three little ones and taking the steps I think I would need to take to get back into the house after seeing these people are close to impossible. I guess between healing, time and with Gods will that will be okay again as well some day.
    I still haven't decided what to do with those gifts yet. I could care less about it, but feel bad none the same. I guess I'll decide tomorrow on what to do with them.
    David, thank you for that perspective. It helps more than you know. I hope to someday be able to get my mother more proactive with her place..like caulking etc. I plan to get a K9 in her condo in Jan to see if she got reinfested or not. She complained of a few bites a few weeks ago.
    Well, again thank you. As my progress gets better I'm sure you'll be seeing me here less and less but I hope to at least stop in keep all posted and be there for someone when I can.

  7. BBsBlow

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 17:21:35
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    David,
    Forgive me if you've posted this somewhere else on the site in the past, but how do you remain BB-free when you go into such infested places?

    -Blow


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