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Help - they're at work!

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  1. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 19 2008 12:40:49
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    Hi all,

    Long story here... moved into a bb apt last sept (07), moved out a couple of months later into a new place. Kept getting bites though. Had the bb Dog and handler inspect my new apt = all clear. One month goes by: another visit from Dog = another all clear. By the end of Feb 08 I'm still getting bites every day so I reluctantly bring it up at work, suggesting they call the Dog in to confirm or deny a proble. They say no to the dog, bldg mgmt handles it themselves or so they say. I did notice a decline in bites around that time but in a few weeks they started up again.

    I mention it again to my worplace and they said they'd treat again. I didn't notice any difference this time. Still getting bites, by mid May I'd lost my mind! I took 3 weeks (unpaid) off work to see if it made a difference and it didn't. Get back to work and this time I'm insisting they call the Dog in. They do and he alerts to my chair in my cubicle. It's weird that in the 3 weeks I was off they didn't go for my co-worker sitting less than 7 feet away(?). So they do a full on steam heat and spray immediately and agree to bring Dog back in 6 weeks for another inspection. All the while I'm still getting bites. 6 weeks later Dog gives my workplace the all clear. We get a second spray only treatment two weeks after that with another dog visit to come later to make sure nothing is hanging around. Two months go by and in Oct just past the Dog gives us the second all clear. I want to be sure I haven't tracked any home so I get him to come to my apt (for the 5th time this year!) and I get the All clear there too.

    My problem is that I'm still getting bites! They had dropped off quite a bit for a week or two very recently but this past 10 days I've been getting 3 or 4 a day. I keep a log to document what I call Positive bites cos I also have seen weird itchy splotchy things that may not have been bites. I did see a dermatologist way back in May before the workplace was 'discovered' they told me none of the marks (100's possibly 1,000s) were bites of any kind and that I was allergic and go see a shrink!

    My boss will not have the dog back or another treatment based on the two all clears my workplace has received. I check my bed each week (those exp covers are on box spring and mattress) the frame is metal but super small, comes apart and I douse it in boiling water each weekend.

    Does anyone have any experience with bites lingering on supposedly (months?) after the bugs are declared gone? I should add that my mental state for the past year or more has been uber uber paranoid, terrified, suicidal, intensely depressed, crying uncontrollably (and that's the good days). All I want is for this to be really over. Could the dog be wrong on two occasions 2 months apart? I would've thought that if anything had survived the 2nd treatment then surely there weould have been enough of them by mid Oct for the dog to sense them on the second inspection.

    Help, thoughts, suggestions (I can't afford to quit my job but I was in tears yesterday)

  2. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 19 2008 12:56:51
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    Losingit

    I sent a private message to you.

  3. Adele

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 19 2008 15:21:14
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    losingit - just a question - can you move to a different desk in the office?

    I had a similar experience. I do contract consulting work and I brought BB into the office and they treated repeatedly - like 5 or 6 times over the course of 4 or 5 months.

    The office managementg company declared the area BB free because the exterminators claimed they no longer saw signs of them - however - I was still being bitten regularly. They told me it was in my head and I must be imagining it - all because the exterminators said "they saw no signs of them".

    So I said ok if they are not there - then you will have no problem with me moving to a different desk. SO I picked myself up and moved to a different desk on the floor (far enough away) - and lo and behold - I was not bothered anymore. no more bites - no more "creepy crawly feeling" nothing. gone

    they had no recourse to say no because they were declaring the area clear - even though I did not think so.

    that worked for me

  4. bait

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 19 2008 15:27:17
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    I'm at work now and I don't like to post from here, but I couldn't turn away from your despair. You musn't give up.

    What I get from your post is that you are listening to evyerone else. What do you think is happening to you? I believe that everyone tries to help, but only you know what you are experiencing.

    I also think the bugs are selective who they bite, like mosquitoes, and perhaps your co-worker was not what the bugs were looking for. Dunno.

    My advice is listen to your inner-voice. It may know more than the experts.

  5. Adele

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 19 2008 15:49:34
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    I agree - I listened to my inner voice and knew they were still there even though the "experts" declared them gone. I opted for the path of least resistance and just moved instead of fighting with them any more (actaully my complaint went all the way through to corporate safecty and security and they STILL refused to continue treatments)

    ok fine - so if you don't think there is a problem any more then you should have no issue with me moving to another desk.

    it worked for me.

  6. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 19 2008 16:25:11
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    Thanks, Bait and Adele for the replies.

    Moving to another spot is not really an option, as my spot is 'designated'. My workspot is supposed to be right where it is cos of the dept I work in. And given that the whole situation has been kept confidential (only me and the 'Safety' person know) it would necessitate telling the higher-ups WHY I have to move and I don't want anyone else to know about it.

    To answer you Bait: I simply don't know (god, that will go on my gravestone) - the bites seem to be a lot less itchy since they treated 4 months ago. That could be just me [b]wanting to see a difference though.

    I do feel something is going on, I'm at a loss as to exactly what though. But given the less itchy-ness of them makes me question whether or not they're all just fading off. My old bites - pretreatment - always, always left a red mark where the bite was, but I've seen some classic looking bites very recently that 100% vanished like nothing was ever there. But others too DO leave the usual mark. I can't figure it out - I do feel mad. Mad Mad Mad.

    I was curious about the lingering bites for the most part as I know it's been speculated upon many times in this forum and I'm not the only person to experience strange skin reactions.

  7. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Nov 20 2008 14:54:08
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    (Sorry everyone, I foolishly posted this update as a new post!)

    Well, I bit the bullet and spoke to the person at work about the possiblility of a recurrence since the last two doggie all clears. I expected resistance and was quite prepared to beg, plead even threaten if need be.

    But NO! She was most understanding and said she would try to get the lovely K9 back out next week. She herself had a bb problem a few months ago and miraculously she self-treated with a massive steam and raid attack and lo and behold she has not had a problem since. She's very determined so it's good she's on my side in this!

    I feel better already - well, not so much cos I just spotted a suspect tiny bite a few minutes ago.

    Wish me luck!

  8. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Nov 20 2008 16:19:42
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    Aha! I think maybe I see what's going on. In your last post you say the person at work had a bb problem a few months ago and she self-treated and says she's not had a problem since. Maybe, she didn't get rid of them and is bringing a couple to work now and then.
    Maybe she thinks she has no problem because she no longer reacts to being bitten.
    A lot of maybe's, but that could be the source of the problem.

  9. CleverNameHere

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Nov 20 2008 21:35:26
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    Anyone who has been treated at work want to help me out by explaining what they did?

    Did they treat whole office, leave powder behind, or just treat a chair / area etc?

    see
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/inestiations-at-work-in-office-setting

  10. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Nov 21 2008 9:14:40
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    Hi

    Reply to MyWorstFear: the person at work sits a long, long way from where I sit and they had the doggie check their space too = nothing was found. She really has had no problems at her home (her hubby reacted the first time but has been fine for several months)

    Clevernamehere: they steamed my entire cubicle space (the dog alerted to only my chair and yes, they did a peramater sweep as well just to be sure). So they steamed the carpet around my space, the desk, the ugly cubicle walls, and of course the chair. They then sprayed the whole space too.

    Im not sure of your situation but I suggest a dog inspection maybe to help narrow down where they are.

    Thanks for the input and good luck

  11. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Nov 27 2008 13:24:58
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    Rant follows: So it's been almost a week since I again requested a dog to come in and the person I deal with said it would be done later this week (meaning today or tomorrow).

    I am so freaking mad at them. I understand I brought this into work but I simply had no idea I had them when it happened, so it wasn't like I was careless. I brought it up with them way back in Feb/Mar and they didn't really take it seriously, wouldn't get the dog, did the bare minimum. Get this: they called the City Helpline to get advice on it and they were told that bbs don't live in offices! I felt I knew more about it but they simply didn't listen to me and now 11 months later its a problem that won't seem to go away. Idiots!

    I AM SO FRUSTRATED! I hate coming to work I feel sick to my stomach sitting at my desk, sick going home and immediately putting my clothes into a bucket of boiling water. Sick of worrying if I brought them home. I take endless ridiculous precautions.

    Half the time I stare at my computer trying not to think. I haven't told anyone about it, I feel so alone and isolated and my contact here hasn't yet told me when the inspection is happening so I'm inclined to think it may not be until next week. She doesn't think it's a priority I guess. I've been living and working in sheer hell for almost a year and I don't think I can go on much longer. The stress is really getting to me. I can hardly think straight - every 15 mins I go to the bathroom to check my skin when I 'feel' somthing. GODDAMNIT!! I hate living like this, I want to scream!

    I'm also scared my work will ask me to pay for any further treatments and I can't afford it (though I should probably wait until that happens before I worry = example of how scared I am) but it is SO freaking hard going through this over and over each day and never knowing if it will ever end.

    I think I'm coping but what does coping mean? Barely getting through day? Stressed out 24/7? Never relaxing? I suppose the fact that I'm still alive is coping but I'm at the end of my tether and I don't know if I can deal with this. Im trying to tell myself to wait and see, wait and see, IM SICK OF WAITING AND SEEING! A year of wait and see crap. There, I said it. I am at a really low point right now and I'm tired, so so tired of being this way.

    Sorry for the rant, I know Im new here but I had to vent. Thanks for reading through this, I know most people here can relate.

  12. chicagobugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Nov 27 2008 14:29:19
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    Im so sorry and know exactlt how you feel...people who dont or have not had bb just cant understand how serious it really is, they dont understand how the bb control our ever second and how large an effect they can have on our mental health!! I can relate to all of your situation. One good thing you have going is that manager who semi understands from her small encounter of her own. Hang in there, you have made it this far, I believe you will win this battle...

  13. fightorflight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Nov 28 2008 2:10:57
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    I can't say if you might still be exposed to bedbugs or not.

    I can say this week and month are the one year "anniversary" of the onset of this whole traumatizing episode of my life. Of course, today, Thanksgiving, I started scratching a few spots on my arms and chest (background history: I've not had bedbugs for almost a year now), some rows and groups of little red spots popped up, and after showering, I saw a bright red patch on my bra line, just like I got when I was actually being bitten. A year later, I guess I have what are "scars," but their visibility comes and goes. Some actually look like permanent little marks and some display more variable characteristics. I think many of us have what approach 1000 bites and so I'm resigning myself to the fact that the physical marks may never fully fade or it will take a long time. I kind of feel like I'm marked, that this is something I carry with me now (heavy religious overtones and I am not religious).

    So I very truly hope this is really what's happening to you, nothing but old bites.

    My Thanksgiving toast, "Here's to old bites! May they never be new."

  14. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 1 2008 11:23:51
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    fightorflight: when you see 'old' bites flaring up do they look new or old?

    I can usually tell, as the old ones flare up when I'm hot or a bit sweaty and they are pink skin but the centre is a red dot whereas the new ones are pink skin but the centre is whitish.

    I've had probably 1,000s of bites over the past 14 months (ahhhh too too long...) so keeping track of the location of each one was utterly pointless.

  15. fightorflight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 17:59:03
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    Um, I never really knew what the new ones looked like because I was getting bitten for a long time before realizing it. I was gone pretty shortly thereafter. But the old bites have all kinds of appearance, mostly like you describe, but also just red patches, some like pimples, red/pink spots of varying sizes. They come and go and some are permanent marks now.

    That's interesting what you say. I wonder if my new ones looked like you describe? It was over a year ago, so dunno.

  16. fightorflight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 18:02:31
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    Oh, like I said originally, the red patch that recurred on my chest is just like when I was freshly bit. I had lots of big red patches. Many of these areas later resolved into (lots of) individual bites, but whole patches still flare up looking the same as originally I think.

  17. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2008 9:36:08
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    fightorflight: thanks for the input, it sounds similar to what I'm experiencing. But I can't say for SURE and that's the problem. Anyway another freaking delay, she was supposed to get the dog in last week but it didn't happen and yesterday she said it would be early today - so all night I was anxious and worried. But when I got in today she said 'it's tomorrow' Arghhhh!! Ok calm down, calm down... I'll just have to wait I suppose.

    Funny thing is I don't know what outcome will make me feel better. If the dog alerts I'll have to go through treatments all over again and worry about whether or not not I've brought one home but at least it would explain my skin OR if the dog DOESN'T alert I suppose I'll feel better but then why is my skin showing 2 or so bites each day and have I somehow got them at home (even though the dog gave my apt the all clear 6 weeks ago??

    Too many freaking questions. All I can do is try to be strong and see what happens tomorrow.

  18. fightorflight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2008 18:30:24
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    From all that you say about previous inspections, if the dog gives the all clear, there's a good possibility you're okay and not actually seeing new bites. It will be hard to believe that, but it will get better over time. I went through so many instances of being convinced there were still bugs somewhere, anxiety largely fueled by "lingering sensations" and skin reactions. And many of my lingerers have been red-pink with a white center, like a pimple. They've also been just red (pink). Or in a blotch. Or in some suddenly itchy spots that then fade. Got one today in fact and it juiced that old anxiety. Good luck with the dog inspection!

  19. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 4 2008 9:18:25
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    Well. The dog gave another ALL CLEAR at work. That's three time in a row over the course of almost 4 months: first all clear was late august, 2nd all clear was early Oct and my apt was cleared (again) mid Oct.

    I am inclined to think that it's unlikely that I could have brought anything home from work if there was nothing there to bring home (hope that makes sense...)

    I guess I'll be making the trip to the Dermatologist. Why can't I just go out and buy a new suit of skin??

  20. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 8 2008 13:04:22
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    ahmmmm... have I offended everyone or someone here?:) Just a bit paranoid that no-one is 'talking' to me.

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 9 2008 22:50:28
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    Hi losingit,

    I doubt it.

    If you have a question, you can always ask again if no one has answered it.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  22. losingit

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 15 2008 9:47:38
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    Quick update: work was given the all clear by the K9 about 10 days ago, I called him out to check my apt with the doggie.

    He came this morning (just 1 hour ago) ALL CLEAR!! I simply can't believe it, for the first time in over 14 months I have no bbs at work and not at home (they were never at my new place but I worried I could have tracked them from work).

    I still have single hive type things pop up but about 12 days ago I stopped eating wheat/gluten, potatoes and chickpeas as I had been told a couple of years ago I was most likely allergic to these foods and I thought the enormous stress of the past year may have triggered a reaction similar to bites even though I've never had that kind of reaction before. But I've noticed the hives are getting better...

    I can't tell you how happy I am cos it hasn't sunk in yet!

  23. myLifeinZiplocs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 15 2008 14:50:18
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    Yay! Cautiously optimistic congratulations, losingit! I am so glad you have gotten the all clear thus far!


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