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Helping dying neighbor, discovered BB !!

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  1. luvmyaussie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Sep 25 2013 18:54:01
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    We had BB, but we are 7 days clear on the Passive Monitor. No signs in 10 days( casts, bites or stains.) I went to visit my neighbor whom I haven't seen in 2 months. We both live in a house, with about 20 ft between us. He is an elderly man on Hospice and I am a nurse, friend...I love him dearly. I hugged him, sat on his bedside(I know better), helped him to the bathroom...that's when I saw them.

    I almost threw up. Fecal stains on his blanket, 3 consecutive bites on his face, AND bug casts on the sheets! I tried my best to cover my emotional response. I stripped down in my yard before going inside my house, bagged my clothes.

    I seriously do not think we spread them over there. I have been so careful, and we discovered ours early. I don't know in what to do. There are about 10 cars in their driveway. The entire family is over there, great grandbaby on the bed I'm sure....

    So they're stressed as hell, he's about to die in I'd say... 3 weeks maybe. I can't tell them this! Additionally, I need to help this man, as a friend. I care for his entire family too much not to. But I'm petrified.

    Will my house get bugs again? How can I prevent it if I DON"T say anything? What the hell should I do??!!!

  2. endless_nightmare

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Sep 25 2013 20:47:02
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    This is my point of view only.

    I feel it is your duty as a human being to help those people.
    (sorry did you say you are a nurse??, where is the compassion)

    So he'll die in three weeks they are obviously expecting it. You could educate them for the time being on how to not contaminate yourself when you visit someone so that they don't end up with a infestation of their own on top of their grief, just contact one member of the family and they'll pass on the link to others.

    You really have to tell what you saw, keeping it to yourself is WRONG

    As for the old man, perhaps it's not such a huge stress for him right now, let the family decide on what they should do about him.

    Will my house get bugs again?

    The house is 20 feet away? I don't know what the expert think but I'm thinking it's unlikely

    Andrea
    not a PCO
    Spinal Cord Injury Advocacy/Volunteer
  3. anxietyalready

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Sep 25 2013 21:18:01
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    I can clearly hear your compassion in your post. I can also understand your dilemma

    It would definitely be tough to put this on them right now. I'm not sure what I would do. I would probably start by writing down the pros and cons of saying something or not saying something and go from there.

    Do you think the ill man will be humiliated or his family avoid him in his last days due to this?

    It would definitely be a shame to have them all facing bed bug troubles after this but what are the chances they have already taken them home? Do they often visit?

    Personally, I'm not convinced 3 weeks is going to make a big enough difference if family have been coming and going already and he seems to be infested enough that you saw clear signs.

    It's going to be a very hard call. Maybe you, having knowledge, could attempt to control the environment as best as possible while he sees his final days.

    I guess the other consideration is if he ends up in hospital... care would need to be taken that his belongings are clear.

    What a terrible situation I wish you the best in your decisions whatever they may be.

  4. anxietyalready

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Sep 25 2013 21:20:56
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    Also, it is entirely possible that when you last saw him 2 months ago, you brought them home from there

  5. luvmyaussie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Sep 25 2013 22:18:24
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    [quote](sorry did you say you are a nurse??, where is the compassion ."..

    I have so much compassion, but I aslo am human, I have fear. I can't live thru this again. Bed bug round one almost killed our relationship. it horrendouse.....

  6. BBNewbie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Sep 25 2013 22:25:48
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    luvmyaussie - 6 minutes ago  » 
    (sorry did you say you are a nurse??, where is the compassion ."..
    .

    I think that was a terrible thing to say. I could feel her concern and compassion in her post. The situation is truly a sad one and she came here to ask for advice...not criticism. Shame on you!!

    S

  7. endless_nightmare

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Sep 26 2013 2:15:02
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    Shame on you!!

    Sorry BBnewbie, I feel zero shame. The comment was made after I stated

    This is my point of view only.

    And my POV is a special one, as a handicapped person in a wheelchair who was repeatedly denied help with basic things during an almost 2 year long infestation, because people were afraid to "catch" the bed bugs, I am left extremely bitter

    The fact is that SIMPLE measures exist to not carry the bed bugs home once you visit a person who has them. Social Service people who visit several homes with infestation everyday do it, so do all the PCOs.

    Fear and stigma must not get in the way of help, if we are to act humane.

    To me there is no question whatsoever that the OP must help, of course some other people might view it differently depending on their point of view.

    While I admit that saying "where is your compassion" may sound a little harsh, it wasn't meant to criticize, it's was meant as a self question that perhaps the OP would ask herself in regards to that specific yet complicated dilemma, and take it into account in her decision process as to what she would do.

    I still believe that not telling the family is wrong and letting them discover the problem as they are grieving or after is wrong.

    They should also not be denied the chance of protecting themselves as the OP who knowing about the problem

    stripped down in my yard before going inside my house, bagged my clothes

    don't you think they have that basic right?

    and if you don't then I'll re-ask: Where is your compassion?

    We cannot let those bugs get the best of us.

    People throw out 1000$ upon $1000 worth of furniture, when there is no need to.

    People throw out intimate, most prized personal possessions, when there is no need to.

    People work themselves up in all sorts of state of anxiety and depression, illness and isolation, when there is no need to.

    People get traumatized and have lasting PTSD, when there is no need to.

    People stop helping others, when there is no need to.

    The general attitude is: It's me, me, me, me, me and my bed bug problem, screw the others. and that's wrong.

    I'm certain Luvmyaussie, that you are a good person and if my jolt was hurtful in anyway I apologize, I just really wanted you to find the inner strength to come at the help of those poor folks that's all.

  8. SteamingMad

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Sep 26 2013 20:36:18
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    I'm not an expert, so please do take my post with a grain of salt.

    First, you're clearly a good friend and a compassionate person to be concerned about your neighbor's well being.

    I've thought about this on and off all day. If the signs are that apparent, the home must have a fairly significant infestation. Chances are that his family may have noticed at least the bug skins. It sounds like they'll need a professional, but I agree with you - it would be very hard to put a dying man and his grieving family in a position to even attempt to prepare for a treatment. That said, I think steps can be taken in the short term to make your friend more comfortable and to let his family know of the situation so that they can be careful until such a time that the issue can be addressed.

    I think you can say "I noticed you have a problem I recently dealt with - bed bugs. Let me speak to the family - there are a few things we can do to take steps to eliminate them - I want you to be comfortable." in such a manner without overly distressing them. Calmly explain to the family what they can do to limit their exposure. Work with them to understand that his bedding must be washed properly and his room vacuumed daily - these are things that'll help knock down the population. Educate his family on what to look for, in the rest of the house, how to wash and dry their own clothes, and what they can take to make sure they don't take them home with them. And point out that while bed bugs can be easily spread, they aren't actually a health issue. You're most likely the expert here.

    I realize this isn't much, but I hope my thoughts are at least a bit helpful. Good luck to you - I know this is a scary situation considering what you just went through, but your gut instinct is pretty clear about your need to help your friend. Hang in there.


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