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Visiting Close Friends after Bedbugs

(9 posts)
  1. paulaw0919

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jan 13 2008 11:31:16
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    HI. I just need to vent my frustrations out. We are now living normally in our home which is such a God sent. I'm feeling a bit safer in the house and let the children downstairs in the family room to play. I check the sheets once a week and still wash/dry on hot,hot.
    I take the kids out shopping and we go the the occasional restaurant, come home like we used to. My problem that I just can't seem to get over is visiting family and friends that have been exposed to us when we had them.
    I still haven't seen my mother (my bb source) or my grandmother. I don't have a problem seeing them on my own in public but not with the children. It's impossible to take the precautions needed to not bring a suspectable bug home with three little children. Especially when you know the source. To me common sense is to stay away from the source. Going to that source is like going into the lions den..
    My best friend and the Godmother of my children is having a birthday party today for her 2yr old that I'm the Godmother of. I'm going to the party but cannot bring myself to bring my children. Right before we knew we were infested (back in April) I had given back to her a baby swing and many baby clothes in cardboard boxes) Our infestation was bad and spread throughout the house.
    She has lots of clutter in her home, but it is kept up on. About 5 months ago she did inspect her mattress, but I know she didn't throughly inspect it, or the boxspring frame etc.. In fact her view is that is if she had them she would just have to live with them because she cannot afford to rid them. She and her family hasn't experienced bites as far as I know, but 50% don't react right? I feel that the chances that I gave them to her back then are pretty darn good. I feel that life in my home is normal now and I cannot possibly expose ourselves to something I know my be tragic.
    I feel life as I knew it in the outside world (with friends and relatives) will never be the same. Those are the few people close to me and I fear the most. With very good reason I think. I don't have a problem doing things in public and outings for those are exposures I cannot control. But to visit known possible places is like asking for trouble. This sucks. I need to just suck it up, thankful that the bugs are gone and adjust to a new life I guess. I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.

  2. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jan 13 2008 13:25:13
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    Small steps, Paula.

    I'm glad you and the children are getting out, though. That's very good.

  3. bekalekah

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jan 13 2008 15:00:15
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    Paula, I feel you. We got ours from a friend who now lives upstairs. She was moving in up there the same time we were moving in down here, and gave my roommate her infested mattress. I keep telling them that the likelihood of her not bringing them to her new apartment in her other belongings is very slim, and they claim they check but I know they don't really check. So now when I go up there I have a special bag of clothes labeled Upstairs that I change in and out of. Of course, this works both ways -- prevents me from bringing them up there if they by chance don't have them, too. But in my head, they have them, and my precautions are for my own good.

    I also have my roommate to worry about. Her family has been here a couple of times since we moved in, and she has gone home several times. I am worried about her being the source of a possible ongoing cross contamination. Of course, I tell her that she should be taking the utmost precautions but I don't know if she does. Only time will tell.

  4. badlybugged

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jan 13 2008 16:21:59
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    I have visited close friends since getting the bugs and spent the night in their homes -- thankfully they have seen no bugs or had any bites.

    Here's the thing through all of this -- we can't stop living life, at least I can't -- I have no children to worry about but, since I'm handicapped, I have the added economic burden of having to hire help to address this situation. In my most spiritual self I can only thank the Gods for this happening to me at a time when I seem to have enough resources to pay for the help I need.

    In my professional self, as a "risk" manager -- I realize that I can only have so many work-arounds, contingency plans and risk mitigations -- there is always the edict: We don't know what we don't know. Balancing that edict with the need to live life is always sort of a trapeze act?!?! I figure that if I have intentionally thought to "do no harm" then I've done the best I can. We each must address risk the only way that seems sensible to us in our individual situation, this is how I get through each day.

  5. Battleofthebugs

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jan 20 2008 10:10:21
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    Badlybugged, I agree wholeheartedly with those sentiments. After finding this site, I feel both more encouraged, and more discouraged. You can be doing every thing to try to keep the infestation at bay, not spread it outside the home, but it's not 100% proof. I live with my BF and four pets. My BF is getting better about following the protocol, but it's still not second nature with him. And the pets, well, how much can I do to prevent them from carrying a hitch hiker from room to room? I feel bad, but I don't let any of them sleep in the bedroom. I am afraid the two cats will jump on the bed with unwanted guests, and afraid the two dogs will just become meals for the BB's on the floor (and really don't like the idea of them sleeping on top of the residual chemicals). I know it's not 100% proof to preventing any of them, or us, from being bitten.

    And traveling/visiting. I have several trips lined up in the near future, and feel at odds about going on any of them. I don't want to stay in hotels. I don't want to stay with family and risk brining something over despite all my precautions. So some of life might be put on hold during the initial stages of this fight, just to be somewhat reassured that the BB's are on their way out.

    So I agree, that we can only really do our best, learn from our mistakes (hopefully not too many of them), and keep improving on our best efforts as we go along.

  6. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jan 20 2008 15:09:14
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    The care and the sacrifices people make for the sake of not infesting others is one of the things that gives me hope. It's a significant (but temporary) alteration in life but it makes a huge difference. You all have my thanks and respect.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jan 20 2008 20:57:14
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    The travel FAQs might help others reading this know how to avoid spreading bed bugs to others.

    It seems to be normal to feel nervous after bed bugs. I have been to many hotels since, and I am less nervous each time (though I know they are spreading more and more) because I realize I have some power in doing an inspection and taking some of my own precautions. And also because, having stayed in a number of hotels, I have experienced the fact that bed bugs are not in every room of every hotel.

    As far as family and friends, it may take time to become comfortable, but I hope, Paula, that you will continue to stretch your comfort zone (as you have been doing!) Life is too precious to miss out on.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  8. paulaw0919

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jan 21 2008 22:21:11
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    Thanks Nobugs. Life is starting to feel good again and I pray I never lose that freedom again to these bugs. I live and clean out of fear still, hoping to get over that someday. Progress is good though. Tonight after my weight watchers meeting I went out to the local pub with a friend for a drink. (yeah, I know but I lost 40lbs due to the diet and some to the anxiety and work from these bugs. I'm now down to the weight I was before children...horray!) Anyway, still have anxiety over going out tonight. I came home, went into the laundry room, stripped down and put my clothes in ziplocs. My coat didn't enter the place, but put that in a ziploc as well. I'll wash the stuff with the laundry tomorrow. What I'm a bit freaked out about right now is that after being there, hugging friends and all goodbye..I'm home now and notice a definite "welt" on my upper arm with a tiny red blood dot in the center of it. Not itchy yet but scares the heck out of me in fear I brought the damn bugs into my home. None the less, I didn't shower and am now going to bed in fresh pj's. Hope that's enough and I didn't bring any bugs home. I guess only time will tell. Part of my anxiety is that we would be really screwed if the bugs were here because after the last infestation we're basically in the poor house.
    Sorry had to vent again...but I have nowhere else to state the fears that are in everyday life now after these freaking bugs. I hope my odds are with me that another type of bug bit me somehow in the middle of the winter. I wish we knew the exact risks when we go out. Personally I would rather stay home because some risks are just not worth the effort and nothing to be is worth the consequences at times.
    None the less I did have a good time tonight chatting with adult friends for a little while. I'll just keep praying that there's no bedbugs in my home

  9. stamps

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jan 22 2008 10:03:47
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    Paula . . .

    You and me both, I'm afraid. I found a large red welt on my back yesterday, and although it's not itchy, I also realize that the skin on my back is much thicker than the skin on my arms (where most of my previous bites were located) and may not react the same way.

    At the same time, I'm not losing it (yet) -- it's my first suspicious bite in almost 6 weeks, and my apartment is slowly becoming a place a bedbug would not want to be. I threw out my armchair and coffee table and nightstand yesterday (and I know, I've been here long enough to know the rules about throwing furniture out, thanks!) which are the last remaining things I suspected might have bedbugs aside from my mattress, which is encased anyway, just need another person to help me take it out. Otherwise I'm down to my dining room set, an air mattress, my Drione-d electronics, and about a zillion plastic bags.

    Just trying to take it in stride and not panic -- I've done all I can do, I will NOT part with my dining room set (can be saved with Murphy's Oil soap and the only truly nice furniture I own), I am moving out of the building due to incompetent handling of the bedbug problem. I am so scared I will bring the bugs with me but have to keep reminding myself I'm bringing so little and being so careful with what I do move that the chances are reduced.

    sigh. I'm just ready to stop living like this, seriously. Three months is too long to have to live out of plastic bags.


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