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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Bug Invasion

Early Friday morning I had a dream where I was scratching my skin with a Brillo pad. I vividly remember frantically rubbing the pad all over my arms, trying to find relief for a persistent itch. I woke up to find that the sheets were bloodied and my arms were covered with hundreds of red bumps and welts.

Initially I thought that I had contracted poison ivy when I was in the woods with Timmy earlier in the week. Knowing that the doctor could both give me a shot and prescribe medicine to hasten my healing, I packed up the boys and headed to my doctor.  (His practice recently began opening up at 8 AM for unscheduled sick visits.)  With Timmy and Robby in tow I was hoping for a quick appointment with substantial itch and pain relief. 

It turns out that my self diagnosis was incorrect, and that I was not suffering from poison ivy. Instead, bed bugs had eaten me alive. Judging from the amount of bite marks, it is believed that I had at least 200 of the little critters feeding all over my legs, arms and neck.  Each bug feeds up to three times on the host (me), causing at least 600 bite marks all over my body with each one swelling to the size of a nickle.  The fact that I had at least 200 bugs crawling all over my body while I was sleeping is beyond comprehension.  I left the office with two prescriptions to help relieve the itch and pain along with the sage advice of calling an exterminator.

The bites on my arms are painful and sore, but the most concerning are those on my residual limb. Wearing my leg has become extraordinarily painful because of the large welts. I cannot lather my limb in anti-itch cream because it makes my liner slide off. I honestly don't have the words to adequately convey the pain and discomfort that I am feeling because of my 600+ bite marks. I just want to curl up in a corner and cry, but I now worry that we might have more bugs in the house and I don't want to risk further exposure.

We do not have a clutter-free home, but we are certainly not filthy or unkept. We know where I encountered the bugs, but that will be the topic for another blog. (I'm not a litigious person by nature, but the contamination was so blatantly negligent that I am considering bringing legal action to recoup the cost of our extermination fees.)  In the meantime, it is safe to assume that the little invaders latched onto me and it is prudent to assume that they are now in our house. 

We spent the weekend chemically bombing our house, doing laundry and packing packing all of our super heated clothes into large sealed bags. I have been feeling sick since playing host to the bug buffet, but my need to rid our home of these invaders was enough to push me beyond my own pain thresholds. (I have found that hopping into a cold bath provides the most relief, especially on my residual limb. In between loads of laundry and setting off chemical bombs, I have been hopping in and out of the tub.)

Yesterday the exterminator came to do an inspection, and he was not able to visually identify any bugs. Of course, I had sprayed so many chemicals that it is suspected that the bugs retreated into the walls. We are having a bug sniffing dog come out today to confirm that the bugs traveled home with us.

If the bed bugs are confirmed by the dog, it has been decided that we are going to bake the buggers out of the house. Using heat extermination is not only more effective, but it is safer. Timmy is recovering from his pneumonia, and I want to keep the chemical exposure to a minimum. ( Although we left the house for the requisite two hours, Timmy was definitely coughing more when we were in our chemically covered house. Witnessing his response was enough to sell us on heat extermination.) 

In the next few days the exterminators will bring in large heaters and fans. The ambient temperature within our home will be heated to at least 125 degrees and held at that level for at least 5 hours. The bed bugs will experience death while being cooked alive. Considering the agony that they have caused me, I think that this is a fitting end to their unwelcome intrusion.

A blessing throughout this experience has been that, at this juncture, I am the only who has been bitten. I am thankful that the little buggers opted to feed on me instead of Timmy, who was sleeping within arms reach. Of course, I have read that the bite marks can manifest themselves up to 14 days after the feeding, so we are not yet in the clear. 

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