Wednesday, October 27

Shoo flu or should I say, bed bugs?

Talk about a trifecta. Our annual national meeting always brings a little anxiety even though we go to the nicest resorts, with the best food, amenities and views. This year, I had a triple whammy.

Tyler's getting older - just old enough to understand that I'm going away, not quite old enough to process it. So, on night one, we try to Skype with him. He's all excited to talk to me and then -- you can see it like when someone crashes from a sugar high - he spirals. It took hours after we hung up for my hubby and his folks to calm him down. In fact, his exact words to me were, "Mama?"
"Yes, son?"
"Come home. NOW."

To say he had a hard time with my trip is an understatement. After I came home and gave him lots of snuggle-time, he still woke up with a nightmare that I didn't want him anymore. Great.

So, that was #1.

#2: I got bed bug bites while I was down there. Yes, Bed Bugs. ugh. They started popping up a few at a time. I'm a feast for bugs for some reason, so I didn't think anything of it. Then one of our VPs went to the Dr for her bites - she had tons more and all over her arms and face - and he confirmed she'd been bitten by bed bugs. Yet, I still didn't think that's what I had, until I went to the Dr. for a cold that felt like it was turning to bronchitis. Sure enough. They were bed bug bites.

Unless you've lived it, you can't even imagine the horror of thinking that you may have brought these things into your home. I rewashed every article of clothing in boiling water - even the silks and delicates. Washed all the linens, put my suitcases out in the garage (hoping for an overnight freeze - which would do what exactly I had no idea). Then I called an exterminator who sent me tons of info but didn't diagnose bed bugs. So I ended up calling a professional dog sniffer (I keep calling it that, but it was really a man with a dog who sniffed - not a man who sniffed dogs). $400 and a few days later, I found out I was bug free. But the trauma has already taken root. I feel itchy everytime I sit or lay down. I'm convinced that something is crawling on me all the time. Every hair that blows across my skin is a swarm of something. Its hard to sleep with that anticipation of sheets of bugs that you can't see. And when I do sleep, I dream of bugs. Its horrible and debilitating. And its happening to almost everyone I traveled with.

88 of us went on this trip. So far, 2 of us had dr. confirmed bites. I can't count the number of people that just threw out their belongings - just in case. 2 women got their dog sniffer and was found to have bed bugs in their homes - or activity, whatever that is. The hotel is willing to pay for those 2 women's homes to be exterminated (around $7,ooo), but they are making noise about paying me and the others for our sniffers. I have many next steps in my pocket if they choose not to do the right thing and reimburse the guests. But I hope it doesn't come to that.

And to top it all off, after 'abandoning' my child for 4 days, I come back fighting a cold that I caught on day 1 - when we had an outdoor dinner where the propane heater by MY table went out, and in the beautiful curve of the pool side, beach front restaurant we ate at, my table was nearly on the sand - so we got constant, whipping breezes. I lost the fight and the cold came on Thursday. I went to the Dr. on Friday - which is when he said I definitely had bed bug bites. And bronchitis.

I slept the rest of that day, and the next 3 days. Now its day 4 of the cold, day 8 of being an essentially absentee mommy, and I can't sleep because of the bug-factor, I'm shivering and sweating from this flu-like bug I have. I've still got lots of work that I'm trying to muster the mental facaulties to comprehend. And I don't want to take any more codiene because it knocks me out so hard.

I thought trifectas were supposed to be a good thing.

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