As I mentioned in my last post, I had a very interesting experience after my most recent whirlwind of trips.
As a kid, my mother would always tuck me into bed and we would take turns saying each line in a old (I’m assuming southern?) nursery rhyme: “Night night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.” For most of my life, I had no idea what a bedbug was – I just thought it was made up, maybe it used to exist but didn’t anymore. As I got older, I found out they really were a thing, but I would probably never have to deal with them, right? Because I always go to nice hotels, and bedbugs won’t be in nice hotels, right? Wrong.
Bedbugs are actually super common. And once you have them, it’s damned near impossible to get rid of them. One of my best friends growing up got bedbugs once; they had to fumigate their whole house. A few years later, my parent’s friends got them too and had to fumigate their whole house twice. So basically bedbugs are the devil. Horrible, terrible little fuckers that just. wont. die.
Fastforward to last week. I actually can’t exactly remember which day I first saw the spots on my hands and arms, but it was right when I got back from Las Vegas. And at first I was thinking – um, why do I look like I was a meal for some vicious little creature? Then I realized – ffuuuccckkkk, ARE THESE BEDBUG BITES?!?!?!?! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
At first I’m like – “Okay, what can these be? Let’s think of literally everything that they could possibly be and hope it isn’t bedbugs.” That night I go out to dinner with a group of close friends, and since I’m itching like mad I decide to ask them: “What do these bites look like?” Of course, one of my friends there has had bedbugs. And immediately responds “bedbugs.” And I’m like “………fml” Only then, another friend responds “No no, that’s a rash, you are fine; come over to my house for the night, I’ll give you antihistamines, we’ll have a girls night, it’ll be fun.” Well, who do I listen to? Obviously the one that says not bedbugs, because I refuse to accept the reality that I did, indeed, open my home up for housing then set out a meal of my – apparently delicious – body for the little fuckers. So I take my second friend up on her offer, and the next morning I wake up in so much itchy pain that I feel like I am dying and finally give in to the reality that I really need to go to the doctor about this shit.
For those that don’t know – if you don’t have what is called “MSP” in British Columbia, you are not covered by the ‘free’ Canadian healthcare. It costs about $80/month (it used to be $60, but every year BC keeps raising the fees grumble grumble grumble) but once you pay that, you don’t have to pay for any doctor’s visits, etc. and your prescriptions are extremely cheap because they are subsidized. Which is awesome. Only I don’t have MSP anymore. Because when my visa changed from a student visa to a work permit, I didn’t know I had to re-enroll and I’m too damn lazy/don’t live in Vancouver enough to take the time to actually get healthcare here again. So what would be a free doctor’s visit turns into a $120 visit with a $20 prescription for a steroid cream so I don’t scratch holes into my arms (I nearly had, apparently I scratched in my sleep….) Moral of this story – it is more advantageous to just take the time to actually re-enroll. Have I? Nope. Why? Because I leave Vancouver again in a month. Annnnddddd: I’m still too damn lazy. Even though I have endless amounts of free time. Because that involves being productive, and my brain is like “No school! No work! Let’s sleep all day! Vacaattiionnnnnnn!!!!”
Anyway, after this SUPER FUN doctor’s visit, I go buy a steamer (my friend who had bedbugs before said it is the cheapest way to get rid of them, but you have to keep treating everything over and over and over for months – also $140, so my wallet was crying even though I knew my parents would help me pay for it.) AND I STEAM THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYTHING IN MY APARTMENT. My roommate thought I was insane when she came home and I was hunched over the floor steaming every inch I could reach. How many times did I steam my suitcase? Like 3. The couch? Like 5. My room? About 8 times. My bed? Fifteen freaking times. And I washed every piece of clothing, bedding, detachable object in the place at least two times. And put my bedding in the dryer for (and I’m actually not kidding) five hours. On extreme heat. Because I was not about to have bedbugs come back with me on my next adventures. Or get near my face again. That shit was not about to happen.
Well. Good news. The bugs never really came back. I say really because I woke one day with two little bites on my leg where my PJs cut off, and I flipped a shit and put my bedding back in the dryer for 3 hours on extreme heat then steamed every inch of my room AGAIN. BUT – lesson learned – bedbugs are real. They can live in really nice hotels. And somehow after 2 months in hostels around Europe I never got them, but apparently 3 days in America means bedbugs galore! (Can we start a #damnitdonald for shit like this, like they did with #thanksObama?) But then again, it may not have been bedbugs since I never actually saw any bugs, but like….it was bedbugs. Let’s be honest.
Also – if this ever happens to you, don’t bother getting an exterminator, $140 steamer + heating up every detachable thing in your house that fits in the dryer may just do the trick.
And just to reiterate. Because I can’t say it enough. Bedbugs are real. And they suck. And are essentially the devil. Like for real. My arms still haven’t healed. But at least my face has. Bright side?