Friday, October 15, 2010

Creepy, Crawley Critters

This has been an odd week, working on the road with my boss and a cast of thousands (12) including my very own Mitchell. The client is important to us, so we are putting on the full court press, but are actually not at all busy. Mostly I have finished the client work in a couple of hours each morning and then spent the rest of the day being available and charming. No, I am not a call girl - altho charming and available did sound a bit like that. Actually, I am one of the computer geeks in a crowd this is pretty pc saavy and hasn't really needed us.

My laptop is old and slow, so I have spent the week using the boss's and trying to figure out why in the world it is configured (or not configured) the way it is. Fodder for another time.

The big issue this morning was ... bed bugs! You read about them. They are on the rise in the U.S. again, but you never think that you will come close to contacting one. But two people in our group did - up close and move-to-another-room-personal. One was so spooked that she left work this morning and headed to the emergency room for "treatment".

That was when I realized that altho I have read tons about how to prevent them and what to do to get rid of them - basically, call the exterminator and let him worry about it - I had not seen anything much about what to do if you are the not-so-happy recipient of the bites. So, what did I find? Benedryl and cortisone cream - plain and simple.

Apparently most folks are not particularly sensitive to the bites, but a small percent of people do react with an alergy-induced itch. There is an even smaller group of people who will get an infection from scratching the bites and introducing whatever germ is hanging around on their skin or in their environment. That requires an antibiotic cream in addition.

So, my co-worker has gone off to an emergency room to get benedryl and cortisone cream! She will spend a ton of money (and help cause health care costs soar again for everyone) and delay getting treatment because they will send her to a drug store after she has waited for an hour to be seen. I would be a whole lot more interested in cleaning off my suitcase and making sure all my clothes get washed tonight in hot, hot water.

And, I plan to plan ahead for my next trip and include two more things in my overnight bag. Benedryl and cortisone cream.


  1. Eeek! Bedbugs, fleas, cockroaches - household horrors, would make me itch and scratch and howl to the skies. How did our ancestors live with them all the time as a normal aspect of life? More shamefully I squirm at the idea of them when communities all over the world would just get on with living with them as part of normal life. We've become tender little creatures enjoying our first world hygiene haven't we? x

  2. Interesting, if creepy post, Ms. Webb.

    One of my workmates was viciously attacked by bed bugs this summer while staying at a hotel in Charleston,S.C. It took 3 doctors visits to figure out the problem and then a battery of drugs including steroids to clear up her skin and stop the painful itching.

    I am now paranoid about staying in a hotel.

    Your new "carry on" items will be kept frimly in the front of my mind.

    XO Jane

  3. Our suitcases are still in the car. Am not sure I am going to allow them in, even tho we did not actually see or seem to have the bugs in our room. Mitchell is very allergic (like your workmate) to most biting critters, so I feel like he is my canary for things like that, but am still not sure I will allow the suitcases in!