Bedbugs, the ongoing saga

I never thought these little monsters would consume so much of my time, money and blood. However I think I’m near the end of this rotten little experience but afraid to say it because I don’t want to jinx it.

I’ve sprayed the crap out of my couch, the baseboards around the couch, most of the carpet and I’ve put my bedding and jammies in the dryer every morning. I’ve not seen any bedbugs in three days and slept in peace. So far. I sprayed the couch again tonight, because I still don’t want to take any chances.

Then I saw this on TV and felt, I don’t know, empathy. Empathy, vindication, and less shame, and thinking I’m not staying there, if it is ever an option.



This is going to be a fun one. For those who have never had a colonoscopy, be grateful. For those who have, I salute you, but not with a clear liquid.

The process takes 2 days. The day before “the procedure ” I drank 2 liters of Moviprep powder mixed with water. It’s not that bad, tastes like mutated 7Up, with a lemony smell and taste. It doesn’t taste that bad, at first. But after awhile you have to force the crap down, I gagged a little when I tried to chug it at one point. Do not do this.

Since I could not eat, I was on “clear liquids” meaning chicken broth, 7Up, apple juice and popsicles without red or purple food coloring. This was okay, at first but then my body woke up and angrily demanded food, real chewy food. I stayed strong and drank 7Up and low sodium chicken broth between sips of Moviprep. It took nearly 6 hours to finish the first liter of Moviprep.

At the time I made a couple of short jaunts to the bathroom thinking “this isn’t so bad.” Not the urgent runs the nurse warned me about, I figured they said that because maybe some people reacted to it that way. Then after I finished the first liter something happened. Moviprep kicked in hard and I understood the meaning of urgent. I spent most of that night in and out of the bathroom. I managed to drink more Moviprep in between trips.

I made the journey to the hospital this morning, wearing loose fitting clothes. I checked in, my sister talked to the clerk and we waited til they called me back.

I was weighed, not a good way to start out. I produced a urine sample and was led to a room with a paper gown, shower cap and some cute socks. After I changed clothes a nurse started an IV and handed me the TV remote. I learned there’s nothing good on TV during the day, even with cable. She told me the hardest part, drinking the Moviprep, was over.

I was wheeled down the hall to an operating room where they put an oxygen mask on my face and I was knocked out. They told me I went back to the same room and the colonoscopy happened there. I believe them, I was thankfully unaware of any of it. I woke up in recovery.


My Ace bracelet

I was fuzzy headed, my balance was wonky and I was hungry. I remember getting dressed and being loaded into a wheelchair but the memory has a blurry border. My sister told me they said everything was fine and I probably didn’t need to come back for 10 years. I felt okay but was glad she was there to drive. We stopped at Sonic and even though it is Friday, I had a little doggie hotdog, figuring I needed the protein.


I kept the socks.

woo and hoo

I got a job! Finally!

While it isn’t as big a deal as a Supreme Court justice dying in Texas, it’s major to me. Once I accepted and hung up the phone a huge sense of relief came over me. I did not do the happy dance like I had imagined I would. I did tell my sister and dad, right after I told my dog. It was only fair; she was sitting next to me when I got the call and she seemed genuinely interested.

I know it will be at least 3 weeks before I see a paycheck. Yet the first thing I thought was “Yes, I am going out to celebrate,” and I had Chinese food for lunch. I also made an appointment to have my hair dyed, for the first time in 2 months. Making that appointment made me feel like I’m myself again, that everything is returning to normal.

There’s stuff to do, including a drug test. So I have to get my hair done, take Olive to get her nails trimmed, find my old lunch bag and have a colonoscopy, plus I need to do laundry. It’s going to be a full week.

I told a few people, my sisters and dad and a few friends. In a strange way I’m a little embarrassed about telling anyone, because it’s been so long and some people may even think I’ve already found a job. It’s reminding people I was unemployed so long, unproductive and just sad. I admit my sense of humanity is returning, I saw myself becoming a parasite, wholly dependent on others to take care of me and I hated that. Now that I will be able to pay my own way, have a purpose and a place to go every week day barring holidays, my sense of my worth has increased. When people ask what I do I will have something to say. When they ask where I work I’ll have an answer. Being unemployed takes that from you, that sense of being, of having a definable status.

Monday at the hospital

I’m in a hospital waiting room. My sister had shortness of breath yesterday and I brought her to the hospital.  She was admitted and will probably be here a week.

I’m one of the few people who feel at ease in a hospital. I spent more than 10 years in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals with my husband and with various family members.  I can’t say I enjoy being around hurting, scared people, exhausted nurses and vending machine food but I’m used to it, I can cope. So that’s why I stayed with her most of yesterday and today. Why I’ll be back tomorrow and so on.  I am like Anne Elliott, the first one who is called when somebody is sick, it is expected of her as a spinster (widow in my case).

Not that I had stuff to do and I admit I would rather be here, to be on hand when the doctor comes, orders change and to ask questions. I did it for Jerry.

She is not used to being sick, forced to stay in bed, or follow orders.  She’s feeling better,  she was bored earlier because there wasn’t anything on TV.

But there is one difference.  She’s had visitors. Yesterday and today, people came to see her and pray over her. I’m glad, really but I am a little perturbed, not pissed but a tad upset. This is why.

None of this happened when Jerry died. No one came to visit me and Bear, we received a few cards but no visitors. No one came to check on us. Even though its been nearly two years I’m surprised I am still this resentful. Yes, nearly two years, in five months it will be two years.

It doesn’t change anything, today’s events or 19 months ago. I am glad she had visitors, it’s important to feel loved, to know people care. But it reminded me of how alone Bear and me are, and how it felt.

Bedbugs part 2

I talked to a friend who battled bedbugs and won. She told me the magic formula and the next day I started on my own attack. It was a little costly but not as costly as hiring an exterminator.

I bought a carpet shampooer, shampoo and this. I put the pets outside, explaining this was not about them. Then I sprayed down my couch, nearly soaking it as I chanted “die, die, you little mother$%^&*@.” I figured out the workings of my new shampooer and loaded the water tank with hot water, shampoo and killer bug spray. Killer bug spray is a milky white substance, odorless and fortunately for me, stainless.

I sprayed the baseboards and crevices. I put my bedding and pillows in the dryer on high heat. I shampooed all the carpets, starting in the living room and then the hallways and bedrooms. I moved all the furniture, with the exception of the piano. I wasn’t as concerned about cleaning as I was about sucking out any bugs and soaking death into the carpets. The carpet looked better in some places and I just lightened the stains in others. The whole thing took me 7 hours, not counting a 30 minute lunch break.

The aftermath was satisfying; I slept the whole night. Although I did some damage I hadn’t got them all, this is from the following morning.


The next day and night were the same, I found a couple of survivors but they didn’t last long. I sprayed the next day, mostly under the cushions and inside the couch, still saying “die, die” under my breath. That following morning I was rewarded by two bedbugs frantically crawling on the wall,. the white wall. One thing I can say for them, they are not very bright and I got them too.

It’s been four days and I’ve sprayed 3 times. I’ve put my bedding through the dryer each morning and I feel I’m winning. My friend said to repeat the shampoo treatment in a week, then every week for a month, and to keep spraying. She suggested I give the pets baths too. She warned me I will have to keep treating the house every month and it will be awhile before they are really truly gone. I looked up bedbug remedies online and they range from sales pitches to diatomaceous earth. I admit I put my faith in pesticides rather than stuff like steam.

The only troubling thing is my sister said she saw 2 bedbugs in her room. I sprayed in there but because she was on the bed didn’t do her mattress. She’s doing it now and washed her sheets. I hope that does it. My dad hasn’t seen any he says and I hope it stays that way.