Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Fairest Week In Review: Special Vacation Plague Edition

Warning: If you read this, there are a lot of shouty capital letters in your future.

Oh man, guys. Hello. I'm back.

From the beach, that is, and it was really good, because I was on vacation at the beach and that's always awesome. It was also really bad, because...

Well, let's start at the beginning. Important plot point: I am allergic to animal dander. I also have two cats because SCREW YOU, ALLERGIES, I LOVE ANIMALS WITH A LOVE THAT YOU CANNOT BREAK, NOT WITH A THOUSAND SWORDS.

Yes, thank you, Buttercup; I can take it from here.

Anyway. I take OTC allergy meds to stave off sneezes and itchy eyes. I usually leave it behind on vacation, unless I plan to be hanging out with animals. As in this case I very sadly was not, I didn't pack it. This will be important later.

Fast forward to about, oh, the morning of the third day of the trip. I can't help but notice that I have an unusual number of bug bites. Three down my shoulder line up, which is of course a sign of bedbugs, so Pat and I lift the mattress and take a look around. Nothing seems unusual and Pat hasn't been bitten at all. We assemble alternate theories: spider bites? Sand fleas?

The next day I have an itchy red bump on my face.

The day after that I have MORE bites on my face and a huge cluster of them cascading down my left arm. As I am starting to feel uncomfortably plaguey, Pat enlists his brother to help him with another, more thorough bedbug check, this time removing the mattress entirely. Still nothing unusual, and still no bites worth noting on Pat.

I decide to sleep on the couch that night to see if that helps. It does NOT; in fact, things get worse. My hands are covered in itchy lumps and there's a big pink spot ABOVE MY EYELID. My eye is a little swollen, too, which leads me to a terrible thought: am I allergic to something besides pet dander but don't know it because my meds keep it at bay? That would explain my escalating condition as the buildup of antihistamines in my system slowly gave way.

By this point frankly a bit miserable, I slap on a baseball cap and sunglasses to hide my stupid leper face and walk to CVS. I pick up the strong OTC stuff, the kind you have to go to the pharmacist and hand over your driver's license for (no, I did not remove my sunglasses inside and no, the pharmacist didn't challenge me, in case you're ever similarly afflicted). I add some cortisone cream to my purchase and rip into both immediately upon leaving the store. An hour or so later and things are looking up: my welts are flattening out, the angry pink is fading, my eye isn't as swollen; I just generally feel less like I want to die.

Okay then. I must be allergic to something. Maybe something the cleaning service uses? A chemical or some such? I'll need to make an appointment with an allergist, but at least now I have a solid lead as to what's wrong with me. Just in time to... leave; the trip is over in the morning. But at least I go to sleep feeling optimistic.

When we wake up, PAT IS COVERED IN BUG BITES.

When Pat's mom folds the fitted sheet, SHE FINDS A BEDBUG.

A much more thorough search yields bedbugs hiding in the wood of the box spring. They'd been ignoring Pat all week for the most part in favor of me, but I guess that strong antihistamine made me less delicious, and they went to town on him that last night. He reaction wasn't as strong as mine, but his back and arms were pretty chewed up and his hands were almost as bad as mine.

FUCKING BEDBUGS, GUYS. BEDBUGS. LIKE, WHAT THE FUCK?

If only, Eddie. If only.

And this was a nice place, too! You would never have suspected it. But believe it or not: THE PLOT THICKENS.

As you might imagine, Pat's dad mentioned the FUCKING BEDBUGS (maybe not in those exact words) to the realtor, and received... an apology. That's it. Pat and I are kinda furious about this. All our stuff could be tainted. Everything we brought (minus electronics) is currently in the car to bake in the sun, as heat kills bedbugs. Then we'll spray it with bedbug stuff, then wash and dry it on setting HOT HOT HOT, THEN bag it for a week to starve anything that might have survived all that. Therefore half the things we own are out of commission for at least a fortnight. My favorite running clothes are in there, and my favorite running shoes, and a couple new dresses and some toiletries that were in a cloth case and therefore could be vulnerable. Pat had his favorite t-shirts with him and he's loathe to hit them with high heat lest they shrink. Also, did I mention we're both COVERED IN A PLAGUE OF BEDBUG BITES? Matters are definitely improving but these itchy spots have staying power. I may start carrying a sign that says MY FACE ISN'T BREAKING OUT IT'S BEDBUGS.

Like, at LEAST offer to pay for our meds and anti-bedbug supplies, okay, realtor? And good customer service would include knocking a bit off the price. I recognize that the infestation is not the realtor's fault, but the cleanliness of the property is their responsibility. An apology does not cut it.

Oh, but: about that thicker plot. The realtor did call Pat's dad back, to say they DIDN'T FIND ANYTHING. The strong implication being - wait for it - they just let the next renter have the place. Did they even mention the bedbugs, do you think? VERY SUSPICIOUS.

As far as Pat and I are concerned, this is not over. For starters, the realtor is getting one of my Strongly Worded Letters. Please be assured they are quite strong in the words. I plan to attach a picture of my plague arm. And if they don't put some real effort into making things right this time, I am posting their name and their properties here. And then some Yelp reviews or whatever. Spoiler alert: they will not be good reviews. Stay tuned! (I'm not overreacting, am I? It's hard to tell; I'm SO ITCHY.)

I swear to God, if we get bedbugs from this I will DIE. I am clearly VERY ALLERGIC. How do people live with them in their home?

There you have it, then: my tragic vacation plague story. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I didn't. If you have any advice, feel free to lay it on me.

I did manage to get three runs in on the boardwalk before I completely morphed into a hot mess, but I think this rant has gone on long enough. More on running (which, if you've forgotten, is what this blog is largely about) later.

Happier times! Here's your roundup.

- Darlin' Rae wisely listens to herself as regards race distances.
- Why I runDisney is going Dopey! Lucky.
- Disney In Your Day assembles a Disney park glossary.
- Plus the Magic snags some nifty Epcot pins.
- Disney Nerds eat around Disneyland Paris.
- Living A Disney Life explores WDW's drink flights.
- The Disney Tourist blog heeds the words of Tom Haverford at WDW.
- Mouse on the Mind takes in a movie on the Disney Dream.
- Slightly off topic, but since I just saw and liked it: EPBOT reviews the new Ghostbusters movie. "The floating hot dog implies that a ghost is holding it."
- If you're sick of this blog and want to start your own, better one, Through Heather's Looking Glass has some tips for you.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

6 comments:

  1. UGH GOD NO I FEEL YOUR PAIN!! We somehow mysteriously ended up with bedbugs in our Boston apartment about 1 month before we were set to move back to VT. All our stuff already in boxes. All our furniture corrupted. Awful. We paid to have a service come in and superheat our apartment to kill the fuckers, but even so, we left a LOT of our stuff in storage for weeks after we moved to make sure they were toast. I'm so, so sorry. Ugh.

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    1. Superheating and isolation worked, right? Oh God I hope it works. :( I'm heartened by your victory, though!

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  2. HO.LEE.CRAP. I've always found when I don't get proper customer service, Twitter can be quite a lethal weapon. I wouldn't wait, especially if they plan on just renting it out again and not saying anything. You'd be surprised how quickly people react to a valid smear campaign.

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  3. This is insane - not just the experience but that they're going to continue to rent it out? Definitely raise a fuss and we can help you with social media shares to get their attention if needed!

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    1. Awesome - I will definitely keep everyone updated!

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