>Let me start by saying this: Ewwwwwww. Gross. Disgusting. Nasty McNastiness.
No, I do not have them. But I have patients come into the hospital with them with increasing frequency and each and every time, I will feel like something is crawling on me for days afterwards. Of course I know it is all psychological. And I get paranoid as heck. But in my defense, it is entirely possible for one to hitch a ride home with me on my scrubs. And around here, this topic is all over. People have gotten them from pretty respectable businesses like stores and hotels. Not to mention yard sales, consignment shops….Blech. Something other than financial ruin has finally made me afraid to shop. This is bad. Really, really bad.
So the other day at work, I had a patient come in with them. Again. This one hit me particularly hard because just a few days ago, they had found one of the cooties crawling in the nurses’ station of one of the ICUs. They trapped it in a specimen cup, safely sealed beneath plastic, and showed us all what they look like. Now is the part where I tell you that my hospital is immaculate. This is pretty much just the inevitable when you have all kinds of patients from all walks of life come in, complete with their belongings from home, and stay a spell. But nevertheless, it creeped us all out. And so getting another patient with them just did me in.
So I come home, literally stripping as I come into the vestibule that separates our halves of the duplex, and throw my scrubs, shoes, socks, undies, and even my stethoscope cover, into the wash. I still feel gross, and so I jump into the hottest shower I can tolerate. Still feel creepy-crawly, but by now I realize it’s my mind playing tricks on me. And I try to sleep a little. By midday, I’m okay.
Until last night.
Evan has a habit of leaving doors open. And this is about the only time of year my allergies allow me to have windows open to get some fresh air, despite the fact that just about every window in my house needs a screen replaced. So various little bugs will occasionally get in. I’m sure this was what this was. But as John and I were getting ready to go to bed, there on the corner of the night stand, was a creature. And so I abandoned the idea of sleep and started googling bed bugs. And this didn’t look like one. And we have no other signs of a problem. I do not have cooties.
But I was still freaked out. Because it was in my bedroom. And it was a bug. And I had the patient. And the idea just creeps me out more than you could imagine. Seriously, if I got them, I think Iwould have to torch my own house as my family fled in their birthday suits to prevent bringing any stowaways. I am that freaked out. So what I really want to do is call Terminex. And the Orkin Man. And any other pest control company in Cincinnati and have them all check out my house simultaneously because you can never be too safe. John says I’m crazy. So instead, to appease me, he is going to help me strip down the bedroom in the morning to make extra extra extra extra sure. Because I am still creeped out. And a little OCD about this. In truth, he and I both know we’re clear. I’m too much of a neat freak and clean and scrub too often to not have seen evidence of them if we did have them. I know he’s just agreed to this to shut up.