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Articles Tagged ‘Bed-bugs’

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More Privileged Views of Portugal: In the Hospital

Monday, July 24th, 2006

This was going to be another day of silence, but life happens, and it feels good to blog right now. It turns out I´m severely allergic to bed-bugs. I went to the Farmacia to ask for something a little stronger than the gel, and the pharmacist looked at a couple of my bites and sent me immediately to the hospital. She said I am having an “urgent event.” I like that term, it seems so much less frightening than an emergency. I got to see another side of Portugal that most tourists don´t see. Sick babies, old men having heart attacks, women with pain in the stomach, and me, with seeping welts. The camaraderie in the waiting room was wonderful, and everyone was eager to know exactly where I encountered the Pulgos, and they asked to see my most dramatic welts, which I was a little embarrassed about showing, but the worst ones are on my legs. Only the doctor got to see all of them. I apologized to the other people in the waiting room and said it is not a very big problem, but they were wonderfully sympathetic, and the doctor gave me intravenous antihistamines. Wow. Cool drugs! I´m really floating now. [read on]

Braga! Public dancing, bed bugs, Bom Jesus

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Christopher´s reply on bed bugs is very helpful. I did some research on the internet myself yesterday and was reminded of a few helpful things. First, the bugs are visible (and I remember what they look like from Africa), so I inspected everything I own and didn´t see any, which is good, although as Manko can tell you, my vision sucks, even with glasses. Second, they lay eggs which hatch in two weeks, and I almost certainly have eggs in the backpack, my journal, etc., so all that stuff will have to go just before the two-week mark unless I can find a reliable insecticide that will kill the eggs (unlikely). Third, clothing can be salvaged if washed and then dried at high heat. Given that I may encounter still more bed bugs before the trip is over, I have decided to keep everything for two weeks. I walked two miles to the university area this morning and found a coin op laundromat and washed & dried (hot) everything I own except what I had on. I discovered that very hot, almost scalding water, applied to the bites, helps more than the ointment I bought at the farmacia yesterday. I didn´t yet have the right word for the bugs (thanks Christopher), but I called them insectos de cama, and that got the point across. Otherwise, this is the best part of the trip, with song, dance, and great joy. [read on]