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Why Tuesday?

The Girlfriend's Guide to Health will be updated every Tuesday.... Stay tuned dear readers and let me rock your world.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blood Suckers

I’ve been staying in a lot of hotels these days my girlfriends…. Between the Cross Canada trip this summer and the conferences and work this fall, I am having my bed made more days in a month than not, I must say.

On the plus side, there is something to be said for maid service. Not having to clean up after oneself really is quite the treat.

Let me confess my cycbersisters…. I suck at making a bed. I have tried my best to master this task but my technique is alas subpar and really I can’t get the sheets to sit just right. Overall my hospital corners are in a word, pathetic and really I leave the bed in much of the same mess as I found it unmade to begin with.

So, it can be said that leaving my room in the morning and returning in the afternoon to have it magically transformed, bed made, towels cleaned and bathroom sparkling has become something I am getting frighteningly used to.

This is of course a problem because like a fabulous pair of strappy sandals…. All good things must come to an end.

But it got me thinking about how we tend to get used to certain behaviours in life.

When I was a little girl, my mother made my bed every morning. Even when I wanted to join the work force so to speak, Mama insisted on making the bed. This continued- I kid you not, my cybersisters- until I moved out and went to University.

Yes, dear girlfriends, I had my bed made for me for the first twenty something years of my life.

As such, I suck at making a bed. I mean really suck- my mother ruined me for a good set of hospital corners.

And now when I stay at hotels, I am left in a wonderland where my bed is magically made every day to the perfect maternal specificaltions I once knew.

And then came bedbugs.

I never really thought much about the little buggers until this past weekend while in New York City, me best friend and I had a little girls weekend. The moment we walked into the hotel, she began a bedbug check.

This apparently involves putting your luggage in the bathtub while you lift the sheets at thte corners and basically flip the bed in order to see if in fact you have “company”.

There we were- two fabulous women in a five star hotel (yes I wore heels) flipping a matteress for a vermin check. NONE. YAY.

Not only was I in NYC for the weekend (cue music) I did not have an infestation in my perfectly made bed.

Bedbugs were quite common during the first and second World Wars. They were pretty much eradicated after WWII but since 1995 have seen a resurgence.

The biggest health effect of bed bugs apart are skin rashes and allergic symptoms. Yah THAT and the psychological mine field of knowing a little insect is sucking your blood each night….

Diagnosis involves finding the source of the bugs and the offending rash on your skin. Treatment is purely symptomatic.

According to the CDA approximately 20% of all hotels in the USA have Bedbugs at some point in the year. Fear not dear girlfriends- there is a website of NYC hotels that do and do not have the little suckers….

And so on this day after Halloween, I am home in my own bed- my clothes unpacked, my shoes back in their boxes….

Today I made my own bed and I did a shitty job.

Yet I slept soundly last night knowing that I would not be an unforeseen blood donor to a bunch of pests wanting a free meal. My hotel was not on the bedbug list and yes, I did inspect every inch of my skin on several occasions to rule out the telltale rash…

Turns out this Halloween- I dressed up as neurotic.

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