“…Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan --  This is what has been eating me. Just what I need ... another battle to fight.
Bagram Air Field,
Afghanistan —
This is what has been eating me.
Just what I need … another battle to fight.

Did your mother ever say to you: “Nite-nite, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite?” Mine did, and it scared the &h!t out of me! (I couldn’t sleep thinking bugs were in my bed trying to eat me!) When I was little, I’m not sure I ever saw a bedbug, but I certainly saw ROACHES. So, I just figured bedbugs were like roaches. I had bad dreams sometimes, and they usually were about roaches crawling in my bed to eat me alive. Thanks, mom.

As I got older, I had still heard the word “bedbug,” but still wasn’t sure if they were real or just some figment of all mother’s imaginations. (Mother’s have lots of not-realisms that we all know are not true … like “don’t cross your eyes, or they’ll stay that way!”)

Yesterday I came face to face with some real bedbugs, in my bed, here in the’ stan. They were kinda just chillin’ on my legs when I woke up, like “Hey, Cap’n, watcha doin’?” I wasn’t too pleased. I had finally met the parasites that were treating my arms like a Country Buffet.

I dug out the carpet in my little part of the hut, threw out one of the older mattresses and sprayed a lot of bug spray. To help with the bites and itching, a nice Nurse Practitioner prescribed some meds and steroids for me. Today I noticed my skin is still itchy, but the inflammation has calmed down, so I guess i’m getting better.

I doubt that all of this will get rid of the bugs, but the only other option is me moving out of the hut … and considering that my hut is already a bare-bones military sleeping quarters, I figure the military will think that moving out into open tents is the next step … If it’s all the same to you, I’ll find a way to live with the bedbugs. (I’ll get ‘em some cable, introduce them to a few roaches I know, and we’ll be straight. Don’t start nothin’, won’t be nothin’.)

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