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Mom has been to a psychiatrist as the bugs are not real. This has been going on for 2 years and she is changing clothes 4 and 5 times a day. She insists on vaginal medicine that she keeps getting prescriptions for that. Her doctor said diabetics often have yeast problems. She is constantly complaining at the age of 79 and thinks all drs are just getting money and not listening.. I realize she is getting old and there are lots of little issues. But the "bugs" are making her life miserable and me too.

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Jinglebts, sounds like there's literally an epidemic of mosquitoes. Bring out the tiki torches! And of course the citronella candles. I'm wondering if fly paper would catch them....

Blannie, I've found the Environmental Working Group website to be a very informative source of toxins as well, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics also is helpful. I believe it's the latter that had information on lead in lipstick. I just cringed when I thought of using lipstick for years while I was working. I wish I had known then what I know now.
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Well, blannie, only in "the bush" as we call it, and you have to wear blackfly nets. Mosquito nets won't do, as the holes in the netting are big enough to fly in, but the "little buggers" can't find their way out. My ex learned that sad lesson. His face was swollen and red for a week. I myself have never suffered them.

Now wasps -- they're a different matter. I was stung by one MULTIPLE TIMES while trying to enjoy some lunch and a glass of wine at a restaurant patio. And my daughter's back yard is full of ground wasps.

Ow ow ow ow OWWWW!
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Do a google search for "the dirty dozen" and the "clean fifteen" and you'll get a list from the Environmental Working Group about the cleanest and dirtiest fruits and veggies relative to pesticides. Jinglebts I love Canada, but you guys also have black flies! I traveled to Quebec camping one June (when I was a mere child of 19, LOL) and OMG, my boyfriend and I were just about eaten alive by those little buggers. They'd bite our scalps in the parts in our hair!! I was never so happy to leave a place as I was that camping trip! Mosquitoes and black flies...shudder.
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ff: Chocolate has caffeine in it. I tend to get gastritis, so if I drink coffee, it has to be decaf; I have to limit my chocolate and my drinking; and I can't take NSAIDS. The biggest thing I miss is aspirin for inflammation.
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GA: I grew up in Winnipeg, which is at the confluence of two rivers, the Red and the Assiniboine, and there is much standing water there (also it's flat, so the water has no place to go). I had never seen so many mosquitoes in my life. I've since fetched up in a village near Lake Huron, which the Nottawaga River flows thru', in a community that has a lot of man-made lakes scattered thru' it. I have no idea where they might breed, as the lakes are not stagnant. The only thing I can think is that we had a lot more rain this year than in others so they might breed in marshy land and puddles. I've never had to use deterrents here before, but I think I'd better buy some citronella candles.

I too am shocked to learn abt celery (which I only found out abt on this thread) and I am appalled to know that there are at least 15?? pesticides in it! I knew abt strawberries and apples. What are we to do tho'? We can't buy organic from the food stores (well, not much), and do farmers' markets do organic?
It looks like global warming is going to do us in. If the fires and floods don't get us, the bugs will. (Or Trump.) Faugh.
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Jinglebts, do you live near a pond, swamp, marsh? I'm wondering why there are so many mosquitoes in your area. That must take a lot of pleasure out of living there - mosquitoes are soooo nasty.

Have your daughter avoid celery for several days and see if the itching still occurs. It could be that she's hypersensitive to either the celery or one of the chemicals in it.

I'm going to check my research on celery; I recall that one article stated celery had been tested for pesticides before and after washing. The pesticides weren't necessarily on the outside only; they were inside the celery; they were systemic.

I do recall that one test found 15 different pesticides in celery, and that it was one of the most contaminated foods examined. I knew apples and strawberries were pretty well drenched in insecticides as well, but I was shocked to learn that about celery.
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Ff and GA: My daughter is allergic to celery (very itchy throat and ears, numb lips), but it never occurred to me that it might be the pesticides -- ie, that it is NOT organic. I'll have to tell her.

I grew up in a mid-western city that has the worst mosquito concentration on the continent. We couldn't WAIT for the city to spray with DDT. (I actually liked the smell of it -- about 60 years ago, that was.) That self-same city is even more infested, but if one neighbour in an area complains, no spraying is allowed (not DDT, but I don't know what they use). I know of ppl who died in the bush from mosquitoes and I wouldn't be surprised if they died in the city too. You have to literally run from the back door to the gazebo, counting on bug spray to work during the 30-second dash.

I'm off topic. But Iwo days ago I had to run from my car the five feet to my front door. I HATE them. [[[shiver]]]
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Sendme2help, thanks for the tip about night time chocolate... I will make a mental note of that to keep my hand out of the Hershey Kisses bowl as I have GERD, too. I will see if it makes any difference. I have also cut out cola for supper [love my Cherry Coke] but while in bed the GERD tries to get my attention.
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My mother was diagnosed wth delusional parasitosis.It was 2 or 3 years ago. I took her to a psychiatrist but she refuses any medications that make her brain weird. It is very hard for all of us. I can't imagine the torment she feels as the doctors don't see her bugs or bug bites and so she wants a different doctor. I wondered if there is anyone else that experienced this with their parents. My brother was killed in a car wreck in 2009 and mom did not handle it like we all thought she would. She internalized, I sometimes wonder if that could trigger this.
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GA, We may be legal eagles?
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A lot of fish do have worms in the summers.
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Not a real true polititian in sight here-maybe they finally locked him up!

What we shared is true. Only organic celery is going in my tuna sandwich, along with the mercury from now on! Thanks for sharing that, GA.
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Send: "If what we shared is not true, Garden Artist, then I guess the diagnosis would be a 'shared psychotic disorded" - uh oh, does that mean we're politicians? GASP!
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Ff, don't worry too much about the chocolate, because I did not have shortness of breath, ever, when eating the chocolate. Actually, it was when (I believe it was,GA) someone suggested that chocolate at night causes the cardiac sphincter to open/relax and increase GERD sx.that I decreased the night chocolate. Then, started juicing celery to get healthy, and attacks of shortness of breath were severe, 3x or more in these past two months! I had an inhaler which I used 1x per year or less for 'reactive airways'.
Anyway, I am so thankful to all of you here-even the GERD is less with much less nightime chocolate! I think I will give up the celery juicing altogether now.
Will research and write letters about the good idea to at least notify others when spraying pesticides!
Everyone has been so good to share! Even the slightesf thing can be helpful!
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Sometimes medical condition are in fact very real, other times its mind over matter. For the past few years I have had this annoying cough and here I thought it was a side effect of having cancer and not getting enough exercise to build my strength back up.

Lo and behold, the coughing was cut down by 75% after I finally retired my 30 year old vacuum and bought one of those vacuums where you don't use a bag, but you actually see what you are vacuuming up. Good heavens, i could not believe all the cat hair and dust bunnies that thing picked up. And here I thought my old vacuum was a work horse, but nothing compared to that Shark I had bought [ok, I am beginning to sound like an info-commercial].

Anyway, if my sig other skips a week or two of vacuuming [he's the master of excuses], then that annoying cough comes back.

Now, if only I could find a cure for my panic attacks while driving. The past couple of days I have cut back on eating or drinking chocolate to see if that might be a trigger [I hope not].
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Guessing here-the psychosis comes in as a factor depending on what one believes, and how strongly. Then if if is true and can be tested.

If what we shared is not true, Garden Artist, then I guess the diagnosis would be a 'shared psychotic disorded' ha ha, lol.

Many neighbors here have a dementia, are not approachable with the truth. My husband knew the odor of Diazinon crystals from his days in Texas, long ago.
Even with the windows closed, the odors come inside! omg.....Even if a smoker walks by outside, I can smell it! I am trying to find a viable solution without correcting anyone's behaviors here. It has been an untenable situation for a long time. However, I am not a victim, I will keep my space private and free of assaults by careless non-thinking individuals. I am strong, and when I am not, I know the one who is.
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Back to the OP, Besshe. There are ways to decrease and minimize itching, no matter what the cause. Here is my non-expert opinion:
1) Wash clothes/sheets every 4 days in scent-free detergent and scent free fabric softener. Use less clothes in each load in order to rinse well. Use clean pillowcases daily until any itch in hair/head subsides. Tell mom she can change underwear more often, but it is not necessary to change entire outfit.
2) Cool the room, vacumn daily, or every other day. Cool to less than 70 degrees, as low as 65°.
3) Use benadryl cream on the itch-allow Mom to put a small amount on if she does nof have dementia. Otherwise, you apply it.
4) Shower in tepid water, at least once/day, use hypo-allergenic soaps, or no soap. Rinse in cool water-just before bed. Wash hair early in the day.
5) Other times, take a warm or cool wash cloth, state it is time for your tratment mom. Apply diluted witch Hazel, cool washcloth to arms, legs, back.
6) Us cotton only night clothes, lightweight.
7) Keep a diary of Mom's foods-any itchy welts after 20-30 minutes from eating.
Discontinue those foods. Look up non-allergy foods on the internet.
8) Get her medicines re-checked by a pharmacist-pinpointing most likely to cause allergy. Discuss discontinuing these with the doctor. Do not abruptly stop which could cause withdrawal from any meds.

There are other ways to decrease or treat the itching. Please give more details. Is mother at home?
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Send, wow! That's really unsettling, that both of us could have reacted to nonorganic celery in the same manner. Scary!

How sad that the neighbors use toxins to control weeds. Our country needs to see weeds as plants that are growing in places that the majority of people don't want them to grow, not as horrors to be chemically eradicated. I've seen finches nibbling on dandelions, but so many people think they're just weeds. Imagine the poor finch that might nibble on a dandelion sprayed with a pesticide to kill it.

I assume there's no way your community controls use of pesticides? I'm guessing some had Diazinon before it was banned but just kept using it. Do you think an anonymous report to the EPA might be helpful? Probably really wouldn't do much good, unfortunately.

Do you have to keep all your windows shut to keep out the odors? That's disgusting.

Sometimes I wish I had gone to law school; I would go to work for one of the environmental groups and help sue manufacturers of pesticides. Making use of pesticides subject to prior notice to surrounding neighbors would be a good project as well.
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Jessie is right! When I worked in Dermatology, there were two different patients who came in which those exact symptoms, itching, sometimes until their skin was raw, and after multiple visits, and trials of Derm medications, and even biopsies, nothing to diagnose. The patient's were ultimately referred for a psychological eval for Paracitic Delusions. One patient even felt her home and the walls, were infested with bedbugs, despite multiple professional Exterminator out to the home, to no avail, all clear. It's extremely frustrating for the family and of course the patients! I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this! It may takes some time to find the best treatment.
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GardenArtist, You wrote the solution to what is ailing me-I too thought it was associated with my car. Then, there is the juicing organic celery-cheating and buyjng non-organic instead! = Itching and shortness of breath!
We also found crystals on the ground in our area, a smelly pesticide banned in 2005! Diazinon!!! The elder neighbors all choose a different weed solution, do not notify that they are spraying or putting down pesticides. The odor comes inside. There outta be a law from being poisoned by the neighbors, imo.
Oh dear, shortness of breath, itching, stomach cramps and more.
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There will probably be people who don't believe this, but I share it because I did quite a bit of research on the issue and was shocked at what I learned.

I had been having some shortness of breath as well as itching, the latter of which occurred after driving. I found nothing in the car to cause itching, but suspected it might be because that was during the winter and the car heat wasn't humidified, so my skin was probably drying out (an unfortunate side effect of aging?).

The breath shortness couldn't be attributed to anything so I started experimenting with foods that I liked and ate a lot, of which celery was one. Doing research, I realized how contaminated celery is with pesticides, which DO NOT wash off; they're absorbed as systemic pesticides. Two of the side effects were itching and shortness of breath.

I cut out celery, let it clear from my system. No itching, no breath shortness. I ate more celery to see if the conditions returned, and they did.

So it looks like I'm going to plant half of my garden with my own organic celery this year!
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Can your mother be distracted for a time-like during her favorite t.v. show without complaints? Are there any actual bug bites? Or just areas that she has made raw itching? Would two days of OTC Benadryl be allowed? What about moisturizing cream for itching, dry skin? There are so many sources of itching that one solution may not address the entire causes. Have you checked for a small light colored rash that may come and go which could be caused by a medication allergy?
Get a second opinion. It is a really strange visual to try and see the psychiatrist checking her skin for mites, and after inspection (that never happened) decided there were no bugs at all. Everyone knows, bugs are normally in and on the human body, everyone's.
Keep trying.
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Jessebelle-those were my thoughts too, whether medical, psychiatric or whatever, getting her the proper diagnosis and treatment should help.
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besshe, I looked on the internet and there is a bit about delusional parasitosis. If you'll google the words, you can bring up some information about what it is and how to treat it. Getting some knowledge about it may help you to feel not so helpless. It would also be a good guide in choosing the right doctor. A psychiatrist specializing in depression and anxiety may not be as good as one specializing in the psychotic disorders. Good luck finding her some relief!
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There is a condition that is called delusional parasitosis. This sounds like what your mother has. It is the feeling that there is an infestation of parasites either on the skin or in the body. It is a psychosis, so needs medical (psychiatric) treatment. The sensation is real to her. Talk to her doctor and get a referral to a psychiatrist that specializes in psychotic behaviors. I hope they can find a medication to help her make the bugs go away.
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In the absence of a real diagnosis resulting in a treatment that brings relief, what is your mom suppossed to think?
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Has she been checked for parasites? It's all too easy to dismiss the symptoms as old age.
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You might also consider going to an endocrinologist - maybe there are some systemic issues involved.

And as I've recently discovered, foods that high in pesticides can cause some very weird reactions.

This sounds like one of the stories that might be featured on that Learning Channel program of unsolved medical mysteries. Hopefully not, and I don't mean to be crude, but perhaps she picked up a parasite. It's surprising how many people and places don't wash produce in hot soapy water.
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Wow, that must be awful for both of you, especially a torment for your mom. Has the doctor prescribed anything to help? There are medications (such as antidepressants) which sometimes help with obsessions.
Or, could she have other health conditions that have not been correctly diagnosed? I've read that 80% of women don't even know they have herpes, and when they do, don't know where it came from. It often mimics yeast infections. Doctors don't even test for it unless a person is having a major outbreak they can see, regardless of numerous office visits.) It can cause lots of strange symptoms.
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Has your mother been tested to see if she has a urinary tract infection [UTI]? Seeing bugs, along with other out of the norm behaviors, can be associated with UTI's. UTI's can be corrected with meds.
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