My boyfriend is a soldier in the US Army and is stationed at Fort Campbell. I live nearly 3000 miles away in Portland, Oregon. I flew out to visit him for 6 days from April 14th 2011 - April 19th 2011. Before I left, I went to doctor on April 2nd and got a physical, where everything checked out fine. No signs of a rash, allergic reaction, or anything out of the ordinary.
We stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites (3075 Wilma Rudolph Blvd Clarksville, TN). With my boyfriends' military discount, we ended up paying around $80 per night. We stayed for a total of 6 nights which ended up costing him about $480. We decided to stay at the Country Inn and pay almost double the asking price of the motel down the street; not only because they promise ""excellence in hospitality, service, appearance, and operational standard"" but to avoid any unsanitary or unhealthy conditions.
After staying there for 6 nights, I returned home (nearly 3000 miles away) on the 19th of April 2011. My boyfriend complained to me the next day (April 20th, 2011) about a rash, similar to itchy red bumps all over his arms and back. He asked me if I had any symptoms and at the time I did not. It wasn't until the next morning that I too had the same thing all over my arms and hands. No one else in my household had these bumps (I live with 4 other people), only my boyfriend and I - with us being across the United States from each other.
The bumps were very itchy and when they first started to itch, they welted up similar to a mosquito bite. When I first broke out, I did some research. The first thing that popped up was bed bugs. They feed every 3-5 days, which depending how fast they rented the room out to us, explains why we did not break out in a rash while at the hotel. It can take up to two weeks for an allergic reaction to become noticeable (itchy and visible) depending on how your body handles the bites. Bed bugs often hide behind headboards and nightstands, as well as in seams and insides of mattresses. I wore a t-shirt to bed every night and my boyfriend wore shorts. All of the areas we were bitten (mainly arms, hands, and upper back) were areas that were exposed toward the headboard.
Being a federal employee myself and my boyfriend being a soldier, we were asked by our employers to seek medical attention regarding our rashes to ensure we did not come in contact with anything contagious (ie: scabies). My doctor was especially surprised, because I had been seen about 2 weeks prior with no symptoms. Both physicians said that our bumps were bed bug bites and that we would have to take steps to ensure that we would not bring them back to our homes.
After getting notes with diagnoses, we called the hotel to inform about what happened. The manager was courteous while assisting us. He told my boyfriend that he would investigate the issue because they had not ""had a problem like this (bed bugs) for a long time"" and that he would get back in contact with him. My boyfriend never got a call back, so a few days later he asked me to make a call since he was going to be in the field and would not have service.
I spoke with the manager, who said they had not had the time to investigate the room but no one was staying in it. I told him that we were seeking a refund for our stay due to the inconvenience of the unsanitary room that we paid good money for to prevent something exactly like this from happening. He refunded us for half of our stay and told me he would get back to me and my boyfriend after ""further investigation"". We never heard back from him. My boyfriend called them on May 5th, 2011 and he was told that ""after investigations they found no evidence of bed bugs"". The manager apologized sincerely, but was unable to refund us for the other half of our stay. Neither of us have had any more bumps, the spots from the bites are still a little visible but they are gone.