Have not experienced bed bugs myself and appreciate you sharing your story. The University of Kentucky has a great page on what bed bugs look like and photos of areas that have been infested. It's good to know the signs, so you can avoid being bit.
According to the University of Kentucky Web site "Characteristically, these areas (where infestation has occurred) are marked by dark spotting and staining, which is the dried excrement of the bugs. Also present will be eggs and eggshells, the brownish molted skins of maturing nymphs and the bugs themselves. Another telltale though less frequent sign is rusty or reddish blood smears on bed sheets or mattresses from crushing an engorged bed bug. Heavy infestations may have a “buggy” smell, but the odor is seldom apparent and should not be relied upon for detection."
How long did it take you to get rid of the rash?