I want to start the recollection of this fiasco by stating that my hubby, Steven, is an angel. Or a saint. Or something like that. A few weeks ago, I got sick. That illness where you want to stay in bed and cry. But you have to get up and be with your family, otherwise there won’t be anyone to feel sorry for you. So, I’m in the living room in my jammies, with my towel for when I’m sweating and my blanket when I’m shivering, and moans for when I’m doing both. Let me state unequivocally that I don’t do sick very well. I’m not a pretty patient. Steven kept telling me to go to the doctor, which I’m too sick to do, and I probably couldn’t get one anytime soon, anyway. All right, all right, I called. I got an appointment for a televideo call the next day. Those things are the greatest invention ever, especially when you’re sick. I tried to convince my primary care physician’s (PCP’s) assistant (PA) that I had a sinus infection, but he wasn’t buying it. The longer I talked to him, the worse it got, till he put it all together–chills, fever, coughing, too tired and achy to even move–and bless his heart, he decided I had Covid. I’ve had two vaccinations, but he wanted me tested ASAP, and said I could go to any pharmacy and get one. Thus began our adventure.
First of all, you cannot walk into any pharmacy and get a Covid test. At least not one that Steven could find. So, he called the Dept of Health (DOH) and they made me an appointment with a well-known pharmacy downtown, and off we went. When we got there, the guy looked at Steven like he had lobsters coming out of his ears. Appointment? Made by DOH? We don’t do those. And you aren’t on our list for an appointment. Well, we’re here. Can you just do it? More lobsters, a huffy no, and we leave.
It’s now about 1 p.m. We call the hospital organization my PCP works from, which I’ll call Hospital, and ask what to do. Do they do tests? It’ll take too long to get a regular appointment, but you can go to one of our Urgent Care facilities and get one there. We pull up Google Map, find the nearest one, and off we go. My heart sinks when we get there–the parking lot is packed! Steven runs inside to find out how long it might take. Just as he gets to the desk an elderly lady steps in front of him and says she’s been here since 8 a.m. and still hasn’t been seen, has anyone any idea how much longer it will be? That’s not promising. He comes back out to tell me. We just sit in the car in the AC for a few moments and contemplate going home. But I promised the PA I’d get a test.
We know there’s a Testing Center, because this happens to be the third test I’ll be taking. But no one seems to know how to contact them. I had no idea at the time that you could make an appointment online. We decide maybe we should drive over there instead of the other Urgent Care. Steven calls another Hospital number to ask if there are any places other than Urgent Care doing testing. Cue harps– the miracle happens. The number he calls is the appointment maker for the Testing Center! Steven is already driving toward another Urgent Care on the other side of town, just in case I can’t get into the Testing Center.
I sound like a dying frog as I explain to the appointment lady all about my pathetic circumstances, my promise to the PA, and the Urgent Center woes, till finally, probably to get me to shut up, she makes an appointment for me. For today! And for Steven, too, since you know, I’m probably contagious. The appointment is for 4 p.m. That’s two hours away. We live in the mountains. We can’t go home; we’d just have to turn around and come back. I’m still hot, cold, shivering, sweating. I really want to go home and crawl back into my chair with my towel and my blanket so my hubby and my daughter can feel sorry for me. But I’m determined to get this over with.
We decide to head over there early, about 90 minutes early to be exact. But the place has no customers, so they take me immediately. Yay! We drive through all the rigamarole, I get my test from an RN who looks like she’s testing me for Ebola or the Black Plague. I haven’t had one dressed out like this before, I think she’s actually in Anti-C (contamination) gear. Wow. I must have gotten some special, “has symptoms” code or something, and got put into the special line, because the RN doing Steven on the other side of the car is wearing normal, disposable coveralls, gloves, mask, etc. I guess it’s for my RN’s protection, since we are in the same car. Oh, and this time, she shoved that QTip up my nose so far it made my eyes tear. She’s the same RN I had last time I got a test, but she wiggled it around too, like she was hunting for something. Steven just got the regular “up the nose a little bit” test, while I was worried mine was going to lose that swab up there. Finally, I get to go home! Then I waited. It only took a day and a half to learn I didn’t have Covid. I was still feeling crappy, but it started to diminish. I did finally convince the PA I also had a sinus infection, so he gave me some low-dose antibiotics, which means that as I write this, the infection is gradually returning. I have awful sinuses!
I’m happy I didn’t have Covid and feel truly terrible for people who do. As, a couple of days ago, when I ended my annual physical with getting my flu and pneumonia vaccines, I regaled my PCP with this tale, and we could laugh. Cause that’s what you have to do when faced with scary things. I look at her fondly, because I really like her as both a person and as my doc. She’s pregnant, working, caring about her patients while all this is going on, and I also worry a little bit about her. I wish all this would be over, but it won’t if we don’t do what we can to protect ourselves.
So–get your vaccinations, wear your mask, and stay out of crowds. Love all of you!