What Does It Feel Like to Get Tested for COVID-19?
For months I'd been following the shelter-in-place order to avoid any contact with the COVID-19. The virus, of course, is known for being dangerous, and little is known about it, so treatment remains a mystery, and I am particularly vulnerable because I have respiratory issues and high blood pressure. Needless to say, I didn't want to return to work or make public contact of any sort, and, of course, also wanted to know if I'd at any point contracted the virus.
I'd been sick and even hospitalized in February 2020, when we first started getting worried about the virus here in the US. I'd been admitted into the hospital due to low levels of oxygen and even after several days in the hospital, the staff was hesitant to let me leave because my oxygen still hadn't come up to a safe level.
I went home with oxygen and eventually was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was supposed to be tested for COPD but then the shelter-in-place occurred and my doctor was not taking office visits until the shelter-in-place was lifted. However, I definitely have breathing problems on a regular basis, and it's possible I have a lung condition that makes me even more vulnerable to COVID-19.
It took some time before testing was available where I live but eventually it was; I had to hunt it down, but I eventually found out how to make an appointment to get a test at the local fairgrounds.
Making the Appointment
I went to the local county public health department website and on the front page is a button for getting tested for the virus. I was taken to a site where I registered to test and they wanted various forms of personal information, including health insurance information, and they also asked health-related questions. I was able to choose a place, date, and time to test.
Taking the Test
So I get to the test. I was the only one there except for four staff, all of them wearing protective coverings, including masks and gloves; I, too, was wearing a mask, which was required and I was instructed to wear one online prior to my visit to the testing site. There was a staff member at the door and two sat at tables, while another one, the nurse, was behind a curtain where the testing actually takes place.
Personnel sat at tables and there was a barrier of plastic in front of them between myself and them. I was instructed to stand six feet away from them on a mark on the floor. They asked me a couple of personal identifying questions and I was asked to hold up my ID for them to see from where I was. At that point, they handed me the testing kit.
Then I was instructed to go behind a curtain to meet with the nurse. I was instructed to put the testing kit on the table and sit in a chair. The nurse, of course, was wearing a mask, had gloves on, and protective covering over her head and body. I was able to discuss with her any symptoms I'd been having and that's when I let her know I was hospitalized with low levels of oxygen and an incessant cough back in February. Which, of course, surprised her.
She opened up the kit and told me the test wouldn't hurt but that I'll probably want to sneeze when she put the swab up my nose.
She put the swab up my nose pretty far to start and I already felt a pretty sharp sting; then she drove it up my nose a bit further and twisted it and it stung me even more sharply and my eyes watered. Needless to say, it was not a painless experience. However, it was bearable.
She put the sample in the vial and let me know I'd be contacted by email as far as the results and I would get those results within a few days.
Getting Results of Test
So, I received an email telling me that I should get the results of the test within 48-72 hours. Turned out it took a couple of days. That's when I got an email telling me that the results were ready and was offered a link to the site where I could sign in to look at my results. If you are curious, it said that I tested negative for COVID-19, so thus far I'm safe!
So, in spite of a little bit of pain to endure during the test, I'm glad I got checked for the virus, considering the danger it still poses to the world. You can't be too safe or too sure these days, and I will most likely test again in the near future just to be certain and to remain safe.
I don't want to get the virus but I do want to know if I have it so that I can immediately get whatever care that is available for it and go into quarantine. But, I suppose, I also just want some peace of mind. This first test helped me with that.
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