Why I Am Sharing This Story
Covid is a topic that is on all of our minds these past months, and it can be a pretty controversial topic. So why am I sharing this story? It’s certainly not to get involved in any controversy or upset anyone.
I just know that there are people who are going to have to go through what I did, and having someone they can relate to is comforting. When I first thought I might have Covid the first thing I did was look to the internet for other peoples experiences and now I want to share mine.
How Covid Impacted Me Before
8 months ago COVID-19 was a foreign term to most of us, and yet now its a word we hear daily. It has significantly changed many peoples lives rather quickly. Living in a small rural town in a very unpopulated state almost made the pandemic feel unreal at times. Sure, I knew it wasn’t fictional and that it was something really happening around the world–but the impact on me and my community wasn’t felt for quite sometime.
My meetings and public ministry work were cancelled, and that was a huge change. Switching to using zoom for everything did take some time and adjustment, but other than that my life was relatively unaffected in the grand scheme of things. I went to work just the same as always, just with the addition of masks and extra sanitizing protocols.
When It all Began
That was until a couple weeks ago anyways. Saturday, August 22nd I was feeling a little run down and my lungs were irritated. I didn’t pay much attention to it due to the fact that I was finishing up a busy nine hour shift and had been wearing a mask all day. Sunday morning I woke up not feeling very well, I was tired and had a bit of a cough and headache. I was informed that my coworker, who I had worked with the night prior, had a fever and legally couldn’t work his shift.
Monday morning my coworker informed me he was getting tested for COVID that afternoon. I, although still feeling unwell, went to work at 10 am because no one was available to cover my shift. It wasn’t very long until I started to feel very unwell, my chest felt like it was absolutely on fire and my temperature had risen to 99.2. While not a very high temperature, my manager felt it would be best for me to go home considering my symptoms. I went home around noon that day.
I continued to feel sick the rest of that day and my temperature was slowly climbing. At that point my symptoms were burning lungs and pressure in my chest, a cough and low grade fever, as well as a sore throat. My coworker informed me that he had tested negative for COVID which was great news. I scheduled an appointment to get tested the following afternoon.
Covid Test Number One
Tuesday morning I was actually feeling slightly better except for being completely exhausted. I slept all day until it was time to go to my appointment to get tested. I have always been someone who gets rather stressed when it comes to having to do anything with doctors, so I was nervous. Not only that but it was my first time going into the doctors office alone after turning 18.
My nurse was very nice and she quickly jotted down my vitals and directed me to a tiny cubicle of a room. Shortly after my doctor came in and spent about 5 minutes examining me before declaring, “We’ll swab her for good measure I guess.” At which point the nurse came around the corner with a testing kit–a 6 inch long swab.
My nurse, in the process of handing the doctor the test swab, was interrupted by my doctor saying, “Oh, I wasn’t going to do the test. I was just going to have her do it.” At this point I was panicking a little–he wanted ME to do my OWN test?? The nurse seemed confused and said, “Well, I don’t mind doing it.” However, my doctor simply reiterated that he was going to have me do my own test.
My doctor left the room and the nurse handed me the test. I took it from her and, with her watching and guiding me, shoved that gosh darn swab up my nose until my eyes watered. Was it the most painful experience of my life?No. Did it hurt? Definitely.
After that the nurse stored the test and left with it, while I was hacking up a lung. The doctor came back in and informed me that it would be 3-10 days until I received my results (because he refused to give me a rapid test) and proceeded to prescribe me two inhalers and antibiotics for strep throat. This was slightly frustrating because I wasn’t able to work until the test results came back, but I knew it was important to keep others safe.
After leaving I had a feeling that the entire visit was a little strange and I messaged my best friend about it, and it just so happens that her mom works in the hospital where I was tested. She also thought something was off so she reported it to the doctor in charge and was informed that a patient administering their own COVID test is strictly against protocol.
This was very unfortunate because now we had to wait 3-10 days for a test result that could very well be invalid or incorrect. That Tuesday night I struggled a lot with a tight, burning chest and my fever rose to 100.6. Wednesday I slept most the day, and around 4:30 in the afternoon my dad burst into the house on the phone. I thought that maybe we were getting results sooner than expected! That was not the case.
My dad handed his phone to me and it turned out to be the doctor I had seen the day before. He told me that he had someone call in to the hospital about me very worried about my condition and he was just calling to check up on me. We soon found out that he most likely made up that story as some sort of cover because he was getting in a lot of trouble for breaking protocol and making me administer my own test.
At that point all we could do was wait for the test results to come back. During that time my symptoms stayed the same and I felt really tired. Finally I received the results on Saturday morning. Fortunately I tested negative. Unfortunately I still had pretty serious symptoms and we couldn’t be sure that the test was accurate. Everyone I spoke to said that if I had to administer it myself it was likely done incorrectly.
So Monday morning we called our doctor. She explained that I could definitely get another test if I wanted, and that if I didn’t I should still quarantine until 3 days after my symptoms had disappeared.
Because I still had a fever, and it had already been a week, my parents and manager wanted me to get tested again. Although it was my decision, and personally the thought of going back to get tested again and deal with doctors sounded like the very last thing I wanted to do, I made an appointment for the following day.
Covid Test Number Two
Tuesday, September 1st I went to my local clinic to get tested for the second time. My mom went with me and we were instructed to wait in our car. There were four or five other cars in the parking lot too. Eventually a nurse came out in her protective gear and brought be into the entrance of the clinic which they had set up to be a small testing center. I was assessed and tested quickly, and the doctor and nurse were very sweet.
Wednesday morning we received a call from the doctors office explaining that the tests were sent to the wrong lab overnight and that they needed me to come in that afternoon to be re-tested. Meanwhile, I was suppose to start back at work on Friday–however I still had a fever so that was up in the air.
Covid Test Number Three
Wednesday afternoon I drove myself to the clinic and the same doctor met me out at my car. He tested me again for a third time, right at my car. It was by far the most painful time, but still bearable and quick. It was definitely a very interesting experience because the parking lot was full of other people waiting to get tested and watching me get tested.
Finally on Thursday, September 3rd (the day I am writing this post) I received an accurate test result and it had come back negative again! Although as I write this I still have a fever and a cough, it is a relief that it is not Covid.
What I Learned From the Experience
I am a firm believer that you learn something from every moment and situation you experience. These past couple weeks have given me a new perspective on how those who really do have to deal with Covid feel.
It is scary and frustrating not knowing. There are so many unknowns with Covid, that even if you are young and healthy, you can’t help but think about the what ifs. The testing process isn’t very fun, its uncomfortable, but not something to be afraid of. However, it can be a really frustrating process.
No one wants to be wondering about their health condition, but a lot of times you don’t hear back about your results for a week. During that waiting time you have to quarantine and it can be really easy to start feeling alone and isolated from everyone. Physically that’s what you’re suppose to be doing, but mentally it can be draining and emotional.
The fact of the matter is, even if you don’t have serious complications from Covid–even if it is just a little flu to you- it can be difficult. It is difficult. If everyone does all that they can to keep themselves and others safe, it makes an impact.
I hope you enjoyed reading this little story time post and I hope to see you again soon!
Stay safe and healthy ♡