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What is a Covid-19 Test Like?

About a month ago, I went in to see my doctor for a routine visit. She saw some things she really didn’t like, but she didn’t connect anything to Covid-19. She heard a rattle in my chest, so she gave me cough syrup. She decided to give me some blood tests on some other things. A few days later, I got a call from the doctor’s office saying they didn’t like the results of one of the tests. They gave me instructions and set me up another appointment in another month so the doctor could test me again. After a month, I had been pretty sick. I got so sick I couldn’t even walk across the room because my breathing was so bad. I finally was able to walk across the room, but to walk across the room and talk at the same time was basically impossible. I just haven’t been getting air in my lungs, and it has been difficult. My family is one of those families with a lot of allergies and asthma, so I just thought it was something like that bothering me even though it has been much harder than usual.

The test for covid-19 is not a blood test, but I had been taking blood test for other things. There were signs of infection in my blood tests. Photo by Pranidchakan Boonrom on Pexels.com

It came time to see the doctor again, and when I went, she wasn’t in the office and just wanted me to take the blood tests again. When the results of those blood tests came back, she wanted to do video conferencing with me. We had a video conference yesterday. All the things she has been worried about and tested me for in the blood tests were mostly fine. However, she said I had some signs of infection. I reminded her about my problem in my chest and told her that was probably it. She remembered giving me chough syrup. She asked me to breathe deeply and count to 12, but every time I tried, I just kept coughing from breathing deeply. I couldn’t seem to count to anything after I breathed deeply. She asked me some more questions. She said, “You have pneumonia and you may have covid-19.” I told her I had had this problem much longer than this covid-19 had been in Oklahoma, so I didn’t see how it could be covid-19. She said they have evidence that it has been in Oklahoma much longer than they thought, and she really wanted me to be tested. She called in a prescription for antibiotics at the local pharmacy for the pneumonia, and she said someone would call me back about the covid-19 test.

I had a video conference with my doctor. Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

Someone from her office called me back that afternoon wanting me to come as quickly as possible to be tested. I couldn’t go yesterday, so I was scheduled to go today. When they talked to me about the test, they told me that I couldn’t go to my regular doctor’s office for the test. They were sending me somewhere else. It was rather clandestine because they don’t want anyone to know where they are testing, probably because they don’t want people overwhelming them because of panic. They set up a time and asked me what kind of car I have. They said there were three handicapped parking spaces with orange cones in a particular part of the parking lot, and I was supposed to go there and stay in the car. I did as they instructed.

Two men in scrubs and masks came to my car. Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

I was a couple of minutes early, but not long after I got there a couple of guys dressed in scrubs and face masks emerged from the building. They had test tubes, plastic bags, and other testing materials. It was not a blood test. They had Q-tips, cotton swabs on a stick. They had my name and came to the car asking me if that was my name, and I confirmed it. They asked to see my ID card. They explained that they were going to stick those Q-tips up my nostrils, one on either side and that it was going to be uncomfortable, but it would only take 10 seconds on each side. They said they would do one side, take it out and let me recover, and do the other side. I figured, “How uncomfortable can it be to put a Q-tip in your nose? It has to be better than getting stuck with a needle and letting them draw your blood.”

They wanted to stick those Q-tips up my nostrils. Photo by Shiny Diamond on Pexels.com

He had me tilt my head back, and he stuck a Q-tip up one side of my nose. At first, there was no discomfort at all, but he didn’t stop when I expected him to stop. He just kept pushing and really pushed it up in there far. It was so uncomfortable I began gritting my teeth and saying, “eegh!” He said, “Just relax. It only needs to be up there 10 seconds.” I shut my eyes, and I thought he took his hand off it because the pressure ceased, and then he pulled it out of my nose. My nose felt weird, but not as weird as when you get too much water in your nose at the swimming pool. My nose snapped right back to normal, and he was ready to do the other side. I let him do the other side, and the same thing happened.

They put the Q-tips in a test tube when they were finished with me. Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

He put the Q-tips, swab side down, into a test tube and covered it. He said, “I don’t think we have a very good sample. It will take about 5-6 days before they have the results.” I replied, “I guess my doctor will call me.” He confirmed that I was right. It was quick and easy, and then it was finished. He told me to go home and rest and try to get to feeling better. I told him it may be pneumonia and not covid-19. He said, “We will see,” and they went back in the building. I came home.

If you are wondering what the test is like, now you know. If you are wondering why you don’t hear about a lot of testing being done, it is probably because they don’t have a lot of tests and don’t want to be wasteful with the tests. If you are wondering why you don’t know where the tests are being given, it is because they don’t want to be overwhelmed with panicked people running there to get tested. As it is, I have been at home resting for quite a while, and I will continue. I will be taking my antibiotics. I was eating mints left from Christmas as my cough drops, but my daughter decided to buy me regular cough drops today. I saw on the bag where it said, “for sore throats,” but my throat isn’t sore. I just can’t breathe. It has been like breathing through a cheese cloth. It could be pneumonia, but it is smart to let them test you if they want to.

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