Sheltering-in-Place: Day 68
The text on the image reads
I got swabbed today!
It's okay. I'm okay. Yesterday's pain episode is under control and none of that and none of the swabbing has anything to do with any symptoms or suspicions of COVID-19 in me. I'm having a pain-relieving, etc., medical procedure tomorrow if all goes as planned. In order to get that level of in-person care, I had to have the COVID-19 test.
tldr; I wore a comfy shirt dress because the drive to the hospital is long. The test was not painful, but it was unpleasant. The nurses were great. May they all live long and healthy lives!
The longer version, for those that like details follows.
The holiday weekend seemed to mess up the scheduling process, so I made some phone calls this morning to make sure my COVID-19 test would happen in time for my procedure. I got a slot in the early afternoon, puttered around home, donned the shirt dress, and off I went.
Traffic was... interesting. Traffic is definitely picking up a bit but was still light for my part of the world. More people were speeding than I'm accustomed to normally. More of those speeding were going even faster than I remember. There were plenty of people going the speed limit and being respectful. It was neither the fastest nor the most dangerous trip to my doctor people ever.
I used a long stoplight a couple blocks from the hospital to put my mask on properly and started looking for signs.
Signage at the hospital for testing was very clear, given that I had instructions on what signs to look for when I arrived. Scheduling was done well enough that the line of cars was very, very short. Once I got up to the first station, a nice lady in PPE on the passenger side of my car used hand signals to ask to see my ID while keeping my window closed, as expected. And then she tried to talk to me through my closed window because... well... I couldn't hear her. So, I got the hand signal to lower my window a smidge for sound. Turns out, probably due to my late addition as a testee, I wasn't on the list. We got it figured out quickly enough, window was rolled back up, she secured a colored paper on my windshield, thumbs up, and motioned me through to the station that matched my color of paper.
My line was the pre-procedure/pre-surgery line. The other line was the symptomatic line. My line was shorter. I did not cry.
At this next station, I showed my ID through my closed passenger window again. I wasn't on their list either. That wasn't surprising. It ended up being a very short notice appointment. I got the hand signal for rolling down the window again. We got it figured out, verified I was the right person who really did have a procedure scheduled for tomorrow, thumbs up, and walked my car forward to the next, and last, station in my little color zone.
Explanations and paper rifling and official things happened while I sat patiently in the safety of my cute little car. Everyone was so pleasant, even enrobed in all those layers of PPE. One more time, I showed them my ID through my closed passenger window, put the window down a few inches to verify my procedure date, and put the window back up. Safety first.
Then a nice lady walked over to my side of the car. I could just hear her through my closed window, commenting on how cute my mask was! She stood back and had me roll my window down to verify things that needed verifying. I asked her to please use my left nostril as those nasal passages are less small. She seemed enthusiastic about me having a preference, lol! Then she gave me instructions on what to do with my mask so she could safely take the sample. She let me know that it would not be painful—but it would be uncomfortable. She asked me to lean my head back.
I am relieved to say that the swab was nothing like a Q-tip. The stick part was long, thin, and refreshingly flexible. I imagined it as a dandelion puff when she took the sample. She counted for me so I would know how much longer the swab had to be swabbing in there. That was surprisingly helpful.
And she was right! It wasn't painful. It was only uncomfortable. I verified the info on my sample was correct, and that was that. I was done.