Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Right Up The Ol' Nose

     I had to get tested for an active COVID-19 infection -- again -- yesterday.  My doctor wants to see me in her office (so much for skipping that*), but my symptoms were close enough to their criteria for a lingering version of the stuff that testing was mandatory.

     And of course, there's a significant mismatch between how long it takes to get the results (three to five days) and when her staff wanted to schedule me (Friday).

     The test itself?  A lot of waiting.  No Lilly-style drive-through assembly line this time.  The parking lot was pretty active, people pulling in and out, people getting tested in their cars every half-hour or so by sweating spaceman, but turnover was slow.  You were supposed call in from your car on arrival.  I did so and promptly got put on hold for twenty-plus minutes of repetitive music-on-hold.

     I was reading a book from Kindle in my lap and holding my cellphone in my off hand when I nodded off  and dropped the phone, which vanished under the driver's seat, speaker blaring.  I had to get out, open the back door, and grope blindly until I found it.   That was about as exciting as the process got.  Eventually  then the office picked up, took my information, asked what I was driving, and promised someone would be out "shortly."

     Shortly had become pretty tall when, forty-five minutes later, a young man came clumping out in a moon suit, sample kit in hand, headed for my car.  After the usual "name, spell it, date of birth" exchange, he had me look up at the doorframe and leaned in, distressingly-long swab in hand, warning that it was going to be "irritating like a turned up shirt-collar label."

     That's another thing that's not like the test at Lilly: this was no soft and gentle sterile cotton swab, but a nasty little sponge on the end of a long plastic wand.  It was indeed irritating.  Having the thing up in my sinus cavity made me cough, which I tried to suppress without a lot of success.  There was a good reason for the nurse's moon suit.

     And now it's tic-tock, tic-tock, for results Friday at the earliest.

     Today, I've got to go get some blood work plus a COVID-19 antibody test, one my doctor says is highly reliable.  And won't that be fun?
* Blood pressure medicine aside, I'm questioning why I even have a family doctor.  What's the point, really?  They run doctors like machines on an assembly line these days, so there's none of the long-established personal relationship one used to have with one's physician.  I'm too old for my robust good health and happiness to matter -- nobody is more invisible than a middle-aged woman, in healthcare or elsewhere -- but not so old that I'm fragile.  There are doc-in-a-box places everywhere and plenty of good ERs nearby if anything actually noticeable happens.

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