Thursday, October 14, 2021

You Can't Get There From Here

      Okay, quick recap: I'm sick.  I'm sick with what I initially thought was a UTI, but the addition of coughing and sneezing made the overall symptoms a good fit for COVID-19.

      So I tested myself at home: no COVID.  Those tests aren't a hundred  percent accurate, and they're a little more accurate at proving a person who has the virus does have it than proving that a person who doesn't have it, indeed does not.  (There are four possible results, so it's tricky to understand the odds.)

      Therefore, I went and got a professional test, both the quick one and PCR.  Still no COVID.

      This process spanned a weekend and I was miserable the whole time.  Temperature up and down, no energy, shortness of breath with exertion (and sometimes while just laying down) and so on.

      Wednesday, yesterday, I checked with the quick clinic -- no appointment needed -- and drove up there.  The sign on the door said to call in for screening before going in.  Okay, that's been SOP for over a year.  I called.

      I still have the symptoms listed above.  I reported them honestly.

      Intake nurse: "I'm sorry, we can't see you here."

      Bobbi: "But I had the vaccine months ago and I tested negative yesterday.  At this clinic.  PCR."

     Nurse: "It doesn't make any difference.  With those symptoms, we can't see you here."

      Bobbi: "But it's probably a UTI."  (At my age, they require tests for that.  This requires you to, surprise, actually go inside the doctor's office.)  "Where can I go?"

      "I don't know."

      I started to get annoyed and immediately reconsidered that reaction.  You can't blame them.  This is triage 101 and it works that way for good reason.  I was laughing in frustration as I said goodbye.  Still, it sure would have been nice to have known that before I went up there.  (In hindsight, it probably should have been obvious.  We all want to be the exception -- and none of us are.)

      My insurance provides access to a telemedicine service and they have been helpful in the past.  I called them when I returned home, had a quick appointment that included a short lecture about the current best practices for diagnosing UTIs in old women (it's a pretty recent change) and ended with, lo, a prescription that may actually help.

      Still running a low fever but I have hopes for improvement.


fillyjonk said...

FWIW, my brother (fifty-ish) had a UTI that initially presented as symptoms VERY like COVID. So much so I was yelling at him on the phone to go get a COVID test. Finally another symptom dropped and he realized what it likely was. The minute clinic near him saw him after a negative COVID test and diagnosed him correctly

here's hoping your whatever it is gets sorted soon.

Cop Car said...

Sorry for what you've been going through. That was a long time to be going through it! I don't get those particular symptoms with UTI's, so that hadn't occurred to me in reading your postings. Hope your system responds quickly to the prescription.

Fortunately, I've been seeing the same primary care physician for a few years, now, and have had a couple of UTIs during that time; thus, a year ago, I was able to explain to the nurse (by phone) that I had followed the protocols, had visually checked a urine sample, and that I was convinced that I had a bladder infection. Shortly, the nurse posted on the patient portal that I should pick up my prescription at the drive-thru window of the pharmacy. That prescription cleared up the pain etc, so I'm counting it as a win for common sense.

Roberta X said...

These infections tend to be very rough on me in terms of side effects - fatigue, fever/chills, etc. The only reason I was able to get a strong prescription from the dial-a-doc was because I'd had the same thing about a year ago and they treated it. My main hope in going to them was to at least quash enough of the symptoms to be able to get in to the quick clinic and still answer the screening questions honestly.

One a year is, unfortunately, typical for me. Zero would be so much better!

Cop Car said...

Are you sure that your body knows how young it is? I know that we old, old people are prone to periodic UTIs, mine having started 6 years ago, age 77. As I wrote, before, you have more than your share of such trials - and your! You let some of us appreciate how lucky we are. Not having to physically show up for such medical care is a real boon.

Roberta X said...

Cop Car, I lived on pretty small income for quite a lot of my life. Not a whole lot of doctoring for a decade or two, a fairly poor diet, and it has added up.

Unfortunately, the fatigue and up/down temperatures are familiar UTI symptoms for me. Having them hit as seasonal allergies ramped up was...ill-timed.