Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Long White Instrument of Nasal Torture

Saturday night, I tossed and turned and got up every hour to empty a bladder that kept spasming. Sunday morning, I felt generally crummy and realized I had a fever. By that afternoon, I felt worse and the fever went higher, up to 100.6. I decided I better get a Covid-19 test before going back to work. Just in case.


By Wednesday, some of my strength was back, and I felt much better. I went online and made an appointment for a drive-up test at St. Luke's in Meridian.
I was a little trepidatious, but the nurse collecting my sample put me right at ease. He strolled to my car window decked out in his mask and yellow ppe gear, leaned a little closer, and said, "Can you please spell your name and date of birth"?
I spelled my name and stopped. Then gave him the side-eye. "You want me to spell my birthdate?"
"THANK YOU!" He backed away, laughing. "You're the first person in months to catch that. And I say it to everybody."
I told him if they felt as bad as I had the last few days, I could understand.
"Nope, I get to test the asymptomatic ones."
I asked for the rapid-results test. His response?
Courtesy Pixabay CCO/Public Domain
"Walgreens has a 15-minute test, but it's about 2% accurate." Now I have NOT confirmed whether this is the correct percentage, but whoa if so.
Through the window, he passed an instruction sheet for me, a letter for "my employer", and "a kleenex for your watery eyes", then turned away to get his long white instrument of nasal torture. I swear if I could've seen his face he'd a been grinning.
He leaned closer and settled the swab tip gently in my nostril and said as sweetly as a fuzzy teddy bear, "chin up a little."

I tilted my head a tad more and he slid that sucker slowly up my sinus all the way to my brain and rotated it (quickly, thank God) back and forth counting aloud, "...five, four, three, two, one," then slipped it out and and and, well hell, I'm not sure what he did after that.
I assume he stuck it posthaste into the sample tube. I was fumbling in the passenger seat for that kleenex he gave me because my sinus immediately dripped, then dripped again, as my assaulted nasal cells cried out to let me know they were NOT happy with me OR him. But I promise it wasn't nearly as bad as when the old-school EENT doc stuck a long, long, looong wire up my nostrils (each one) until I could feel it against the back of my throat.
But, I never even had to get out of my car. I was able to park in one of their designated spots and call the switchboard. Within 5-10 minutes, I saw the nurse stroll my way. The sample collection went fairly quickly and I was laughing with him most of the time, then I was outta there—insulted nasal passage and all.
I was supposed to have the results in 24 to 48 hours. But it's been right at 48, and still nothing. If it's positive, they will call me, otherwise, not. So I keep hitting the refresh button on my "mychart" account with St. Luke's.
I'm pretty darn sure I don't have the Coronavirus. But until I know yay or nay, I'm laying low, staying at home and away from the family as much as possible. When I get the results, I will check back and let y'all know. I promise.


Be well and stay safe. Keep washing your hands (for the full 20 seconds each time), wear a mask around other people, and keep six-plus feet between you and others. If you have to sneeze or cough, use your arm. Or you can borrow my trick. I pull my shirt open at the neck and stick my face in there. As long as it's not mucosy, that is. If so, grab a kleenex.
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré

P.S. My results just came in and it's good news. I'm NEGATIVE, yeehaaa! Now to stay inside away from the smoky haze. I'm pretty sure that was the original trigger.

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a pre-apocalyptic urban fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising  debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021.


Along these lines said...

I suppose there are worse places they could stick those swabs.

O. J. Barré said...

LOL, yep. I agree!

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