covid testing, plus a rather odd trip to the doctor’s office

There’s really not much to report, but I thought I would stop by and give a little update anyways. Mostly, I’m sharing because of my interesting trip to the doctor’s office. Have you been to your GP’s office since this all began? I’ve only been to my endocrinologist’s.

We got a call back from the doctor’s office this morning regarding our son and his lack of improvement. His test was negative, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t coronavirus. False negatives are easy to come by. We also discussed other potential diagnoses; flu, upper respiratory infection, and sinus infection were all mentioned.

Whatever the case may be, he is not feeling much better. He’s an asthmatic, and his breathing has remained labored and painful. He’s been using his rescue inhaler 4-5 times a day. The nausea returned and he’s been using those anti-nausea pills the doctor prescribed. He is exhausted and spending most of his time sleeping. There’s been headaches and dizziness.

He continues to remain isolated. He wears his mask whenever he is in any of the common areas — including when he comes out to use the bathroom. Mostly the doctor suggested rest and fluids. It’s likely viral, and that’s the usual treatment. Because our son doesn’t have a nebulizer, she wanted to give him a maintenance inhaler. They had some free samples at the office. Just needed to stop by and pick them up. No problem.

Well, small problem. At that precise time, Clark and I were waiting for the tech to come administer our covid tests. That was alright, though. There was plenty of time. The tech was scheduled to arrive somewhere between 1:15 and 2:15 pm. Then, right around 1 o’clock, we got a phone call. There’d been a terrible traffic snafu this morning, and she was running a bit behind. They estimated her new time of arrival to be around 3 pm. I told them not to worry about it. We weren’t going anywhere. Around 3:30, the tech called me directly. She estimated she’d be arriving in about twenty minutes.

It was probably closer to ten, definitely no more than fifteen. She was smiling brightly. I could tell because it reached her eyes. Clark — always the gentleman — went first. She did both nostrils. (our son reports that his tech only went into one nostril) Clark said that she got clean through to the back of his throat both times. His throat is very swollen, and he said he had to suppress the urge to gag both times.

Next it was my turn. I reported to her that my right sphenoid sinus was collapsed by an impact injury a very long time ago. I wasn’t sure if it would affect the administration of the test. Just in case, we started in the left nostril. For me, it was just a tickle deep in the back of my nostril. I thought I was going to sneeze in her face, but it abated. Then she went for the right. She didn’t make it very far. It’s completely blocked off back there.

And so, she took my partial sample and sealed it up. The back of my right nostril is still hurting, and I’ve got a headache that seems to only be affecting the sinuses around the right side of my face. I’m assuming it’s from that failed attempt to slide a swab back there.

When she’d left, we still needed to get to the doctor’s office. We pushed it until just minutes before they were scheduled to close because I wanted to avoid encountering people. I entered the building and made my way to the door to the waiting room/reception area.

“STOP! PLEASE DON’T ENTER IF YOU ARE SICK!” the sign on the door read.

It went on to list the symptoms of a common cold as reason not to enter. I paused with my hand reaching for the handle. No admittance to the doctor’s office (which happens to second as an urgent care facility, as well) for the sick? I shook my head. I never thought I’d see a day where you could not enter the doctor’s office if you were sick. (I tried to take a picture, but it came out too blurry)

I did as the sign suggested, and called reception. The receptionist asked some questions then put me on hold. She repeated this a handful of times. Finally, she’d located the MA I’d spoken with earlier. More questions, more “hold, please.

When the receptionist came back on the line the final time, it was to confirm who I was picking up for and what I was picking up. She then verified that I was in the vestibule outside the lobby. I confirmed that I was. I told her that I was near the front doors and giving her beyond six feet if she could just set the medicine on the bench just outside their door. But, they had a different plan.

“Actually,” she said. “I’m going to ask that you get back into your car. You’re going to drive around to the back of the building to door number four. She’ll bring the medicine out to you. She’s just getting it together, now.”

I headed back out to the car. Clark was driving. I climbed into the passenger seat and shared the plan with him. I kept my mask on, and he put his on as he crept around to the back of the building. We located door number four easily enough. He parked behind another car and waited. It wasn’t long before she arrived with the medicine samples.

Clark hit the button and the window slid down. She slipped the two boxes into his hand as she told me how often our son should use them. She smiled politely — though not as sweetly as our tech had — and wished us to get well. She bid us goodbye, turned and headed back to the door marked number four. I tossed the medicine in the backseat as Clark put it in drive.

We followed the doctor’s office with a quick trip through the (contactless) pharmacy drive-thru for my levothyroxine refill that happened to be ready and back home to continue our quarantine while we await our test results. We could have them as early as tomorrow, but she warned that the holiday followed by the weekend may delay our results until Monday.

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