This week I became ill with the symptoms of COVID-19. First, extra tired, then a dry cough, tickle/tightness in my chest, in addition to my usual nasal congestion from allergies, and by Wednesday, a fever of 99.5 manifested. My normal temp is around 97.7 approximately. Late Wednesday afternoon, I was on the phone with my doctor who assured me a fever won’t manifest with allergies (an ongoing dilemma of mine) so she referenced me to a local hospital here in my city (League City) to be tested. The hospital clinic pre-screened me over the phone to even get an appointment. Meanwhile, I cancelled my upcoming cleaning appointments for the next several days to be sure not to potentially expose any of my clients.
The next morning, I had to go to a somewhat secret entrance in a remote area in the hospital complex but separate from the actual hospital building. It wasn’t until going in to that office did I become scared seeing several people coming in all reporting the same or similar symptoms. I thought, “My God, either this town has a bad cold going around or COVID-19 is in full force here.” The nurses and doctors were professional and efficient with getting each patient in and out while disinfecting the lobby area often. We all had to wear masks, but I still worried about the healthcare workers. Most had on what we hear now in the news often “PPE’s”, personal protective equipment, commonly seen when someone is going into an Intensive Care Unit such as yellow gowns, simple masks, surgical hair cap, footies, and gloves, but still I worried for them. I also worried for the 20 somethings receptionist gals who wore no protection but were behind a plexiglass partition of some sort. I recall the young ladies taking people’s information and looking grieved, but trying not to show it, as if in their minds they were labeling us patients as the walking dead. I only had to wait maybe 15 minutes before being seen. First, the nurse took and recorded my vitals, then tested me for the flu through a swab up my nose in both nostrils. After getting tested for both strands of flu, my results came back 10 minutes later as negative. Then, I was ushered down to another room to be seen by a doctor. After filling out a clinical form regarding my symptoms, age, and any underlying medical conditions, I put the pen down and took the opportunity to thoroughly wash my hands after noticing a sink in the room. Never can be too careful these days! Next, a doctor came in and inquired about my symptoms and recorded them. She then listened to my heart and lungs, all of which she said sounded good. She informed me whatever I have is not a sinus infection or bronchitis, but it is something viral. She said they have seen numerous patients within recent days and something is certainly going around, but as to if it COVID-19 or not is to be determined. Next, she took a long q-tip looking swab and stuck it so far up my nostril it made me tear up. The doctor apologized but explained that is what it is supposed to do. While I would not want to do that everyday, it was only uncomfortable for about 10 seconds and certainly not as bad as a strep-throat test, in my opinion.
While waiting for my results though, trying to be positive about the situation, I pondered the potential blessings in contracting the disease early on. The best benefit I could think of was if it is true you become immune to it after having survived it (at least for a year or so they are saying), then I could potentially help others suffering without fearing for my own health. Still, no one can predict how this particular virus will respond in each individual person so I was hopeful, I would not have to find out.
After quarantining myself for two days awaiting my results and taking it easy at home here on my boat, my results amazingly came in relatively fast just a bit over 48 hours rather than the 72 hours they said it would probably take. Today, while resting on Sabbath, I got an email stating my results came in and I just needed to log into my health portal online. After doing so, I am delighted to report the results are “Not Detected”, meaning they could not detect COVID-19 in me. YAY! Praise God!
Sadly, since being tested, more positive cases in my county have been made known. May we continue to intercede in prayer for one another and thank you to those that knew about my situation and prayed for me.
I share my experience with you so you will know how the testing process works in the event you become ill and to also let you know that other illnesses present similarly to COVID-19 symptoms so take it serious, but stay calm. It may just be an untimely cold. Blessings and Shalom!