Greetings from Lockdown

On Wednesday I was exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. I was told by my doctor that if the symptoms did not go away, that I should go get tested. I did not want to be tested, but I did not feel well at all the following day. So I made a field trip to the testing site after going through a telephone screening with a local health professional.

The clinic had me wait in the nearby Wendy’s parking lot. I then called their number and awaited further instruction. I was told that when signaled by the traffic guard, I could move my vehicle into one of the marked stalls. I noticed that everyone else had their driver’s side windows down, so after I was assigned a stall, I also rolled my window down.

That may have been the longest half-hour of my life, waiting to be tested. The doctor and his assistant were extremely pleasant and even gave me an extra mask. I had worn a bandana, but they needed to take more stringent precautions. The doctor explained that some of my symptoms (namely, my hands turning cold and numb and blue) were likely symptoms of Reynaud’s syndrome and not COVID. Out of an abundance of caution and probably due to my being diagnosed with asthma the day before, he proceeded with the test. He listened to my breathing, took my oxygen level, and then told me to tilt my head back. He said, “It’s going to feel like I’m tickling your brain.”

Indeed, it did, though the test was not as bad as I had imagined. I do think they may have accessed my Matrix switch, though. I would not be at all surprised if I suddenly acquired the ability to fly a plane. I did have a bit of a lasting headache afterward, but I can say the test itself is nothing to be afraid of.

Now I am awaiting the results. I feel a great deal better today, despite the shoddy stomach. The sinus pressure and pain are much better, and my hands have not gone numb recently. My son and boyfriend, however, have been coughing.

According to my boyfriend’s doctor, they will only test one person per household and wait for that result. So we are all waiting for four to seven days. We cannot go anywhere, not even out for groceries. We did bring the indoor/outdoor cat, Frank, inside, so he could not potentially spread the contagion. We are staying six feet away from each other, but the doctor’s office indicated that if my test is positive they will assume we are all positive. We continue to sleep in separate rooms.

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I was going to continue completely isolating myself, but I had to weigh that against my son’s mental health. Because of this quarantine (and my boyfriend and I working on-site), my son has been all alone during the day here. His sleep patterns have been disrupted and in general, he has not been doing well emotionally. After just a day of complete isolation myself, I can see why.

So I’m scared that the result may be positive, but my rational brain says that it’s probably negative. I decided that I couldn’t live with not knowing and potentially spreading the virus to others at work. At least with a negative result, I will know for sure that the symptoms are from some other bug.

If it’s positive, I will be upset. Because I wash my hands, I avoid touching my face as well as I can. I use hand sanitizer. I’ve done everything right, and yet, with this virus, it doesn’t necessarily matter. And it makes me frustrated and upset. I know of other people who are in isolation from suspected COVID right now, and I don’t normally pray. But I am praying for the mental and physical health of every one of them.

And I try not to pass judgment but our neighbors on either side of us have frequent visitors. They may have legitimate reasons, but it seems very business-as-usual for them. It upsets me because we even had an invitation to Easter dinner that we refused, just because I have a higher risk of contracting the virus through going to work every day. Am I glad we didn’t go? Why, yes, I am.

And now I get to sit around and try not to lose my mind. Work has been understanding, which is nice. But it’s becoming harder and harder to see myself working on-site every day when fear of this virus is out there.

Stay safe, folks. Stay inside unless going out is absolutely necessary. Listen to the scientists. Think about the at-risk portions of the population before you act. We can get through this, but we all have to do our part.

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