Okay, so I have an interesting Covid-19 story to tell:
At the tail-end of May, my family began preparing for the graduation ceremony for my oldest daughter from high school. The plan was for a monitored event with distancing between family groups (Only two guests were allowed, generally mom and dad) and asking us to keep on masks until we were seated. Okay, better than no ceremony, although as a teacher at the school my wife lost the opportunity to be on stage when our daughter stepped across the dais. She had been dreaming of this moment for years.
We had family and friends invited for a graduation party on the Sunday before graduation, and so after work each day I was coming home and prepping the back yard, hauling lawn furniture, mowing, cleaning the house, etc to get ready. I was getting myself a little exhausted but hoped to catch up on rest the following week. Both of my sisters-in-law came to stay and bedrooms were reassigned, with me in the eldest's room while my three ladies stayed together in the master BR. The air is finicky in parts of the house so that room runs a bit warm but I had a fan to help. During all of this the honeysuckle outside was giving me fits allergy-wise so I've been taking Letocetirizine every night to minimize post-nasal drip.
On to Sunday, and the party. I ran out to get the fajita buffet from our local Moe's and returned to finish set-up before the other guests started arriving. There was already a little tension under everything as my younger sis-in-law is a major flake (She sat in her car for half an hour after I asked her to please not park on my lawn) and the three sisters had been fighting. Add to this I was already having trouble dealing with the fact my child would soon be leaving our nest. After eating, we played a game and while sitting in the dining room I noticed my heart was a little racy and I felt warm; I ended up going to lay down a bit. MY brother-in-law, a nurse from Shand's Hospital in Gainesville, FL, said later I looked like I was having a panic attack. A little bit after coming back out, I entered the kitchen to get a drink and more food. With both hands filled, I pivoted on my right foot, stepped forward with my left, and heard our new puppy cry out as my pivoting boot heel went across his paw (Isn't it cute how puppies and kittens get right up under you?). In my attempt to not crush a baby's foot I lifted up on my right foot even though my left was not planted yet. I began to fall. Twisting around to see where I was falling--and to make sure it wasn't on the puppy--I ended up coming down hard on my right hip and slammed both forearms down on a wooden kitchen chair. I got up as quickly as I could and tried to brush it all off as no big deal, but it was. I already suffer from lower back pain, and my right shoulder has been having rotator cuff issues the past few months. But I am sort of a Stoic so I blew it off. Yes, I know. I retired from the party after that, and sat in my man cave trying to calm down.
Then Monday arrives. I work a half-day at work so I can get home to ready for graduation. If you check the pic you can imagine why this was such an important deal for my daughter. Fourth in a class of nearly 400, International Baccalaureate Honor graduate with distinction, National Honor Society with distinction, National Spanish Society plus the ONLY student to receive the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy, student of the month every year, just so much. High school was her focus; she loves learning so much and the thought that she might not get to show her peers her accomplishment was eating me up (like many parents I'm sure). Event started a 7pm, but we got there at 6pm to drop her off and drop my wife off to get in line for a good seat. My wife discovered during rehearsal that there was a great spot where we could see her the whole time. We stand in line until allowed entrance and then filter in to get our seats in the visitors' bleachers. The effective temperature was in the high 80's at that point. I am a pale old white dude of Irish ancestry, so I was loving it and of course I brought no hat or sunscreen because I am also stubborn. So by the end of the event I had a mild sunburn on the top of my head. On the way home I'm not feeling great, so I drop my wife and daughter off at at relative house in the same neighborhood and I go home to have some chicken noodle soup. I can't finish my soup as it tastes way too salty (It was Campbell's, so it's always a bit salty). I go to bed.
Tuesday morning, I wake up feeling crap, and call out of work after promising to go see about a Covid-19 swab to make sure it wasn't that. I work as a teacher in a mental treatment facility that serves teenage violent and sex offenders, so I could not return without proof I was clean. Can't see the doctor until Wednesday afternoon. I am told because of my symptoms I will have to wait outside in the parking lot until the nurse-practioner calls me to meet her at the downstairs elevator. Well, the effective temp that day was 94°F, and even parked in a shady spot and occasionally running the car and AC to cool off, it was still miserable. We wait and wait and no call is coming. My wife and I take turns asking if I will be seen soon and we keep getting blown off, "Oh, yes, yes, it will be soon. TWO HOURS LATER I am told she will meet me at the elevator. I walk in and she is not there. I go to the second floor, still not there. I sit down long enough to send an angry text to my wife when the nurse pops her head out a rear door to the office and brings me in.
Now, I would like anyone with a medical background to pay attention. She hooks my up with a blood pressure belt and clips my finger with a pulse reader and gets a 122/68 and a 89 pulse. She takes my temp with the point'n'shoot gun (remember, I just came in out of the Georgia heat with only five minutes to chill out) and writes what looks to be a temp in the 90's on a piece of paper. She told me the other vitals, but not this one for some reason. She asks me what has been going on and I as I am talking, proceeds to listen to my chest. Now, I am not taking deep breaths as I am talking but neither does she ask me to stop for a second. She then tells me my capacity is diminished by 93% (but writes 94% on the report, where she also recorded a temp of over 100°). She asks if I'm having shortness of breath; I say no except if I breathe too deep and it sets off the stitch in my right shoulder blade from my fall--which I told her about. She writes down I am having shortness of breath. She prescribes me some meds--more Letocetirizine, an antibiotic (for Covid? No, just in case there is something else in there. I don't take AB's for now reason.), a cough suppressant and a Covid swab. Fine, had to have it in order to return to work. Nurse goes out to get the test ready, but several minutes later another nurse comes in to say the testing window closed at 445pm (It was 453pm when she tells me this) and I have to come up to the hospital tomorrow for the swap. Oh good. All that wait for no answers, no test, and no permission to return to work.
I go get my test on Thursday. It is 1030am, and they tell me result turnaround is 24-48 hrs, but I should have them by Friday. Friday comes without a call. I inform work I have nothing yet. I don't even know what time I have for this as I had to use a lot of sick days on emergency dental work last Fall and my wife's cataract surgery in February. Not happy. In the meantime I have been self-exiled in my child's bedroom, eating some old oxycodones from the rotator issue I had in the left shoulder last year. Only thing giving me relief from my back pain but not practical at work. Oh, I forgot--they prescribed me Tylenol even after I told them I don't feel Tylenol. I have to eat the maximum dose of ibuprofen to even get partial relief from my back, but whatever.
So, fast-forward to Sunday, I text my boss to say I am not cool with coming in without the results as the facility director is a douche and is taking this whole pandemic as seriously as MSNBC fans. I tell him if they call early with the results, I will come in a finish out the day because we currently have 5 vacancies and several other sick personnel so in reality we are completely out of ratio in terms of staff-to-clients and that is a big regulatory no-no that gets people fired.
It is now today, and I am getting worried because they haven't called yet and it is almost lunch time. They take lunch from 12pm-130pm so I know they won't call then and my 'school' day ends at 3pm. I call, and after being hung up on by the answering system finally get through. The woman on the phone sees nothing in my record and says she will shoot a message to the nurse to call me. I wait. It is now 432pm and the office closes at 5pm, so I call to see WTF is going on. It goes straight to the answering system , which informs that the office is currently closed and to call back during normal business hours (remember what time it is when I call) and to call 911 if there is an emergency. So, another day missed and still no results. I have people telling me their tests had results back in 45 mins. WHAT!?
I basically feel they cost me an additional two days of lost work, which may or may not be paid, and left me unaware of what to say to all who came to the party. I actually didn't get close to anyone as I am an asshole who doesn't like getting near people anyway, but my wife has asthma and this is stuff I kinda need to know. My mother-in-law, former ACLU PR person and TDS sufferer who is convinced masks will need to be worn at least two more years (She works in Manhattan) demanded I stop seeing that doctor, but that was already my plan.
So, anyway, that's my new Covid-19 story about my worst week ever this year.
On the plus side, I learned how to make aircraft aerials from my wife's long, black hair over the weekend.