On Day 204, I Got Two COVID-19 Tests

I’ve mentioned that I haven’t’ been feeling well. Using my amazing powers of self-diagnosis, I believe I have some sort of sinus infection/ear infection with some side symptoms like a sore throat and worsening congestion. Typical crud.

When I contacted my PCP, I asked her if getting a COVID-19 test was advisable. That led me down a path of absurdity that I could not have imagined. The PCP’s office had all sorts of conflicting information about how to get tested and where. After telling me I had to go to a church (!) to get tested, I opted to try Walgreens.

I got myself scheduled and carefully read the email instructions. We arrived about 10 minutes early and learned that the instructions were completely 100% wrong. We adapted. The test was self-administered so that was weird. And we were done.

Literally as we pulled up in front of our house, my PCP’s office called. Oh no, not Walgreens they said. Please come in by 11:30 AM and we’ll give you our good better percentage results test plus you can see a doctor about your actual symptoms.

I was not thrilled because I am sick and exhausted and wanted to go back to bed, but I agreed.

Dragged myself into the office, got my temp checked, and then a stern looking woman casting a spell of protection around me with a cotton swab and a vial of magic juice dragged me into the hallway. I could get a test, but no exam. The Nurse Practitioner was afraid of my COVID-19. I don’t have COVID-19. Why did I want the test? I never said I did, I had asked if I needed the test. Why would I do that? 200,000 dead Americans and a lack of a medical degree?

She humiliated me and I wept because I wasn’t getting examined which means I wasn’t going to be treated.

Got back to the car when the COO calls me. Gives me a completely different story including the fact that Walgreens test was just fine.  She did confirm that the scaredy cat Nurse Practitioner should have donned PPE and completed my exam. Great.

So when someone runs out of tests, you can call me and I’ll tell you what insensitive, irresponsible fools did this. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I finally did a get a telehealth visit. Funny how they trusted me to report on my symptoms over the phone, but didn’t take my word for it when reporting on the COVID debacle.

So 48 hours later, I have an antibiotic and other prescriptions. I feel a million times worse and suspect I’m developing bronchitis (thanks, Dr R who could have prescribed that Monday AM)  So now we wait for both test results and have to isolate until then. The telehealth doctor smartly pointed out that I should be resting and pushing fluids until then anyway. Nicely played, doc.

I’m also waiting for my PCP to apologize for giving me wildly inaccurate information about going to church for a COVID test. And the stern testing lady to apologize for dragging me across town while sick for an unnecessary procedure. There better not be a copay on that one.

I wait with dread for what sorts of messes will happen with vaccines.

Look, I know health care folks are exhausted, but that doesn’t justify making serious mistakes. Make a mistake, you set it right. You don’t understand why a gay patient doesn’t want to go to a church for a test, you ask you supervisor or HR – not the patient. I’m not here to educate you. Forcing me to have two tests on the same day when I don’t actually have COVID-19 symptoms, I just have virus symptoms is not okay.

The worst part for me was the stern testing lady. She showed no compassion or kindness, didn’t even allow me to sit down because I might spread the COVID-19. That I don’t necessarily have. She didn’t offer me a tissue, a cup of water, but she did show me her palm several times and whispered to a colleague not to leave her alone with me. Sigh.

I don’t think for a minute the COO will have stern testing lady make amends because she is ultimately more important than me to the practice. There are always new patients to be found. Not so much board certified stern testing ladies.

This is where I get my mental health services, too.

What would amends look like?

  1. The doctor and stern testing lady take accountability.
  2. The staff, including these two, participate in a virtual training with actual queer people to understand why churches are literal threats to our existence, not just awkward.
  3. Provide me with a written copy of their COVID-19 testing policies and procedures.
  4. Stop dissing Walgreens testing. At least they were polite.
  5. No one else apologizing for PCP and stern testing lady.

I’m going to bed now.

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