Take this stick and shove it … test

                The ominous brain-tickling COVID-19 test swab finally caught me. The first time it threatened my nasal cavities came on a holiday weekend when Hubby could not get warm. I tried to get him a quick COVID-19 test. “We can’t test you until after the holiday.”

He felt sick. I slept a bit more the next two days before he tested positive.

“I don’t feel sick. I am already quarantined. Do I need a test?” I asked.

“No, not if you are already quarantined.”

I welcomed long days at home to finally tackle making a king-sized quilt. I cheerfully added another week to avoid having my brain tickled. Meanwhile I began and completed a complicated quilt; I even quilted it.

A couple months later, vaccinations began for the elderly. My husband immediately qualified.  Having had the disease, he discussed pros and cons, especially after his unvaccinated, older, brother died from the disease.

I studied the options, shrugged, got the vaccination and felt fine. The family persuaded hubby to be vaccinated. Nationally, COVID-19 numbers went down and up and down, etc.

“You can get a free test by contacting this number,” a friend advised. I thought about ordering a test but saw no need for one until the day I told my daughter, “I feel puny.”

She had recently had an exhausting case of COVID-19. “You might have it. You should get tested,” she said.

“Oh. Really?” I visited the clinic. The COVID-19 consulant asked a few questions and concluded, “You don’t need a covid test.”

No stick in my nose? That works for me! I went home happy if not healthy.

Another time, I called the clinic to see if COVID-19 had caught me.

“We can’t give a test until Monday.”

I felt much better on Monday.

Last month, my son, Nate, brought Sam to visit. The next day Nate called, “Hey, I felt a bit sick before a meeting so I took a test. I have COVID-19.”

“I better order those free test kits,” I said.

“You should have it in a couple days,” my son – and the clerk on the phone – said.

The next day my husband felt awful and Sam slept a lot. The tests never came.

I went in town and asked a pharmacist for a covid test. The clerk stepped back, pulled a test and tossed it across the counter at me for no cost. At home, I opened the little capsule of testing fluid, squeezed 6 drops into the tiny hole and opened the envelope holding a long cotton tipped stick. However, things had changed: No brain tickling. I only had to swirl about half an inch into his nose. Hubby squinched his eyes, gasped and choked, anyway.

I slid the stick into the tester, covered it and watched fluid rush to declare, “positive.”

Sam’s mom Joy asked that I test him. He tested positive as did everyone in his family that week. To go to camp the next week, he needed a negative test.

Back to the pharmacy for another double test kit. This clerk said, “It costs $26.”

I blinked at the difference.

“Your insurance will pay for it.”

“Oh.” I handed her my card.

She handed me eight COVID-19 tests.

Sam’s one line declared him “negative,” and safe for camp.

I decided I should test my summer cold.  No brain tickling, just wipe inside the nose. Yep, I saw the two lines confirming that I was COVID-19 positive. I stayed home, took over-the-counter cold medications and assembled two, simple quilts. My quarantine ended in time to take Sam home. We tossed the extra tests into the suitcase. After all, you never know when someone might want a cotton-tipped piece of wood pushed up their nose.

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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