Earlier this week, I experienced fatigue and headache. Having fibromyalgia, I frequently am tired and have headaches. Two days ago, I began having severe stomach pain, followed by pressure in my chest through to my back and shortness of breath.
The hotlines and call centers I found online were less than helpful. My husband drove me to our local drive-thru testing site. It was supposed to be open until eight o’clock but when we arrived at 7:45 p.m. all was dark.
The next morning I called my primary care provider’s office and was put through to a triage nurse. After I described what I was experiencing, she told me I needed to be seen at their respiratory clinic.
When I entered the first of doors of the office, a medical assistant met me before I made it through the second. There were stop signs all over, informing patients they should only enter if they were experiencing respiratory issues. Once the aide confirmed that I had breathing difficulties, I went into the waiting room. The check-in desk was completely covered with opaque plastic sheeting from ceiling to floor. There were holes cut out at face level with clear plastic and narrow slots at desk level for passing papers and insurance cards. Everyone wore gowns and masks.
The doctor reviewed my symptoms and listened to my breathing. She told me I needed to be tested for COVID and have chest x-rays. She went out of the examining room and said, “We need to swab her.” Someone else replied, “Oh, yeah?” “Yes, and we need to get chest x-rays.”
She returned with a test kit, explaining that this would be uncomfortable, before putting the long swab deeply into each nostril. The radiology tech came in next, giving me a gown. He took pics of my lungs from the back and side. In the evening, the doctor called to tell me the x-rays showed bronchitis but not pneumonia. Good news. She prescribed a Z-Pak.
Today, my chest hurts and I’m really tired. I only notice the shortness of breath when I talk or try to breathe deeply. Now, I wait.