Dealing w a pandemic of this magnitude (as far as in the age of lightening fast media & up-to-the minute info) is uncharted territory for all of us.
Debated sharing this bc it leaves me vulnerable/labeled – & it’s about physical health & not mental, & the weird thing is, the perception piece is what made me hesitate at first. Ironic! But, if my experience can be of help to others, it’s worth sharing.
If you’ve been following, the last 3 wks before this thing really blew up, I was on 12 flights, 10 cities, spanning just abt 20 days. Therefore, not shocking that two nights ago, I started to develop fever/chills/deep dry cough.
This pic is of Oakley licking my hand – bc dogs are awesome & they just know when you don’t feel well. He’s been at my side the last 36 or so hrs, giving me those kisses.
Any who, I’m a stubborn bastard w any sickness, so I took some liquid Tylenol the first night & went to bed. Woke up, sweaty/chills/cough, etc. Now here’s the ringer: this is a relatively new rental apt for me, I was ill prepared for this virus’ spread (like most), & so I have no thermometer. Not only that – you can’t find a thermometer anywhere at any of these online delivery places in NYC. Pharmacies are sold out. Found one through Postmates at a CVS & my order keeps getting cancelled, saying – “can’t fulfill.” Friends who live in the city, understandably have self quarantined or just have fear of getting in a cab or subway to come drop one off.
Alright so I’m given the NYS Dept of Health # as I’m told I can get tested w their phone approval. Hour & a half wait on the phone later, & here was my exchange – not gonna sugar coat it, w someone who was condescending & seemed untrained:
“ Hi, I’ve been symptomatic for 36 hrs now, & want to find out abt testing.”
“Sir, you don’t need to be tested, if you don’t have symptoms.”
“I’m sorry if you missed the first part of the call, I’ve been symptomatic for 36 hrs now.”
“Sir you didn’t share your symptoms w me, so it didn’t sound like you needed testing.”
“Ok well can you take my symptoms now”?
So I proceed to share – & on 3 diff occasions mentioned that I had a fever that was fluctuating between sweats, chills, & deep dry cough, etc. He STILL asks to confirm if I have fever.
Finally he begins to enter my information in the system – one of the questions: he’s trained to ask: did you fly in or out of China or Italy within the past 2 wks? So I tell him know – I was on 12 domestic flights, & even ppl I was sitting next to & talking to were from foreign countries. To him this seemed to matter very little. How can that not be a factor? International travelers connect on domestics flights all the time!
He takes all my stuff, enters it, & proceeds to say – if you’re approved for testing, you will get a call back at this number. I’m sorry we can’t let you know how long it takes, not even a range – could be 2 days, could be 2 wks.
I can’t believe this system in NYS is this archaic. To leave ppl in the dark – even if you gave a potential range of dates based on the algorithm your symptoms indicate – but nothing.
Ok so I’m in a hold pattern, & may go to Urgent Care just to see if I maybe have the common flu instead. More to come – but I share this with you so you 1) don’t get frustrated w the NYS DOH. Know what you are getting into when you call them. 2) If you feel you can’t wait to be seen, regardless of what the test will say, go to an urgent care or ER right now! I’ll keep everyone posted how this professes & what I learn. Much health to everyone out there!