Sick! Is it the Coronavirus? After experiencing another bout of uncontrollable coughing and having some issues breathing due to congestion, I debated whether to go to the hospital. What if I had COVID-19? What if I didn’t have it but got it from someone that tested positive at the hospital? Maybe a patient, doctor, nurse, lab worker or…? The list of possibilities just kept going on and on in my already foggy head. But another wave of coughing would determine my fate.
I changed into street clothes and put on my mask, called a friend and at 1:00AM, we got into the car and drove off to the hospital. All kinds of horrific scenarios crossed my mind while we were driving. Like...if I had the virus, would I be able to see my family and friends again? Would I survive it? Did I unknowingly infect someone I loved? What would be the outcome for me? This way of thinking was not my style and I resolved at that moment to think positive.
About twenty minutes later, we pulled up to the security gate where a guard inquired about our destination. We advised him that we were headed to the Emergency Room. He then informed us that there were no visitors allowed. This meant that I could only be dropped off and that my friend had to leave afterwards. Yikes! At that point my friend assured me that he wasn’t going anywhere. It’s great to have fearless friends!
The parking lot was nearly empty. We slowly pulled into the stall and parked right near the entrance of the hospital. As I approached the doorway, I noticed that a station was set up right outside, at the front of the hospital with one nurse and one security guard. They advised my friend that he needed to remain in the car and began to ask me a series of questions...what was the nature of my visit? Difficulty breathing? Fever? Dizziness? Vomiting? Have I come into contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19? Based on my answers, the nurse determined that
I needed to be checked by an ER doctor.
She asked me to follow her to the other side of the building where the ambulatory service members bring in patients on stretchers. We walked into the hospital where she directed me into a private room where I was immediately isolated. They closed the sliding glass doors and began taping signs on them that said “STOP”, “DO NOT ENTER”, “COVID-19”. What?! Was this really happening to me? It seemed like I was playing a role in a movie flick!
After a few minutes, I saw a doctor put on all of the protective gear necessary to check his new patient. Just like all of the healthcare professionals that I had been watching on television through various media outlets, he wore a gown, surgical mask, gloves and face shield. Upon entry, he asked me about my symptoms and listened to my lungs. Luckily, he didn’t hear any wheezing but asked if I had possibly been in contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19? Not that
I know of?
The doctor explained that although I exhibited some of the symptoms of the Coronavirus, but wasn’t convinced yet. Leaning on the side of caution, he ordered a chest X-ray to check my lungs. Within a few minutes, a technician entered the room with an X-ray machine fully dressed in hospital protective gear from head to foot. This was seriously turning into a nightmare! But he was very nice and had a kind-hearted nature about him that immediately calmed me down. He took one picture then he was gone in an instant.
The doctor eventually appeared and announced the good news! My lungs were clear for the most part but showed some bronchitis, which would explain the deep coughing. He concluded that based on all of the information gathered, I did not have the Coronavirus!
Shortly after his diagnosis, the hospital released me with two prescriptions and my life back! I have never been so happy to have a “simple cold!”
A Hui Hou Kākou (until we meet again),