I spent last week on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. We almost didn’t go, but because Royal Caribbean instilled it’s cruise refund policy too close to our cruise for us to be able to use it, we decided to go ahead and have our vacation.
In hindsight that was probably a mistake.
While my family was on the ship, the captain came over the loud speaker and let us know that we were going to finish out our cruise, but we once we were docked, all cruising is officially cancelled for at least a month.
At that point, my family and I decided to spend the rest of our cruise in our stateroom, and we didn’t even get off port in the last two stops.
It was a weird trip with lots of sanitizing and hand washing.
We never even felt like we got to fully relax or have any fun because we ere just so nervous the entire time.
If you had told me in the beginning that by the time we got home, the stores would be all out of food and toilet paper and the airports would be empty, I would have laughed and told you that you were watching too many dystopian movies.
But, apparently this is the world we live in now.
My family has been in self-quarantine, trying to stay away from everyone, and we’ve been monitoring ourselves for any COVID-19 symptoms. And up until today, we thought we were in the clear.
I came home with a bit of a cough, and was pretty tired. But that is all expected for me at least when I travel.
We still called the local emergency room just to be safe, told them we had come home from a cruise and asked if there was anything special we should do.
They told us to stay home, and that we needed to monitor, above all else, our temperature.
So, today when I checked my temperature, and it was 100.3, I called the emergency room immediately. They told me that they didn’t have any coronavirus tests, and that I should call the Denton county public health hotline.
So, we called the public health hotline, and they told me that they weren’t administering any tests either.
I told them my symptoms, and they said that because I had only been to two airports and all the cruise destinations my ship docked at were not considered a “hotbed” for coronavirus that I would not even qualify for a test anyway.
Honestly they weren’t much help, and that was kind of a disappointment.
This freaked us out pretty bad. We had been around a lot of people, and so I called my family doctor. I told them my symptoms, that I had been on a cruise, and then they made an appointment for me to come in about an hour and a half after my phone call.
I was instructed to walk in alone, they asked me to leave my family at home because they weren’t displaying any symptoms. Then I had to grab three tissues from the tissue box next to the front door and cover my face and nose with them.
They apologized that they couldn’t give me a mask, but they were running very very low on them, and they were even having to ration when they used them.
I told them my name at the front desk, and they didn’t have me stop to do any paperwork or have me wait in the lobby. There were others in the lobby, but I walked right past them and was taken to a room in the back of the office.
The nurse came in, she was wearing a face mask and gloves. She asked me a lot of questions about where I’d been, had me go through my symptoms– which were a cough, shortness of breath, a fever, and sluggishness.
She took my vitals, and then gave me a strep test (swab to the back of the throat) and a flu test (swab up your nose that pretty much feels like it’s in your brain.)
The doctor popped in and examined me at that time. He listened to my lungs and assured me I was going to be okay. (I was a little freaked out, but trying not to show it.) He told me my tests would be finished in just a few minutes and we would go from there.
I sat and waited on those tests to come back, and when they both came back negative, that’s when they brought in the COVID-19 test. It was in a little plastic container with one of those fuzzy q-tip things and a vial of some sort of liquid.
The nurse opened up the test and did a nose swab test. Again it felt like she went all the way up to my brain. She was much more thorough with this test than with the flu, and when I asked her why, she said it was because with the flu test they know immediately if they need to get more specimen (you can read that as nose goo if you really want to get technical) but with coronavirus, you have to send it off.
My doctor’s office only had 5 coronavirus tests to use, but they assured me that if they needed to get more, then they would just ask for more. They said that the health department wasn’t doing testing, but instead letting doctors decide which patients were at-risk for the disease and having them do the testing.
They told me that the results are supposed to be back within 24 hours, but that it’s actually taking more like 3-5 days.
My doctor told me that they are supposedly working on something that is a little faster, but for now, I have to wait 3-5 days for the results of my test.
He did decide to treat me as normal, like I have a bad case of bronchitis, with a steroid shot and some antibiotics, and asked me to quarantine in a bedroom away from the rest of my family until the results come in.
I asked if me having Coronavirus meant the rest of my family did, and he told me that was not necessarily the case. Just like the flu can skip over people in your household, Coronavirus can do the same thing.
So, for the next 3-5 days I am sitting in my bedroom alone awaiting the results. And I am supposed to rest, take my meds and get plenty of fluids, just like I normally would if I were running a fever and had a cough.
Wish me luck! 🙂