COVID free, but I really wanted that orange stethoscope

COVID-free, but I really wanted that orange stethoscope

I mentioned last week that I’ve been super sick for the last three weeks. I finally called my doctor this morning because my weekend was especially bad. The nurse told me they couldn’t see me and to just go to the ER get checked for pneumonia and COVID.

She also told me to expect to be admitted. So I packed a bag just in case, then called my dad who came and drove me to Upstate University Hospital. He wasn’t allowed in, so he dropped me at the door and left.

Since I was being checked as a possible COVID patient, they made me wait in the glassed-in pediatric waiting room by myself. Which wasn’t so bad, actually. Within five minutes they took me back and stuck me in an isolation room far away from the rest of the ER.

Not that I was getting a complex or anything, but from the way they kept me clear of everyone, I did start to feel like Typhoid Mary.

They drew blood, did an EKG, then brought in the portable x-ray machine to do a chest x-ray.

And, of course, the nurse did the dreaded COVID nasal test.

The COVID test feels like they’re tickling your frontal lobe with a plastic strip. It isn’t exactly painful, but it is unsettling as hell. It felt like my eyes were catching fire from the inside.

One of the five people crowded in my tiny room left that orange stethoscope on the table next to me. I’ve never in my life seen a neon orange stethoscope, and boy, did I want to take it. But I’m too moral. So I just took a picture of it instead.


The chest x-ray and bloodwork ruled out an infection or pneumonia which was an enormous relief. I was more concerned about pneumonia than I was COVID. My heart was fine and there was no blood clot in my lungs.

The COVID test was a rapid one. And by rapid they mean, two hours or so. In the meantime, while waiting for that, my bladder was becoming an issue. I pressed the call button and told the nurse “My bladder is becoming an issue.” Then I was told because I’m in COVID isolation, I was not permitted to leave the room to use the bathroom — which seems a tad punitive if you ask me.

At two o’clock, the nurse came in and let me know I am COVID free.

I was elated – but mostly because that meant I could finally go pee. Because I really, really had to go pee.

Whatever has been dogging me for the last three weeks is just some virus of non-specific origin for which they can do nothing. The PA said my staying on the immunosuppressant for the first 10 days of this probably made it worse which could explain why I still have not recovered. So I was sent home and told to rest, drink plenty of fluids and ride it out.

Today was the first time since the Wuhan panic began that I wore a mask for more than twenty minutes. Let me tell you, I didn’t like it. Talk about claustrophobic.

Now I’m going to lie down and rest because the whole ER trip tuckered me out.

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10 thoughts on “COVID free, but I really wanted that orange stethoscope

  • October 5, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Glad your tests had favorable results and hope you improve quickly. I had an ER trip at end of July for a spider bite that got infected. Temp check at front door and a few questions were it as far as entrance screening.

  • October 5, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    God love you Dianny, glad you got checked out. People w/chronic conditions know how to rest & do the plenty of fluids drill. I salute you for doing your columns, ill as you are, they give a great lift to my day. I totally get the stethoscope envy! ALL THE BEST!

  • October 5, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Dianny, the above pictured stethoscope is a Sprague-Rappaport brand, and they do come in all kinds of colors. They are easily had at your nearest scrubs store/outlet for about $20-30. Also online 🙂
    Glad you are not confined/mask-required, take care of yourself. We’d miss you if you were gone!!! <3

  • October 5, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Feel better quick!
    And yeah, that is a very spiffy Stethoscope.

  • October 5, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    The part about being trapped in an ER needing to pee hit really close to home. I had minor chest pain in early July, and finally went to the local ER. They put me in a stall next to a Covid 19 guy, I think. The poor guy had an awful deep chest cough that went on and on until they hauled him away. But they did their thing to me, blood tests, x-rays and such. Finally 3 hours later decided that some enzyme level was too high as a heart attack indication and put my old butt on an ambulance to transfer to the main hospital an hour away. Then it was a repeat plus the covid test with a swab stuck up the nose into the lower parts of the brain. However still no chance to pee. After being in an isolation room in the second ER for about 5 hours, I finally called the nurse and ask if I were in a torture chamber and what my crime was. I have low level diabetes and 12 hours with no food was starting to get painful and by now I was going to pee regardless. I told her that it was about to flow into a corner of the room and she brought me a little plastic bottle to use. I did have a mild heart attack and they did a catherization using the femoral artery, I think, to run the fiber optic thing up to the heart to look see. They gave me a lot of diuretics to lower my BP prior to and when finished told me that I could not move for 6 hours. Now I am stuck on a bed unable to move, with a lot of medicine making me need to pee. I had no choice. I had to lay in my own urine for about 5 hours. I pray for no more hospital trips. Ever, that really was miserable.

  • October 5, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    let’s just cut to the chase … did you get to the bathroom on time, or were you forced to use the handy-dandy bed-pan, or that plastic urinal thingy w/ the lid on it?

    ,,, the suspense is killing me!!!

    • October 6, 2020 at 5:58 am

      It was when the nurse walked me to the public restroom in the ER that I discovered just how far away from the general ER population they kept me. We walked forever. It was like the bladder version of the Bataan Death March. But I made it.

  • October 6, 2020 at 7:20 am

    Glad you’re covid free, but you’ve got one heck of another bug. If I lived closer, I’d bring you soup!

  • October 6, 2020 at 7:25 am

    If you thought the ER visit tuckered you out, wait until you see the bill…it will surely knock you out. Heal quickly!

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