COVID-19 Testing Stories: Personal Experiences From People Who Have Been Tested for the Coronavirus by Donna John
My daughter and mom told me about their coronavirus (COVID-19) tests the same week – and their stories were polar opposite. My daughter had a painful experience with the nasal test and hours-long wait times, and my mom was in and out and they gently swabbed the back of her throat. This made me wonder about other people's experiences when testing for coronavirus. Here are some stories from community members who have been through the COVID-19 testing process. Have you been tested? Share your story in the comments section.
1. "When I drove up there were two lines, ones for those who had appointments and one for those who didn't. When I got to the first tent, they asked for my confirmation number, and couldn't find it in their system. I even showed them on the phone through the window. But, they just re-registered me and gave me a test. I took a picture of the new number just in case. Drove to the second tent, where someone told me how to do it. There were two items in the bag. A swab and a test tube with liquid and a lid. I put the swab up my nose just 1/2 inch and twirled around on each side. It was not painful or awkward. (I hadn't eaten or drank anything, since I wasn't sure if it was the oral swab or nasal, and both directions were on the email, so I was a bit dry.) I put the swab in the test tube, broke the stem off. Put the test tube in the bag and zipped it up. Then, the guy held up a cardboard box (recycled) and I dropped it in, after re-checking to make sure it was zipped all the way. They said two to three days and I'd get results. Drove off. I got my results this morning. Negative. I also found out why they couldn't find my reservation. My appointment was for today. LOL." – Donna Mansell
2. "Had both, blood antibody and nose swab. Both negative. The 'adventure continues.' Wash your hands, don't touch your face and avoid people with colds. God bless." – Mark Watson
3. "My dad, who lives in Maryland, is having a heart procedure on Monday and I'm going to see him this weekend. I wanted to be sure that I didn't have COVID before going, so I went to a local urgent care facility for the active infection test yesterday. The process was pretty efficient. Call when you arrive, answer some questions over the phone, wait a few minutes until they call you back, mask up, enter the building one patient at a time and immediately go back to an exam room. They first took my temp (my temperature kept reading high because I was waiting in a hot car for a while!) and then listened to my heart and breathing. Next, the fun part! They pulled out this very, very long swab and told me to tilt my head back. They did warn me that they would have to insert the swab pretty far back and asked me to try not to pull away. I've had a nasal endoscopy and figured this would be similar. The first sensation was what I was expecting, discomfort, sort of like tweezing a nose hair. But the further back they went, it just kept getting worse! When the swab reached its final destination, it literally felt like it was scraping my brain. When they pulled out the swab, my eyes were watering and all I wanted to do was rub the bridge of my nose. But it wasn't over. They had to do it all over again in the other nostril! I would not wish that test on my worst enemy! If that's the way it's supposed to be done, I cannot imagine that a self-test is very effective. There is no way someone could insert a swab that far back in their own nose!!" – Terri Jones
4. "I was tested! I had to be so I'd get cleared for surgery. It was not a fun process but mine came back negative. [I had the] nose one! I didn't even know there was a throat one. It [hurt]. It was like sticking a Q-tip wayyy too far back. But it was over fairly quickly. I felt off for about an hour after that but then I was good." – Jessica L. Williams
5. "I was tested, it was nose, it was drive thru and free. It came back negative like three days later. Super simple process." – Kim Martin Oppenheim
6. "I was tested because I had a lot of symptoms, including fever (my normal temp is 97 degrees F). It came back negative. It wasn’t a terrible experience (throat test so I gagged a lot), but waiting for the results was nerve wracking. It took four days. It was done by a doctor at a hospital clinic drive through." – Melinda Sharp
7. "I was tested and was negative. I went to CVS and went through a drive through and actually had to perform the test to myself. The results were supposed to come back in two to four days and I ended up checking the website daily and obsessively and found my results after six days. They were supposed to send me an email indicating that I needed to check the website to see my results. That email still has not come, so if I didn't obsessively check the website I still wouldn't know and that was two weeks ago. VERY inefficient!" – Morgan Hawthorne
8. "I went a month ago to an urgent care clinic. I felt like crap but no fever. Just turned out it was just allergies. The test hurts like hell. Felt like she poked my brain and my eye felt like it was gonna pop out of my head. She told me to sit still while she held the prob looking device in my nose for 10 seconds while she lightly held the back of my head with her other hand. Felt like a lifetime, but glad I got it done to be sure I wasn't sick. Only took eight days to get results. We are careful. I only go to store every two weeks. Do everything outside, swimming in pool at home, beach time is the best. We sit far away from others and spend most of the time in the ocean and walking looking for shells. Staying consistent with our vitamins. Vitamin C and vitamin D is important to help your body with the absorption of the vitamin C. Stay healthy everyone!" – Meredith Schneider
9. "I have been tested three times because I have had three surgeries since COVID started, and I’m about to have my fourth. In order to have surgery, you must test negative for COVID, and so even though I have been basically in quarantine this entire time with no going out of my home except to the doctor, I still have had to do the test. The first time they did the nose swab that they stick away the heck up in your nose practically down your throat and they did it on both sides. It is shocking and made me cry! I did that one at a drive-up site an hour from my home, and it felt almost like being in a war zone or something, with everything blocked off and everyone in hazmat suits. The second time was in the hospital before emergency surgery, and they just swabbed both sides of my nose, rubbing a Q-tip like thing around the insides. It was a much faster test, only taking about 70 minutes, so I could proceed with surgery. Both of those were negative. And last week, I went in to the surgery center and did a COVID test, this time with the first method of shoving the swab up and down your nose and sinuses, But only on one side, and I was prepared, so the nurse said I actually handled it better than anyone she’s seen yet, even though it did make me tear up. Again, I am negative. No matter where or what type, having to get tested is just scary. For me especially, because I am compromised immune wise since chemo. And also with so many infections and complications that I’ve had these past months. I am grateful I have been able to be tested and know that I am negative, but it is definitely anxiety and fear producing whenever you have to go and see." – Christi Hibbert
10. "I was tested twice. The first time was horrible – and the second time was horrible. I had the nasal test and the first time I waited five hours and the second time they got me in immediately because I had been there before. Even though I had been tested before, it still doesn't prepare you for how uncomfortable the test is. Also, the place I went to seemed like they were in panic mode. They were understaffed and lines wrapped around the building. My first test came back negative, but I was exposed to two positive people so I had to retest in order to go back to work." – Katie Smith
11. After being exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus and had symptoms, I went to an urgent care clinic to be tested. Don't know if I just got lucky, but I was in and out in under 20 minutes. I went inside, filled out my paperwork and was told to drive to the side of the building and get in line. There was one car ahead of me. A woman walked up, asked my name, took my temperature and pulse oxygen (put that thingy on my finger) and then told me to drive up to the tent. After my daughter telling me how uncomfortable the nasal test was, I requested a throat swab. A man swabbed my throat and told me I'd get results in two to seven days. I got my negative result six days later." – Donna John
Have you been tested for COVID-19? Share your story below.
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