It was a chilly morning April 14, making my already tired, groggy mood turn even more sour. I hate waking up early, and that day I had no choice. It was time to do an online visit with my primary doctor.
I had had a punchy cough for two weeks, a fever, and was constantly short of breath and wheezing, which according to my dad, made me “sound like the exorcist.”
So we called the doctor, who immediately made an appointment for a designated respiratory clinic and told us to drive there after we hung up.
On the drive to the clinic, my mom started to get cold and blasted the heat. I felt terrible after I turned it off on her on such a chilly day. But I was the sick one that felt as though I was standing on the sun itself. Sorry, mom.
We pulled up to a parking spot and called the number on the sign. Many clinics have been doing this to avoid making contact as much as possible. Apparently there was some mishap with making an appointment because I sat in the car for an extra 45 minutes before being brought to a room.
When I got inside, the doctor put his stethoscope to my right lung and intuitively listened. He got a cross look on his face.
“Take one more deep breath,” he said. Again. Again. You’ve got a rattle going on, I suspect pneumonia. Were going to have you get a chest X-ray and a COVID-19 test.”
My jaw hit the floor.
“No, no. no, no,” I said.
“Kaydence, what about the 25% of tested people that had no symptoms, and still came up positive?”
I stopped dead in my tracks, knowing he was right. He tossed a gown at me and said “X-ray will be here in a few minutes.” Smiled and left.
What he didn’t know is that I had already done one of the tests done at a previous visit. It’s simple, but uncomfortable. It’s a swab that goes into your nose for several seconds. I texted my mom in panic and told her what my fate was.
The doctor rushed back in.
“Here, you see the cloudiness? That’s the infection.”
My entire right lung and the area around it looked terrible.
“You can keep it as a souvenir.”
I did, as a note to show my boss. I work in a restaurant, so we have to be cautious about contamination and being sick. He escorted me out to my car and on the way out to his colleagues, he said “this is my Ms.Pneumonia!”
Everyone stared at me like I was the walking, talking bubonic plague.
I got back to the car and waited for the nurse to come out. My chest already hurt, so my panicked breathing didn’t help. I put my focus on a goose walking around the lawn and tossed a few leftover squishy grapes from my breakfast to him as a snack.
Mid-goose feeding, the nurse came out wrapped in layers of yellow P.P.E.
“All right, you ready?”
I regretted my pressured decision and wanted to take it back.
I felt the most uncomfortable feeling of my life, enough to make me cry. She held it in that one spot for what felt like forever!
“What’s that coming out of your nose?” she asked. I rubbed my finger on it and there was blood. No wonder it hurt so bad.
Fast forward five days later and I’m watching a movie when my mom’s phone starts to ring. She’s busy, so I go ahead and answer it.
“Hello! Is this Kaydence’s mom?”
I lied. “Yes!”
“We just called to inform you that her COVID-19 test is negative!”
“Sounds good, thank you”.
I hung up the phone relieved that I didn’t have it, but more angry at the fact that I went through that much pain and I turned out to be the one that was right. It was all for nothing.