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I do not get sick that often, especially to the point that I believe I need medical attention. I have done my best to socially distance. I’ve worked from home since 2012, so my lifestyle has not changed that much since this pandemic began. 

Since my wife has some underlying conditions I have been the person who goes to the grocery store or restaurant to pick up take-out, again, when I go out I take care to socially distance myself from others. It’s not always easy because, unfortunately, not everyone does the same. 

I should also point out that my wife, when this first began, experienced symptoms similar to COVID-19. Her physician wanted her to be tested. She ended up testing positive for both Influenza A and B, so it’s unlikely she had COVID-19. She felt miserable for a while, mainly fever, cough, and fatigue, but has, for the most part, recovered. 

So, I’ve somehow, during that time, managed to remain healthy, my daughter pointed out that I’ve been unusually tired, but I’ve also cut back on my caffeine, so who knows? Friday late afternoon/early evening, I developed a dry cough, which I wouldn’t think much of because it’s allergy season and I suffer in the spring and fall like lots of people. I also started experiencing shortness of breath, and my chest felt tight. 

Thoughts of going to the emergency room are generally not entering my mind when I first get sick because I HATE going to the ER. If I think it is bad enough, I will wait to see my physician, and usually, it doesn’t get to that point.

Since I’ve written about COVID-19 a lot, the symptoms were at the forefront of my mind. 

No fever, but dry cough, shortness of breath, and tightness of my chest, and I consulted the CDC website. It said when experiencing persistent pain or tightness in one’s chest to seek medical attention.

That was the tipping point, so I decided to go in. I confess I have not worn a mask because we have two, and both were not designed with a guy in mind, as you can see from the picture below. But those going to the ER are supposed to wear a mask, and I selected the one my wife has not worn. 

It takes a secure man to wear a mask with kittens, butterflies, and flowers. The mask was a hit, and the nurses were jealous. 

When I arrived at the ER at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, I signed in and waited not even five minutes before going back. That has NEVER been my experience when going to the ER or accompanying my wife or children there.

On Friday nights, even late Friday nights, there has always been a wait. 

They took me back an ER Tech, and my nurse did an EKG, took blood work to test for a potential blood clot in my lungs, did chest x-rays to rule out pneumonia, and did a nose swab (which was extremely pleasant) to rule out several viruses. Everyone is wearing a mask and face shield.

They were very thorough. Everything came back negative, even Influenza A & B. The physician who I saw said it was likely some viral activity, but not the coronavirus since I didn’t have a “clear source.” Namely, I haven’t interacted with anyone who tested positive.

No recommendation to get a COVID-19 test, and she told me to come back if my symptoms worsen. I slept in really late. I still have symptoms, no different than before. Perhaps it’s allergies. Maybe I’m having an anxiety attack (I jest, sort of). But unless my symptoms get worse (and I hope they don’t), I’ll probably never know if it was COVID-19. 

So here’s to a few days of self-isolation to be on the safe side. 

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