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Urgent Care Diaries

Back in January, I swear I had COVID-19. Nobody believed me.

I was in Vegas for a work function and a few days later had these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath/shallow breathing
  • Cough

I went to Urgent Care, but they scoffed at my concern that I had coronavirus.

“But you weren’t in China,” the doctor told me.

“No, but I was in Vegas for a week during Chinese New Year,” I explained. “There were a lot of tourists at the casinos and I have an autoimmune disease.”

“Either way, we don’t have a test for it, so we just have to treat accordingly.” The doctor gave me a breathing treatment at Urgent Care, then sent me home with a prescription for an inhaler and flu medication.

Eventually, I got better, but the shortness of breath never really went away.

I ended up going back to Urgent Care two more times since then.

Fast forward to this past Monday. I woke up with body aches, as if I had been hit by a truck, still shortness of breath/shallow breathing, and cough. No fever, though.

I went to Urgent Care about five minutes before it opened, hoping to get a breathing treatment and a new prescription for my inhaler. A woman wearing a mask was waiting outside, removing it every so often to sip from her thermos.

“Where’s your mask?” she asked.

“Don’t have any,” I explained. “Can’t find them now in the stores. Everywhere is sold out.”

“I got mine from Ebay. The markup wasn’t too bad and it came quick.”

The doctor arrived a minute or so before 9am. We waited a few minutes and then followed her inside. I opened the door with my sleeve.

From the waiting room, we overhead the doctor and nurse discuss the fact that the entire office staff called out sick and neither of them knew how to work the computer system.

“I think they said they haven’t been cleaning,” the woman said to me, standing up immediately from her seat. “I think I’ll wait outside.”

“I’ll let you know what they say,” I told her. “I don’t have mask on anyway, I’m fucked. You might as well wait outside and I’ll relay the info they give me as soon as I can.”

She laughed and then excused herself to wait outside the clinic.

The doctor came out to the front desk and explained they had no way to check people in as neither of them knew how to use the computer system. “Where did the other woman go?”

“Outside,” I laughed. “I told her I don’t have a mask, so I’m fucked anyway, so I told her I’d relay the information to her after rather than have both of us sitting here.”

“That was nice of you,” the doctor replied. “But don’t think like that. You’re not fucked anyway.”

She sounded maternal, so instinctively I smiled politely and said, “okay.”

A manager from another Urgent Care location arrived shortly after. While taking my vitals in one of the rooms, I asked how she was doing and thanked her for working that day.

The doctor examined me and went through my list of medications. I had forgotten I was on a steroid for my Ulcerative Colitis. She said it was an immunosuppressant, but also probably made my symptoms not as severe as they could be. She said she couldn’t tell if I had COVID-19, but my symptomology is in-line with the virus, and recommended I do drive-thru testing when it’s available later in the week.

I was sent home with an inhaler and some antibiotics (on the off-chance I had a sinus infection).

I’ve been eating salami sandwiches for days with no end in sight.

note: there are no masks here.

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