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 COVID-19: One Family’s Journey Through Diagnosis & Recovery
y Alissa Reinhard
  hen Mary Jane’s Connelly’s daughter, Claire, first complained to her mom about
some lower back pain she was experiencing, Mary Jane didn’t think much of it. It was Wednesday, June 24 and the Connellys had been quarantining responsibly, only leaving the house for work and some grocery shopping.
By Thursday, Claire’s back pain had intensified, she had a migraine and was extremely nauseous. Mary Jane took her daughter to a local urgent care center where they took labs, ran several tests and took scans, but couldn’t find anything wrong. Before she left, they told her that although they didn’t think she had COVID-19, they were going to test her as a precaution. That Saturday, the urgent care center called Claire with her results. She was positive.
“She told me, ‘Mom, I’m positive,’” said Mary Jane.“I asked her,‘Positive about what?’ I had no idea what she was talking about.”
When Claire explained to her mom that she was positive for COVID-19, Mary Jane’s whole world stopped. She immediately called her employer and her husband, Tom. Together, they returned to the urgent care center and were both tested. At the time, Mary Jane had what she thought were allergy symptoms and Tom was completely asymptomatic. However, as the week went on and they waited for their results, they both began to experience other symptoms: diarrhea, headaches and intense fatigue. Mary Jane’s symptoms emerged first, and Tom’s a few days later.
“It surprised me because I was expecting a fever and a cough, but those never came,”
she explained.
On Friday, July 3, almost a week later,
they got their results. Mary Jane was positive and Tom, negative. However, the Connelly’s are certain that Tom actually was positive, but he had been tested too soon.
“He’s actually still recovering while my daughter and I are almost back to 100 percent,” explained Mary Jane.
Tom began journaling his symptoms so he could track how the virus was effecting him. His symptoms would lessen and intensify day in and day out.
“I completely lost my sense of taste and smell,” he explained. “I put my nose directly up to an air freshener and could smell nothing. I took a drink of soy sauce and apple cider vinegar and they tasted like water.”
Tom also experienced intense dizzy spells and respiratory distress.
“At one point, it felt like someone was sitting on my chest cavity, almost like I was hyperventilating,” he stated.
The Connellys monitored their oxygen levels several times a day and checked in often with their doctor.
“They warned us that this thing could go south quickly,” said Mary Jane. “That was probably the hardest part, sitting and wondering how sick we were going to get. If we were going to end up in the hospital or on a ventilator. If we were even going to get through this.”
On top of that, family and friends were calling, asking why they hadn’t asked their doctor to prescribe them certain medications to help speed up their recovery.
“People read things or hear things on TV
and assume they know what they’re talking a b o u t ,” s a i d M a r y J a n e . “ B u t t h e y d o n ’ t . T h o s e medications are reserved for the sickest of the sick. They aren’t just something your doctor can call in for you.”
Thankfully, the Connellys are beginning to feel like themselves again. Still, at press time, they remain quarantined. They haven’t left their house since June 27, when Claire first received her diagnosis. They were recently retested and are waiting for their results.
For Mary Jane, in addition to the physical toll COVID-19 took on her body, the mental impact has also hit hard.
“It’s very isolating,” explained Mary Jane. “We would have friends drop off Gatorade or food, and they would leave it in the middle of the driveway instead of on the porch. We were also supposed to have roof
Then there is an antibody test. This checks your blood for antibodies, meaning the test can tell if you may have been previously infected, but does not detect if you have a current infection.
If you have insurance, CVS Pharmacy offers free testing ($50 for those without insurance). Once you’ve screened yourself on the CVS website, you make an online appointment (you can book it up to two days in advance), drive to the testing center and wait in your car for instruction. From there you pull up to the drive through window and an attendant gives you all you need to self-test. After self-swabbing, you drop the kit in the appropriate designated place, and wait for your results. If you choose the rapid test, you’ll get your results within 30 minutes. If you choose the molecular test, you’ll get your results within 6-10 days online. CVS does not administer antibody tests.
In urgent care clinics, it is most likely that you will need to make an appointment up to 24hrs beforehand given the high volume of folks applying for testing. If you have insurance, there will be a small (or sometimes free) co-pay to see the doctor. At CareNow, you pay for the doctor visit, and,
repairs done and the company refused to come to our home.”
However, she completely understands why. COVID-19 is unpredictable and she urges everyone to do their part when it comes to slowing the spread.
“My family took it seriously, and we still caught it,” said Mary Jane. “But I think we could have done even more. Wear your mask. Don’t go out unless you absolutely have to. Keep your distance from others. Wash your hands. Don’t let your guard down.”
And be grateful. For your loved ones. For your health. For all the little things you take for granted day in and day out. “I’m so grateful that we didn’t have to step foot in a hospital,” said Mary Jane. “Not everyone is lucky as we are.”
once the doctor determines whether or not you need a test, the cost of the test is billed over to the CovidCare Act, which waives the price of the test. If you’re deemed unfit to be tested for COVID, you must pay for the doctor’s visit.
  How To Get Tested For Coronavirus
SBy Emily Drisch
o you’ve got symptoms of COVID-19, or maybe you’ve come in contact with someone who has it. What do
you do now? I gathered information from local urgent care clinics as well as CVS to make the testing process as easy as possible for you.
  Firstly, let’s go over the types of tests that could be right for you: There’s a molecular test, which detects active coronavirus infections by way of nasal swab. Then there’s a rapid antigen test, which, although you get results in minutes, has a higher rate of false negatives than the molecular test.
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August 2020
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