My allergies this year have been worse than perhaps ever before. I've had a runny nose, congested head, cough, sneezes, sore throat, and itchy eyes on and off since the pandemic began. That kinda makes it tough for you to gauge if you are actually sick or not. We've been told if you don't feel good stay home. I said that if it ever felt serious enough or if I got a fever I would get tested and stay home. Well, that's what happened late Sunday.

Towards the end of last week I started getting a bad toothache. I remember it happening this time last year too. It was intense sinus pressure on my upper jaw and it caused this tooth pain. It coincides with ragweed season. Pollen counts are pretty high right now locally and I've dealt with this the last couple of falls. However, a few days went by and I started to get a different kind of sick. I won't go into details, but it was gastrointestinal. Let's just say I wouldn't have been able to leave home if I wanted. A fever, chills, and body aches and fatigue followed. I was running a fever of 100 degrees.

Here's the thing: all of those symptoms are listed under COVID-19.  Are there any symptoms that aren't COVID-19 related? The right thing to do is make sure I don't have COVID before I go back to work or out in public. I don't want to be one of the spreaders.

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I signed up through my health care provider which happens to be Essentia. I did the COVID-19 online screening and then it directed me to an e-visit where I answered some more questions. I fit enough of the criteria that they told me to go get a COVID-19 test at the drive thru testing location in the old Sears at The Miller Hill Mall.

When I arrived there was a line of about a dozen cars ahead of me. The line moved relatively quick. I got there about 9:30 and I was done just after 10am. Not bad, and actually sitting in my truck was more comfortable than sitting in a waiting room. I wouldn't mind drive through appointments in the future if that was a thing.

I heard how bad these tests can be with the swab up the nose, so I was kind of nervous. You pull up and register at a spot where they confirm your information. Then they send you forward to the testing spot. The nurse has you put the car in park and shut it off. Then you sit on your hands and they stick the swab in your nose pretty deep. It's uncomfortable, but it's pretty quick. I'm not going to lie and say it was a piece of cake. You really don't know how deep your sinus cavity is until this test.

So now I sit and wait, quarantining from people. They say it could take a week to get test results back. I really hope it's sooner than that. Working from home is not fun, although I am fortunate I have that luxury. They told me to sign up for their online health system for notifications on my results. If I test positive they will call me, as I'm sure there is a lot more questions for me at that point. I'm already feeling better, and I would be surprised if it was COVID-19, but I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.

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