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Swabbed: My Experience on Getting My First Swab Test, and Stories of Small Victories.
As the title says, I have had my first ever Naso- and Oropharyngeal Swab for the SARS-COV 2 virus. Disclaimer: I am not a PUI/PUM. We undergone swab test as a requirement for our upcoming face-to-face duty.
Yesterday, was heck of a day. We were given a short notice that we needed certificates from both barangay and RHU, in addition to already prepared documents, as requirement for our swab testing. Thank goodness my mom was able to get one from the barangay hall, and I was able to get health certificate from the RHU with the help of a friend.
Also, we had to pay 1800 PhP for the test. I had no cash, my parents had nothing, and my earnings from noisecash have already been used for my eyeglasses. Thankfully, my Lyka gems came in handy and I was able to sell them. I am grateful that my friend bought it at 1:1 rate. Special shoutout to Ate Yela who's on noisecash as well as @Dadang23. Love you, you're an angel. Truly God provides and would always sustain you.
As I needed to travel an hour from my hometown to school, I woke up at 5 am and started preparing. At 6 am I was already at the road.
In photo is the Palo Cathedral, and a little to the right lies the mass grave of the victims of the Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). This is where I waited for the jeepney to pass by.
Since it was still early and the sun's not too hot at this hour, I walked the short distance from the drop off point into our school/hospital.
It's the same path I always take for the past 3 years. I could memorize how the road curves, how some drainage are uncovered (you have to be careful here, or you might trip), and how the mango tree is full with fruits during its season. But after a year, this path has changed, the mango tree has been cut down, a new establishment is going to be built, and the drainage has been covered. Change, really, is inevitable. I may be walking this changed path as a changed man, but the memories of morning and afternoon walks, alone or with friends, still lingers. Those good old days, I yearn for.
After paying, we waited about 30 minutes before the staff started calling out names to swab.
It took long before I get called, and everytime someone is called, he/she would return with a defeated face, saying "Malain ha feeling" translated "It feels uncomfortable."
And so when my time comes, and the swab was inserted into my nose, I could only close my eyes as it really did feel uncomfortable. It wasn't painful, but I felt like the cotton swab has pressed a button inside and opened my pressure valves- my ears felt like fuming. I couldn't really describe how it felt, but it is bearable.
The oropharyngeal swab, however, was much bearable. I was anticipating that I would gag but it felt nothing. The staff was well experienced enough to not touch my palate to initiate my gag reflex.
After getting swabbed, I felt like my nose has been declogged. The feeling lingered for a while, but then it soon faded.
Scheduled also today was our Final exam for our online rotation in Psychiatry. It was scheduled at 1 pm. Since it took us along time before getting swabbed and it would be a hassle if I travel back home, (travel going back is longer) we decided to take the exam at my classmate's house, near our school.
The exam was online and timed for 90 minutes, and we were able to submit it within and with so much time to spare. Reviewing the scores, we did great!
The exam was a breeze but the actual duty would probably be a storm... I hope not.
I went back home but the commute frustrated me.. People still don't follow health protocols and would crowd at the terminal. What frustrates me more is the fact that there was only one jeepney going to and fro our town, it took me almost an hour waiting. I was infuriated, my feet are hurting and my shoulders are hurting from carrying my laptop! I had been taking deep breaths to calm my nerves and stop myself from crying. Yes, I cry when I'm angry.
A friend sent me a direct message telling me that my story, my life, would be used as a success story! I was like,
"Me? My life? A success story?".
Apparently, my mother is a 4Ps beneficiary, and they wanted to submit my "success" story to the Mayor. Well, I don't know, but if it would inspire people to dream on, then I agree to it. Let my story be heard and give light to the least, the lost and the needy.
Somehow, this day has been a story of small victories - hoping for a negative result on the swab test, a positive feedback on the exam, and a positive outcome for the feature.