One day last week, I coughed.
A couple of coughs & I was joining the numbers on Downing Streets daily statistic sheet
Having considered my diagnosis for all of a heartbeat, I caught up with my medical marvel as she was flicking through my life insurance policy, to request a second opinion
Which is how I found myself making an essential journey the very next day to the drive in test centre in Belfast
Obtaining the test was fairly simple, enter a few details online, await a confirmation code & then see what is available. As it turned out, my nearest testing site in the car park of the Odyssey Arena were able to squeeze me into one of the 556 free spots they had for the next day, as luck would have it the Wife got a slot too
To make it feel like a big road trip, we took the kids along for the ride.
As I pulled up to the car park I felt a little self conscious, like a priest entering the gum clinic & squirmed down in my seat a little to avoid being seen driving in..... Well no one wants the others kids to think you have scabbies..
Check in was quick, just show the guy your QR code, drive up to an attendant who directs you to a numbered lane and then wait to be called forward.
Once it's your turn, you pull forward and in a very surreal almost sci fi movie scene, make a call to the fully protected attendant standing in front of your car. With instructions relayed you crack your window just enough to have the testing kits slipped through before being beckoned forward to the open car park.
This is where you need to pay attention. Not to the teeth, to my instructions. DONT park too close to the other cars, everyone is there for the same thing but you do not really want the next car over watch you slabber and spotter over the swab
The test is self administered & you need to ensure you follow the instructions & label your sample correctly, though the most important aspect is ensuring you swab your throat before your nose and not the other way round. They only give you one swab
In the end I was relieved it was a DIY test, had any of the attendants shoved that swab to the back of my throat it would have activated my combined gag & slap reflex. Which may have hurt them just as much as it did me
All that's left is to head for the exit, if your eyesight has returned, the swab has to hit your tonsils remember, to deposit your sample in the secure transport receptical.
Which was actually a big plastic bin with a black bag inside
Then head straight home, register your testing kit online and self isolate until you get your results, which in my case came the next evening via email
Amazingly and contrary to the now back tracked diagnosis from the Angel of darkness, I didnt have the 'rona!
So, along with piece of mind I now have a new found scepticism for the so called hypocratic oath of a Nurse who it transpires diagnosed me based on nothing more than her desire to work from home for a few days
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