Waiting for Your Coronavirus Test Results Is Stressful

April 23, 2020 Elizabeth Caudy

Did I have the coronavirus? I felt significant anxiety although I felt like I had just your common cold--a slight sore throat, a slight cough, sniffles, and no fever. I wouldn’t have paid it any mind if the coronavirus weren’t running rampant. My schizoaffective anxiety didn’t help the situation either, though, honestly, everyone was freaking out. And, because COVID-19 had us all grounded, I couldn’t go outside since I was sick. And that was starting to depress me. So, I went to the doctor.

The Coronavirus Test and My Anxiety

My anxiety convinced me I needed a coronavirus test, but the doctor's office made me anxious too. Everyone at the doctor’s office, including me, wore a mask. My doctor was wearing one, too, along with a gown and gloves. I remember vividly as he listened to me breathe because that’s when I got to ask if my lungs sounded better after celebrating eight years smoke-free. He said yes. And, for a minute, I was happy.

Then the bottom dropped out. My doctor said he wanted to test for the coronavirus since I did have a cough and a sore throat that had lingered for nearly two weeks. He said I probably didn’t have COVID-19, especially since my lungs sounded so good. He just wanted to be sure. And, he wanted me to be sure.

To perform the test, he had to stick something like a long Q-tip way up my nose. It almost hurt, but let’s leave it at very uncomfortable. The discomfort lasted after the test was over. I remember saying to him that it wasn't pleasant, but I was glad I did it.

I also remember feeling privileged that I came by the coronavirus test so easily.

Having a Schizoaffective Meltdown over Waiting for the Coronavirus Test

The hardest part was waiting for the results. At first, I told myself over and over how my doctor assured me that it was unlikely I had COVID-19. And I thought I was mentally preparing my schizoaffective brain for waiting. He had said the results of the coronavirus test would be back in two days at the earliest--and I counted on that two-day diagnosis flat out.

When there were no results in two days, I had a meltdown. I carried my cell phone with me everywhere in my apartment. I didn’t shave my legs in the bath because I didn’t want to have to answer the phone mid-shaving. I had crying jags. I wailed to my mom about how unfair it was. In a texting thread between myself and my brothers, sister, father, and mother, it was evident that I was irate--so much so that my brother, Billy, called me to reassure me that it takes a long time to get the results for these tests--as long as two weeks. And I shouldn’t let this exacerbate my schizoaffective anxiety, he said.

That made me feel a lot better. I am indebted to Billy for that bit of advice. Waiting is not my strong suit, though--especially waiting for a phone call. And I couldn’t help feeling annoyed that some privileged folks get their results back in 15 minutes.

But when I finally got the phone call back that I tested negative for the coronavirus, I put on Julie Fowlis’ song “Touch the Sky” from the movie Brave and danced around my apartment.

Of course, my schizoaffective brain found things to obsess over shortly after that. But I know in my bones that the most important thing is that I don’t have COVID-19. I’m lucky. I have to continue to do my best not to contract it or expose others. Luckily, my dear husband, Tom, made me a cute pink mask. So I will be fighting against getting the coronavirus in style. And I’m thinking of those who have it. My heart goes out to them and their families.

Do you think you need a coronavirus test? How are you handling the anxiety of possibly having the disease? Share your thoughts in the comments.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2020, April 23). Waiting for Your Coronavirus Test Results Is Stressful, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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