Postcards From the Pandemic: Doctor's Orders Don't Guarantee COVID Test

Postal worker Doreen Jones contracted the coronavirus
Doreen Jones, a postal worker who contracted the coronavirus, is now recovering at home. [Doreen Jones]
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Doreen Jones is a postal employee who struggled to get a coronavirus test. When Jones' symptoms began, she first assumed she was suffering from allergies, but soon she was disoriented and lightheaded. When she fainted, she knew something was wrong. 

She spent eight days in the hospital with the majority of that time in the ICU. This was her first major illness and her first time in the hospital.

Now that she is recovering at home, she says she's beginning to feel like herself again. 

Postcards From the Pandemic

Diagnosed 

They were doing a virtual appointment. And then she just suggested that she would call in to get me a test for the virus.

The person on the other end of the phone decided that I didn't need the test because I didn't have a fever, but I didn't know if I had a fever. I had no thermometer.

But she said, well, if you don't have a fever, then you don't need a test. And I decided that I was going to go to emergency.

I ended up going to Cleveland Clinic emergency at the main hospital, and they decided that I was going to get a test for the virus. They called me and told me I was positive.

Next night I started feeling chills. Cleveland Clinic was in touch with me. They said, you need to call 911.

And I got in an ambulance and they took me to the hospital and I was over there for eight days. And when I initially went in the hospital, I believe they thought that my symptoms were not very severe. 

Intensive Care Unit 

Of course, they were taking blood every day.

They did this — I don't even know what you call it, but it's the worst thing that you could feel as far as pain that I know of . It's supposed to be checking the oxygen level in your blood. I guess I forget what they call it.

And the whole time I was, my prayers were that I didn't end up on that ventilator or whatever you call that thing. And I didn't.

Only one time I almost cried. And then I almost talked myself out of that. 

Support 

And I just, I don't know. I guess I was doing pretty good just because I could talk to people, you know, I think that helped me.

I had my cell phone and I had my charger. So I was, I talked to everybody, just about. I talked to my coworkers. I talked to my brothers. I talked to my, well, my friend was actually my advocate.

And she used to be a nurse and she was calling the hospital a lot.

That was actually a godsend for me because, you know, it made me feel good that somebody was looking out for me and, you know, that type of thing.

It was, it was beautiful.

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