A journal, Day 7: The wait for coronavirus test continues

**Editor’s note: Target 8 investigator Ken Kolker was tested for COVID-19 on March 17 after returning from a conference where two participants tested positive. This is another installment in his daily journal.

Tuesday, March 24:

Day seven and still no results this morning from my COVID-19 test. Slept little last night. Woke up coughing a few times. Chest heavier, causing pain in my back. Feels like a pulled muscle. Get a call from my doctor’s office to set up an appointment, for my doc, Dr. Steve Triesenberg, to make a house call. Unbelievable. He’s wearing a sinister-looking mask, like something Hannibal Lecter would wear, and a stethoscope. My lungs sound full, he says. Had a slight temperature overnight but took Tylenol and it went away. He and my wife are taking good care of me. So comforting.

Unbelievably, my doctor returns with a nurse to take my oxygen level. Her face mask is less scary. Detroit Red Wings red. Oxygen level a little low, but not concerning. Note: This is not a HIPPA violation.

Life in quarantine: I know we’re desperate when my wife, Hope, is giving our dog, Cooper, a haircut on the dining room table. It’s not PetSmart quality, but not bad. She should stick to real estate.

Ken Kolker's dog Cooper.
Ken Kolker’s dog Cooper.

Get interviewed by a reporter from The Detroit News about long delays in COVID-19 testing. He wonders what I’m doing to pass the time. Well, I have counted the tiles of my bathroom floor. There are 30. I need a bigger floor or smaller tiles.

Call Mercy Health to check on results, told they’re still “in process,” that some people tested the day before me are still waiting.

My doctor explains the at least part of the need for tests in this way: If I do have COVID-19 and my conditions worsen, it’s an easy decision to go to the hospital for treatment; but if it’s something else, and it has weakened my immune system, do I dare go to a hospital where I could catch COVID-19?

Acts of kindness continue: My sister, Tammy, drops off Starbucks; our neighbor leaves homemade soup on the front porch.

Soup left by Ken Kolker's neighbor on his front porch on March 24, 2020.
Soup left by Ken Kolker’s neighbor on his front porch on March 24, 2020.

I can’t believe how many people have reached out to offer prayers and support.

I’m thinking that once we get through all this social distancing, maybe we’ll all be a little closer.

As for results, maybe tomorrow.