Author Topic: The Self-Testing Experience  (Read 902 times)

The Self-Testing Experience
« on: July 29, 2020, 12:42:22 AM »
So in the morning I'm doing the swab antigen test on myself, having been randomly selected via NHS+Ipsos to help get a picture of how many people are currently infected.  Far as I know I'm clean, so should be interesting to know if that's not the case.

You have to pre-arrange the free courier and do the test before 8am as the courier can turn up any time between 8 and 6.

One swab only, that you rub your tonsils with (you must be very careful not touch your tongue, teeth or gums, according to the instruction video) and then shove up your nose about an inch and twizzle round, both sides, then put in a tube, seal in a box with a biohazard label and put in the fridge until the courier turns up.

Just tried to see my tonsils  - this looks impossible!  My tongue rides up at the back and leaves like no clearance.  The dangly thing you yell with in cartoons is like a mile long and just flops there on the back of the tongue.  Back of my throat, all in all, is a shitshow.  This will be fiddly...

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 01:35:45 AM »
Aha!  Dr Google reminded me that real doctors use like a wide lollipop stick to flatten your tongue down if you have one of those that likes to ride up.  Meanwhile in households we have spoons. Now I can see my tonsils (and let the dangly be free to dangle).  I will be sure to put that in the feedback survey.  Could also do with a torch but we only have two hands.

Back of my throat is a bit claggy recently (probably gay fever related) (hahaha I am NOT fixing that typo) so might just do the tonsils like it says in the video, and not include the back of the throat like it differs in the leaflet.   

Twonty Gostelow

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Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 02:13:29 AM »
I am gagging as I read that.

Keep us updated, Cloud. (My wife's antibody test mentioned in another thread has just come back negative, by the way. She asked whether as a patient-facing NHS worker there would be further occasional tests and was told no, it's just this one for the stats.)

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 08:47:53 AM »
^ Good to hear she was clear, you'd think it'd be routine but oh well...


That was unpleasant and tricky!

If anyone gets selected for this... I'm not trying to put you off, just be brave and have at it.  20 minutes later you'll be over it.  That said, I'm a complete wimp so here's my overly dramatic whinging...

Throat swab - trying to line it up while holding down my tongue with the spoon handle in the other hand and trying to actually see took a while, then sort of found the angle and went for it - instant gag and cough and I instinctively took it out (you really fight with your "foreign object instincts" with these tests, I found).  Same with the other tonsil.  Repeated a few times, I wouldn't say the 10 seconds or so per tonsil they ask (seems impossible?!) but did my best through repetition while balancing it out with the fact you're not supposed to let it touch your tongue (I think it touched the back of it, very lightly, once or twice - unless you've got extremely steady hands it's hard not to with the tiny space you're working with - so I thought best not do it too much)

I thought that was bound to the the most unpleasant part, then came the nasal swab. 

Do your social distancing - I really would NOT fancy having to take the full professionally administered one where they shove one right the way through your nostril to the back of your throat.  This was the "easy" version where you try to insert it an inch or so.  Again I had to fight a lot harder than I expected against foreign object instincts, against something that is both tickling and sort of mildly "hurting" the lining of the nostril (it's ridiculously sensitive) on the way up.  I think I managed the inch or so, it's hard to say, "insert until you feel resistance", well I felt "resistance" all the way and had to discern between psychological and physical resistance which was harder than it sounds.  Did this and twizzled it round bit, repeated 3 or 4 times per nostril but not for prolonged periods as it was unbearably uncomfortable and I just couldn't seem to do it for the 10-15 seconds at a time they were asking.  My eyes were streaming and I kept having to sneeze.

Then when I decided it was probably just about good enough, put it in the tube then into the biohazard bag then into the shipping box.  Dried my eyes and fought off the induced sniffles for the next 20 minutes.

They must get loads of false negatives with these self administered ones, surely.  I was reading the instructions and thought "meh, that sounds like a piece of piss and maybe only slightly unpleasant if you're a big overly sensitive whinger" and much like assembling an Ikea cabinet, reality made short work of my (sheer fucking) hubris.  Hopefully, they exaggerate the length of time they want you to swab things and the big warnings about not touching your tongue or teeth, in a "shooting for the moon" sort of way knowing people won't manage that much on average but will at least give it more than just a tickle.  Not to be ageist but I can't see a shaky handed 80 year old doing a very good job of it.

I now await the courier, the results (usually within a week, apparently) and the comments along the lines of "oh I did that, it was piss easy you absolute whinging melt"

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 08:54:26 AM »
Oh no. I've been selected for an antibody test too.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 08:57:46 AM »
Oh no. I've been selected for an antibody test too.

Mine was an antigen test, as in the one that tells you if you have the 'vid right now... I think the antibody one is a pin prick?  (Which still doesn't sound nice, mind, as someone who winces whenever the Klingons are doing that kind of thing in Trek, though to be fair they usually slice the fuck out of their hands)

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 09:00:55 AM »
Ahh... Cool! I've got no problem with blood whatsoever.

I knew the test to see if you have the virus was nasty because my mum has been giving them to people in her hospital all the way through the pandemic. Apparently people tend not to enjoy it at all so you're not alone there.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 09:08:25 AM »
Seriously, these cunts can have as much blood as they need, but stay the fuck away from my orifices.

Cuellar

  • Taxes, they'll be lower...son
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 10:24:25 AM »
All these pictures of people getting cotton buds shoved right up - perversely makes me WANT to do it. Love to give it a go.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 10:34:49 AM »
What if you end up enjoying it? It could be the starting point for an unhealthy addiction to COVID tests. Suddenly, you're coming out in the cold sweats because you've not been swabbed for a few days, turning up at a testing centre at 3am, begging them to swab you to fuck.

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 10:40:28 AM »
What if you end up enjoying it? It could be the starting point for an unhealthy addiction to COVID tests. Suddenly, you're coming out in the cold sweats because you've not been swabbed for a few days, turning up at a testing centre at 3am, begging them to swab you to fuck.

My mum said they have a way of dealing with these people but told me no son should know the details.

Cuellar

  • Taxes, they'll be lower...son
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 10:43:06 AM »
I think you've got to enjoy it. You've got to make a friend of it, otherwise it's your enemy, and an enemy to be feared.

I had a similar desire to get a filling at the dentist about a year ago. Something I used to be mortally afraid of as a child - found myself actively wanting it. Looking forward to it, looking forward to the experience. Thinking 'this'll be interesting', and it was interesting. I feel like a VID test would also be interesting.

Blue Jam

  • TAKE IT FROM ME, I LOVE YOU!
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 12:50:31 PM »
I quite enjoy a nice scale and polish. It's the throbbing gums afterwards.

Had a throat swab once years ago, done by a doctor though so it was over in seconds and not really unpleasant. I have finger-prick tests when I give blood and they're fine too but I'm not sure I'd trust myself to not do them too painfully.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 02:10:58 PM »
Gripping the thumb inside a clenched fist can suppress the gag reflex.


Your mum tells me.

Twonty Gostelow

  • Sent from my bum using Crapatalk
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2020, 06:59:29 PM »
Mine was an antigen test, as in the one that tells you if you have the 'vid right now... I think the antibody one is a pin prick?
Yes, the antibody test was just a painless needle in the arm and a small amount of blood drawn into a narrow vial.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2020, 10:17:20 PM »
As I mentioned on another thread, I tried to order a home testing kit a few weeks back (had a mild sore throat and was due to go back to work - feel fine now), went through the whole registration process on the NHS website, only to be told "Sorry, we couldn't verify your identity". So make sure you're registered to vote at the right address before getting the virus.

My flatmate managed to order a couple of kits more recently (she's going abroad this weekend and wanted to check herself, and added one for me too, although neither of us had symptoms). The kits arrived (in an innocuous-looking Amazon package, confusingly) too late on Friday to make the last collection - you have to register your test online before you take it, but no less than an hour before you post it - so we agreed to do it Saturday morning instead.

Obviously I slept through my alarm on Saturday and ended up registering it, taking it, packaging it up (wrongly, as it turned out, though not dangerously so) in a bit of a hurry and racing out to make the midday collection - luckily I live over the road from a 'priority' post box. Still got the results (negative) by text the next afternoon, which I was quite impressed by (the speediness, not the result).

I realise this isn't really the correct circumstances under which to take the test - you're supposed to apply within the first 5 days of getting symptoms - but it felt like good practice in case I need to take it in the future, as it's a somewhat fiddly process (not so much the test itself but the registration and timing).

I'm a little worried by how many people don't seem to realise the virus test is free and now readily available, though. Texted a friend about my results and how it was great that it's so fast, and her reply was "Yeah, but it's still pretty expensive" (presumably thinking of the antibody test instead). Has it actually been widely publicised that anyone can now order a free test, and should do so if they've got any suspicion they might be unwell?

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2020, 10:32:48 PM »
They seem quite conscious to give the message that the test is if you are suspected of having it, so people may be assuming they have to have a GP phone call first

But personally I wouldn't panic order these swab tests!

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2020, 10:49:51 PM »
^ Good to hear she was clear, you'd think it'd be routine but oh well...


That was unpleasant and tricky!

If anyone gets selected for this... I'm not trying to put you off, just be brave and have at it.  20 minutes later you'll be over it.

Your description brought back the memories of mine, Cloud -  I was selected a few weeks ago.  I didn't think it would be pleasant but it was nastier than I expected.  The tonsils caused instant gagging and I had to do it more than once to get the full effect.  The nostrils were worse - and, weirdly, I felt a bit icky about mixing the bacteria from different parts of my body, even though theoretically that's irrational.  The nostrils made my eyes stream, too.

Some people have to do this to their kids - good luck to them, it was bloody awful doing my own!


Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2020, 10:56:49 PM »
Yeah, in the future I'll hold off on ordering one unless I'm actually experiencing symptoms. (They included an extra, third kit in the package, for some reason - I suppose there are less useful things to have lying around the house, although I don't know what the expiry of an unopened kit would be.)

I've now registered to vote at my current address at least, so it was a handy if dramatic reminder to do that.

I didn't find the actual swabbing process too unpleasant or time-consuming, although I'd advise not leaving it so late that you're peering down your gob in the mirror with one eye and the other eye on the clock to make sure you don't miss the post. I also had to make sure I swabbed the correct nostril as I've got a piercing on one side (it should be the non-pierced side... don't think tonsil piercings are a thing AFAIK). 

Some people have to do this to their kids - good luck to them, it was bloody awful doing my own!

My manager was telling me about the hellish experience of having to do multiple tests on her 2-year-old daughter (the daughter developed a temperature at nursery and so had to be taken out and tested ASAP) - they went to a drive-in centre and the little girl kept being sick during the tonsil swab, which voids it, so they had to spend ages doing test after test on an increasingly vomit-soaked and angry infant. Negative in the end, thankfully, but bloody hell.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2020, 12:00:30 AM »
Yeah admittedly I did mine at 7:30 when I got up for work (work involves walking into another room and sending an email to clock in, until Monday when I go back in) and time was flying a lot faster than expected.  I was right to follow the instructions to do it before 8 as the courier turned up at 9.  And then the email saying he'd be there between 8 and 10 finally turned up at 5....

I've seen enough of the world that tonsil piercings wouldn't surprise me.

Your description brought back the memories of mine, Cloud -  I was selected a few weeks ago.  I didn't think it would be pleasant but it was nastier than I expected.  The tonsils caused instant gagging and I had to do it more than once to get the full effect.  The nostrils were worse - and, weirdly, I felt a bit icky about mixing the bacteria from different parts of my body, even though theoretically that's irrational.  The nostrils made my eyes stream, too.

Some people have to do this to their kids - good luck to them, it was bloody awful doing my own!

I'm glad it's not just me being a wimp, at least!

Even though on another forum, I am facing the predictable "bah, I had a CAMERA shoved up there" :lol:

I can't even imagine trying to do this to a child.  At least not one that I care about.  I'd be proper bricking it!


Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2020, 12:14:28 AM »
Maybe in years to come, the schoolchildren of the future will be propagating an urban legend about a kid who was about to do his coronavirus test but instead he shoved a swab up either nostril and slammed his head on a table and died.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2020, 12:16:48 AM »
Is like that the one where they told you not to rock back on your chair because of that one kid who did it while he had a ruler in his mouth and on the impact the ruler went up through the roof of his mouth and through his brain...

.... or was that a legit thing that happened at our school.  Hmmm

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2020, 05:20:09 PM »

Blue Jam

  • TAKE IT FROM ME, I LOVE YOU!
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2020, 05:25:48 PM »
Yeah, in the future I'll hold off on ordering one unless I'm actually experiencing symptoms. (They included an extra, third kit in the package, for some reason - I suppose there are less useful things to have lying around the house, although I don't know what the expiry of an unopened kit would be.)

eBay that mutha.

Would like to do an antibody test because I'm a nerdy bastard, and also because it would be handy because I'm donating blood tomorrow and it would be handy to know if I could also donate convalescent plasma:

https://www.scotblood.co.uk/news/find-out-more-about-convalescent-plasma-donation/

Have a think about doing this if you've knowingly recovered from the 'vid.


imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2020, 06:13:31 PM »
God damn it my antibody test result was negative. May still end up on a vent, then.

At least I know what colour my blood is now, though. It made me bleed loads more than I was expecting.

Blue Jam

  • TAKE IT FROM ME, I LOVE YOU!
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2020, 06:23:40 PM »
Where are you all getting these antibody tests from? Superdrug never have any in stock when I look.

I could nip downstairs at werk and ask Are Brave Covid Researchers to do me a test but I'd probably get sacked for that.

4.7% exposure in Scotland. Big Nic has done us proud but I'm probably DEAD SOON if ever I deign to venture o'er the border. Us Scotchlanders must now be like those remote tribes and island communities who could all die of the common cold if an explorer ever got too close to them. Stay away from Florida and stay away from me pls.

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2020, 06:32:10 PM »
Where are you all getting these antibody tests from? Superdrug never have any in stock when I look.

I was randomly selected for one by the NHS.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2020, 06:58:10 PM »
Trust me to get randomly tested for the shit one!

Though I'm always skeptical of Daily Hate links, the notion that this test gives a lot of false negatives doesn't surprise me in the least.

Re: The Self-Testing Experience
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2020, 01:56:02 PM »
For what little it means, it came back negative. Yay

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