My corona virus experience, taking the antibody test
On Sunday my family and I tested positive for corona virus following PCR tests the previous day. This is my account of taking the antibody test.
I’ve been invited to take an antibody test and it popped through the letterbox yesterday.
This will be the second antibody test that I’ve been invited to take. Earlier this year I was invited to take a test after completing a health survey.
The first test
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of needles. I’m not saying I like needles, who does, but I’ve had plenty of experience with needles. During IVF treatment I had to inject myself daily and after my hysterectomy I had to inject myself daily with blood thinners. Needles as such don’t worry me.
So why do I feel so nervous about sticking my finger with a lancet? Well firstly I can’t figure this little thing out. After twisting, pulling and pressing the button, I waste lancet 1 of 3. It’s clear that I’m not going to be able to do this on my own.
Thankfully my husband is on hand (working from home) and I explain what we need to do. I prep my hand, wipe the chosen finger with the wipe and I wait for the prick.
In he comes and without warning he pins my hand to the table and really stabs my finger with the lancet. “FUCK BABE” I yell and he sets about milking my finger.
My finger is throbbing, but the ordeal is soon over. I make use of a plaster in the kit and post the kit.
The results came back negative. I had assumed that they were testing my antibodies following my vaccination, but instead they were looking for antibodies post infection. I was disappointed and felt a little mislead.
This time I know what to expect, and I’m confident that I’ve got this! After lunch I set about getting ready to take the test. I laid everything out. I drank my water and waited 30 minutes.
Then I soak my hand in warm water for 2 minutes, but on reading the instructions again I realise I’ve soaked the wrong hand. I’m feeling like crap and I can feel my anxiety levels rising.
Now with the correct hand soaked in warm water it’s time to prick my finger. I remember struggling with the lancet last time and it seems to be happening again. What am I supposed to twist and remove? I waste the first lancet. Now I remember!
With the collection tube ready, I’m standing ready to prick my finger and milk it of the blood needed to fill the collection tube to the indicators – that seems quite a lot!
I successfully prick my finger and now I need to exert pressure on my finger to get enough blood out. I start out OK, but I soon realise I can’t do this on my own. I accidentally waste a blood drop and I hurriedly call my husband to help me. I’m holding onto the table while he gives my finger a good squeeze to encourage the flow of blood so that I have enough to reach the indicator.
Looking at the bottle there’s just enough in the tube. Time to compose myself to complete the test and get it ready for posting.
A neighbour is kind enough to come round to find the test waiting just outside the front door on the floor for posting.
Now that the test is done, I wait for the results.
If you’re curious as to what the test involves exactly, below are pictures of the instructions.
My phone pings and the following message displays on my phone:-
I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. This is the 2nd test that I’ve taken and this is the 2nd time I couldn’t get a result. I followed the instructions to the letter, I’ve done this before.
How much money is being wasted on this system? I’m infuriated and I won’t be taking another test if I’m invited to.
Well who am I kidding! I’ve been invited to complete a third antibody test and I got my husband to help me submit my sample for testing.
This time I get a test confirming that antibodies have been detected, but are these from my previous infection or from the vaccinations that I’ve had? The text message I received says it can’t tell me so I have to be happy that at least this time I was able to get a result unlike before.
Who knows what the future holds as different variants or strains are detected and spread around the world.
Updated May 2022