By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 1/22/2021
Posted: 4/10/2020
Topics/Keywords: #Travel #Health #Coronavius #Maui Page Views: 215
You get tested…and you get tested…Everybody gets tested!

One of the issues we've had with our move to Maui just as the coronavirus was making its rounds, is that most Hawaii services require an Hawaiian ID. But the Department of Motor Vehicles is closed for the duration of the crisis. So I'm having trouble get my medical marijuana card, and Keith is having trouble transferring his Indian Medical account to the equivalent in Hawaii social services.

To get his insulin, Keith had had his prescription mailed to our post office box in Hana. The tracking number showed it had arrived yesterday, but when I asked it seemed they had inexplicably sent Keith's package back to Honolulu. The postmaster promised it would be back today. So, today we needed to go to Hana to pick it up, before heading for Kahului for an appointment I managed to get to (hopefully) get the card and to (hopefully) get Keith some insulin there.

Morning dawned fair.

So Keith and I loaded the dogs, dirty clothes, and an empty gas can, into the Jeep and headed, first to Hana, then the opposite direction to Kahului.

However, once in Hana, we found the Post Office was closed completely. And then we spotted a road block, with cars extending out of sight down the road. I had to drive half a mile in the wrong direction, just to get in line. And I was pissed. There was no way I was going to be able to make my appointment on the other side of the island.

A police cruiser slowly drove the other direction, and perhaps the officer driving spotted my concern. "Are you guys all right?" he called.

"We're trying to get to Kahului to get insulin," I replied. I didn't bother mentioning the medical marijuana card, as a lot of people still don't believe it's real medicine.

The officer nodded. "When I turn around and come back by, follow me." We did so, and he brought us to a priority line. We still didn't know what the road block was about, though of course that it had something to do with the coronavirus was an easy conclusion.

At the head of the line, the office explained to a masked and gowned man that we needed to get to Kahului to pick up insulin. "I'm Doctor Beckham," said the masked man. "What kind of insulin do you need? We may have some."

Keith told him, and the doctor called the local clinic. After a moment he shook his head. "Sorry, we're out," he admitted. "But at least we can get you through this quickly." He explained that they were testing everyone for the coronavirus, COVID-19.

The whole thing was drive-through. A masked nurse handed us forms to fill out. There was no charge, but they wanted insurance information. Keith, who was currently having hassles with his insurance because of the change of address, asked why they were needed if there was no charge. Before the nurse could answer, I blurted out, "So they can recoup at least a little of the cost, from people who do have insurance.

The nurse looked startled, but relieved. "Mahalo so much for understanding! You have no idea how many people just yell at me."

The test was optional; the explanation from the medical staff as to why they were doing this was not. But since we were already in line, and who wouldn't like to know! So we agreed.

The test was not painful, exactly, but it was most unpleasant. The nurse used a really long cotton swab to probe the very back of my upper sinus cavity, via my nostril. It was only 10 seconds but it felt like the longest 10 seconds of my life; and when she withdrew it, I had the desperate need to rub my nose. "Just a moment," I gasped. I held my head until the intense sensation faded.

Then she did the other one. Luckily, not quite as bad.

Then came the disclaimers. "Will this test tell if I had it but am over it?" I asked.

"No," the nurse replied. "That would be a blood test and we don't have those."

"So, then, do we wait here for the results?"

"No, we'll email and mail them to you in about two weeks."

I stared. "Two weeks? But if I have it, I could be dead by then."

She shrugged. "It takes what it takes," she said.

While still within cellphone range in Hana, I managed to delay my MMJ appointment.

It turned out my appointment was actually in Wailea, not Kahului, which meant another half-hour drive after Kahului. It's a pretty drive—all drives here are"but I was in too much of a hurry to appreciate it. (Almost!)

At the doctor's office, I was handed the usual sheaf of forms to fill out. One of them listed the acceptible reasons for applying:

  1. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  2. Cancer
  3. Glaucoma
  4. Lupus
  5. Epilepsy
  6. Multiple Sclerosis
  7. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  8. Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
  9. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  10. Post-traumatic stress disorder

I have arthritis, back pain (from the arthritis), and PTSD from my bout with flesh-eating bacteria nearly ten years ago. So I circled those.

When the doc looked it over, he stifled a laugh and said, "You only need one!"

But the fact is I do have those, and you should never ask a computer programmer, even a retired one, to give partial information. I held up my left ankle, which is still swollen after almost a decade because the lymph system never regrew. "I take other meds which help keep the swelling down," I said. "But when I smoke a little pot, you can actually watch the swelling go down to almost nothing, right before your eyes!"

I was able to get the MMJ card…sort of. I was told it would take as much as two weeks for me to get the actual card. Keith did not get his insulin, so we're going to have to go back. So neither Keith nor I actually scored our medication on this trip.

On the other hand, this was the first day Keith and I were able to see the top of Haleakala, since for a change it wasn't covered by clouds. So, that was nice.

Meanwhile, there's always the possibility that tomorrow the Post Office will be open and his package will, finally have come to rest after its travels.

We watched a movie (The Color of Space) and then sat for an hour or so enjoying the evening, along with Ella, who loves resting outside.