November 24, 2020

The Up-The-Nose Covid Test

Yesterday I went for my pre-surgery covid test. I'm having a partial mastectomy this week so the covid test is a precaution to protect the health care workers just in case I'm harbouring some of that coronavirus in my bod. Unlikely given that I've been pretty much isolated since last March, but you never know. 

I admit I was a little nervous about this test; my son and daughter have both had the up-the-nose test and both told me it was the worst thing ever. All weekend I kept trying to imagine what it would feel like to be probed deep into my noggin.

The hospital test center was solely for pre-surgery patients, so no one was lined up with symptoms. It was really quick! I went in, sat down, and a nice nurse lady explained that she was going to be very gentle. She took out what looked like a very long white mascara wand with a teensy brush on the end of it. Nurse Lady said she had to stick it up my nose and twirl it around for ten seconds. I nodded, ok. I'm ready.

She holds the wand up to my cheek horizontally, as if measuring how far to stick it in. Out of the corner of my eye, I'm thinking YIKES that's like SIX INCHES man! Wat?

up the nose covid test is no big deal
Twirl it for ten seconds.

And in it goes. It kind of burns. But not much. Nurse Lady says she now has to start the twirling for ten seconds. Ok, let's go.She starts counting out loud, "One Mississippi... two Mississippi... three Mississippi..."

The burning intensifies just a little, and a sound starts coming out of me, "OOOOooooooOOOoooo". I mean it was hilarious, I had no control over this noise, it was completely involuntary.

Nice Nurse lady counts faster, "Five Mississippi, six Mississippi, seven Mississippi,"

Me: "oooooOOOOOoOOooOOOOoOOO!"

NNL: "EightMissippinineMissppiTEN!!!" and she whips it out from the depths of my nasal passage.

The burning stops, and a tiny tear rolls its way out of the corner of my left eye. And that was it. To be honest I felt a little bit let down. And like, somehow, they should do the other nostril as well, just to keep things balanced and symmetrical. I suggested it, but Nurse Lady just laughed.

It was really not as bad as a colonoscopy, or a PAP smear, or even having your teeth cleaned. You don't have to take off any clothes, and it's only ten very fast seconds.

Mind you, this was a pre-surgery covid test with a Nice Nurse Lady. If I had had symptoms, and was stressed and worried about getting sick, or getting my loved ones sick, and burdening the healthcare system, not to mention waiting in line for hours, it would be a different story.

Things that are worse than the up-the-nose covid test.

Have you had the up-the-nose covid test? Let me know if it was better or worse than anything on this list.

Stay safe and mask up!


  1. We went to get tested after my coworker was diagnosed with Covid. We did our own, with a Qtip up the nose. It wasn't supposed to...scrape your brain or anything, but I still had a sneezing fit once I was done. We were (fortunately) all negative.

    Another coworker's wife has since been diagnosed. Since I have been diligent about wearing my mask at work lately, I don't feel the need to run off for testing again. This pandemic is getting old...

  2. I hope if you have had the surgery you are doing well. Sending love and light.

  3. You've done the impossible...made a covid test hilarious!
    I pray all went well with your surgery.
    Heal fast!