LIVERMORE FALLS — For Serena Deabler, the time she had to wait for results of a COVID-19 test seemed like an eternity. She had the test done Friday afternoon and received the negative results Saturday morning.

Serena Deabler of Livermore Falls underwent a COVID-19 test, which came back negative. Submitted photo

The 31-year-old mother of three daughters started feeling sick Thursday night. She woke around 3 a.m. Friday having severe coughing spells. Her temperature was just under 100 degrees.

“I was sick enough for my husband to feel the need to stay home and help with the kids and get me to the doctor’s,” she said in a message.

When she called the doctor’s office they started asking questions that were unlike any she had been asked before.

“It wasn’t just like, ‘Here are my symptoms, I need to be seen’, they had a ton of questions,” Deabler said. “One of them that struck me oddly was they had asked if I had been to Lewiston, which we had just a few days prior. They got me in that day.”

It was announced last week the first presumptive positive test for COVID-19 in Maine was a woman in Auburn.

When Deabler got to the doctor’s office in Farmington, she and her husband were immediately given masks. Her temperature had risen to 102.4 degrees.

“They put me in a wheelchair and pushed me out back, way away from other patients” she said. “The staff were all gowned and gloved, and they had face shields on. It was very scary!” she said.

She was first tested for influenza.

“I had to wait a short period of time before another nurse came in and tested me for COVID-19. The test was pretty uncomfortable,” she said.

They stuck a long Q-Tip like thing all the way down her throat and one so far into her nose she had to step back, Deabler said.

“The doctor I saw was very professional about it,” she said.

She was told after some time the results would be in in the morning. By then it was near 2 p.m.

As promised, the doctor called at 7:30 a.m. Saturday to let her know the test result for the coronavirus was negative.

From the time of the test to getting the results, her symptoms changed drastically and her temperature had gone up to over 103 degrees.

“I had been experiencing more stomach bug symptoms along with the cold-like symptoms” that she was seen for Friday.

“I was so relieved, which is probably weird to say because who is relieved to be that sick?” Deabler said. “My only thought was, ‘What if I had unknowingly been walking around with this virus in me, passing it out here and there.’ I know the statistics. I know who it targets and who gets it the worst. I know I would have been OK, but I have children, family and friends that I had seen that week, and the only thing I could do was think of them.”

The doctor put her in quarantine.

“I haven’t left my home since,” she said. “Yes, it’s influenza, but it’s nasty. Nasty, nasty, nasty,” she said.

Deabler said her husband has been “amazing” taking care of their household entirely, including three daughters.

“My sister grabbed us groceries and made sure we have had what we’ve needed,” she said. “Other family and friends have also volunteered to do the same. I have an amazing support system and I couldn’t be any luckier.”

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