My COVID Journey
For nearly 3 years, my husband and I managed to avoid getting COVID. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were, like many people, over the top when it came to cleaning surfaces, disinfecting the outside of groceries when I brought them home, and trying a variety of other crazy fear-based ideas that were circulating on the internet. After a great deal of research and some deep soul-searching because of my hyperactive immune system, I was vaccinated in late Spring of 2020 (two Pfizer shots). My husband choose to get three shots. I continue to monitor my anti body levels every six weeks since I was getting my thyroid tested anyway. Then I went on with my life. But you see my life is extremely untypical. I do not frequent restaurants and I do not attend crowded events. In fact, the few people I interact with are in the grocery store or in my in-person yoga classes – twice a week.
So, I believe what kept COVID away this long was that fact that I limited my exposure, and one other crucial factor, which is rarely talked about in mass media—I took immaculate care of my health. There are two schools of thought when it comes to illness and health. There is the germ theory and the terrain theory. I am a big believer in the terrain theory—If I make my body an inhospitable host for diseases, I will be less likely to get the disease and when I get it, I will be more able to recuperate faster.
So why did I get a COVID?
Very simply, because I went on a two-plus-week wonderful vacation to see my Brazilian family including my amazing granddaughter. During this vacation, we could not eat the super clean organic food that supports our health, and we were exposed to more people in two weeks than in our adult lives.
Don’t get me wrong. We had a wonderful time visiting Brazil. But Brazilians like to congregate at all the same beautiful places in very large crowds. We were in museums packed with people, crowded restaurants, and even natural areas that you could barely get a picture of your family because everyone was doing the same thing. Very few people wore a masks most of the time. I do not enjoy wearing a mask although I did it when required in the airport and on the long plane rides. Masks make me feel nauseous and hurt my ears.
How did COVID affect me?
It was bad—a lot worse than I expected!
The first symptom I noticed was a massive headache and a loss of balance. Then I got spikey high fevers. At one point, it went up to 102. As a health coach, I know that this is my body mounting a strong attack against COVID. One of my highly respected health practitioners confirmed that this was a good thing and as much as possible, advised me to avoid lowering my fever artificially with over-the-counter drugs. This was difficult to do because of years of being convinced by western medicine that having a fever was a bad thing and should be reduced with taking Tylenol and Advil. As much as possible, I used the old fashion cold cloth on my head method. Due to my autoimmune thyroid condition, I do not sweat much, so it was hard for me to know when the fever finally broke. It was a lot clearer with my husband who soaked through a shirt and our bed sheets.
I did not lose my sense of smell or taste, but foods that normally taste good were repugnant to me. In fact, a few hours after eating roast chicken which I normally love, I ended up throwing up. Water had a metallic taste for more than a week. Basically, I could tolerate eating applesauce and drinking flavored coconut water for more than a week. Once again, I now understand that when our body is fighting an illness the less we eat the better. This again, is counter intuitive. Because most of us were raised to believe that lack of eating is bad for our health. When we are sick the best thing, we can do for our health is to eat less. Why? You might ask. Because digesting food takes a lot of energy. Getting over an illness takes a lot of energy. Where do you want to put your energy when you are sick? I know I want to put it into getting better. I am starting to get my appetite back, but I lost 10 lbs in a week. Luckily I was carrying around a bit of extra weight.
I did not get many of respiratory symptoms that are common in COVID. I believe that is where my yoga helped me. For the past ten years, I have practiced so many different types of breathing techniques that I am sure my body innately understands how to breath in the face of challenges. One of my esteemed yoga teachers, Leslie Kaminoff, who runs the internationally-known Breathing Project told us when he got COVID, he did not purposely try to use any of the dozens of yoga breathing techniques, but his body had access to them and chose the breathing practice that it could. I truly believe that is what happened to me in my bout with COVID.
I Aided our Respiratory Systems with the following DIY Tools
Put 15 drops of either Hyssop, Manuka or Douglas Fir essential oil in a bowl of hot water and using a towel, make a steam bath for yourself by placing your head over the bowl and breathing it in for up to 5 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day. When we did this, we could feel the oils breaking up the congestion. Another way we broke up our congestion was using a technique called Percussing the back. If you have someone who can do this for you, lie on your stomach and have them cup their hands and tap your back rhythmically. Do not smack too softly or too hard. This technique moves the phlegm around which should help avoid a chronic cough or secondary bacterial infection like pneumonia.
Gratitude is Helping the COVID Recovery
My practitioner does not recommend cough suppressants except if you are unable to sleep at night. This advice is not new or alternative. When my children were young, we saw a pediatrician who was the head of a national pediatric medical association. He also said avoid cough suppressants as much as possible during the day because coughing is a way of your body expelling what does not belong there. I have been isolating and not teaching yoga for more than a ten days. My body would not allow me. It wanted sleep. I would sleep ten hours a night and then after a few hours of being awake, I went back to sleep either on my deck or on the couch. I worked a few hours a day and did not have the energy to cook. Thank goodness for my bone broth in the freezer and for simple foods like eggs. Thank goodness for friends and family who picked up some healthy vegetables and fruits and a few sources of clean protein. I am feeling quite grateful right now to be in our home, to have a healthy body that will heal and to have access to all we have in the U.S.
Why am I sharing my story with you?
The biggest reason for sharing my personal story is to help alleviate unnecessary fears and worry. I have no political agenda. In fact, I do not wish to share my political views on COVID. It does not help anyway. It creates more division and fear. Fear is the enemy of all illnesses. I understand Fear. I know that I was walking on pins and needles during the past few years as I sensed it was only a matter of time before I got COVID. In a way, I knew I had to get it as part of my healing journey. In my life, fear of things kept me so often from living life. I have been slowly working on releasing fears and embracing life and looking for the gifts in every experience. So if you manage to be the few lucky ones that never get COVID, congratulations, but if you make the commitment today to improve your health, then if you do get COVID you will be able to navigate the illness with a bit less FEAR. That is my sincere hope for you!