May certainly turned out to be an interesting month. Closing on our house was delayed for a short time, and after we got into our new home I spent the following week trying to get everything in order. Obviously my timeframe for when I wanted things to be completed was pushed back. The stress and overwhelm from the weeks of packing, then the delay, then eventually the move all seemed to build upon each other. Somehow, by the end of the first week in our house, I had covid.
I write “somehow” because I barely left the house that week or the week before. I wasn’t near anyone other than my husband. When he had covid in January of this year, we didn’t social distance from each other. We were, in fact, quite close to each other, especially while I cared for him with a variety of teas, meals, vitamins, and other supportive therapies. I tested multiple times and never caught it from him. It seemed pretty bizarre that when I did catch it these months later, I was basically a hermit up until the point of testing.
The Theory of Illness
One of my teachers talked about germ theory and biological terrain theory in some of his classes. I tend to believe that both are true. Not only does an organism invade the body, but the body has to be susceptible to that organism by providing the right environment for it, as well. I was already exhausted by the time I became ill. Exhausted is an understatement. And in true herbalist-in-need-of-blue-vervain fashion, I kept going. I didn’t rest. I had an agenda, hello. So I became susceptible, was exposed, and my body forced me to rest.
I thought I had a migraine before I ended up testing positive for covid. Turns out the herbal formula I use for migraines is helpful to me short-term for a covid migraine. I went to bed early the first night, and while I was lying in bed trying to sleep I kept experiencing this weighted feeling in my chest at random intervals. It felt like I was breathing deeply while a stone was pushing down on my breastbone. In this strange half-sleep space, the thought first occurred to me that I may have covid.
The fatigue of covid felt identical to the fatigue of mononucleosis. Not only was I physically fatigued, but I was mentally fatigued as well. There was no asking me to focus on anything, no asking me to give my opinion, no asking for decisions. I mean, there was, but when these things were put to me, I ignored them. I said, “I don’t have the energy for that,” and set it all aside. In addition to fatigue I had a mild fever, upset digestive system, no appetite, post-nasal drip, and I eventually developed a cough.
Interacting With Disease
I wasn’t well-prepared to handle covid. When my husband was sick with it I formulated a few different teas for him. All of these were still packed away when I became ill. Luckily, I had Celestial Seasonings “sleepy time” tea in my cabinet, and I drank a lot of it. The energetics of the illness was hot, and this tea had all the right herbs for me already packed into it to soothe, comfort, and cool me. I also took massive doses of Vitamin D3, took a B Complex and CoQ10 supplement, slept a lot, and watched an obscene amount of TV. I drank sprite from the small cans because it was comforting and reminded me of my grandparents. I ate when I did finally feel hungry.
Viruses are interesting. They can literally alter our DNA. And there’s no real, good treatment for them, whether herbal or allopathic. We just have to let them run their course and do our best to support our bodies and spirits while they do. I remember sitting on the porch before I tested, and my face felt like it was on fire. Death and I had been having an ongoing conversation that began that first night when I was trying to sleep and felt the weight on my chest. She wanted to know how tired I was, if I wanted to recover or pass the final threshold.
There’s a spirit to every illness, and it always brings the opportunity for conversation and wisdom. In the same way that spending time with people changes us, so does spending time with an illness within us. Disease is a teacher. Our bodies are an ecosystem, within an ecosystem, and when we are out of balance in either we suffer. I used to be extremely phobic of disease, but now I understand it a lot better and it no longer scares me.
The Rhetoric Around Covid
Everyone has an opinion about covid. I’m not interested in entering the controversy or trying to convince anyone of anything, one way or another. It’s a communal disease wrapped in guilt and shame and judgment. I don’t think I know a single person who isn’t fatigued from hearing about it, or from the fear-mongering headlines, or the conflict around preventing it. Constant vigilance is depleting. We aren’t meant to live in a constant sympathetic nervous system state. It’s not good for us.
So if you read this blog post and got to the end of it, I hope it provided a new perspective to you. I hope that it gave you some space to look at covid without fear, to consider the role of disease and the energy of illness in our lives and how we become susceptible to it via the perfect storm of opportunity meeting the disease agent. I hope it serves as a reminder to listen to and respect your body and your needs.
Jessica Jascha is a clinical herbalist in Minnesota. She owns Jascha Botanicals, where she provides holistic wellness consultations and intuitive consultations, and a moon ritual subscription service. She also owns Owl in the Oak Tarot. You can connect with her on Facebook.
*The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Jessica Jascha, the Jascha Botanicals, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.
Featured image via pixabay