Can I Nurse Myself Through COVID-19 If I’m Alone?

Can I Nurse Myself Through COVID-19 If I’m Alone?

Relying on People’s Medicine
When Society Fails Us

People’s medicine empowers us so that we can take control of our lives and our health.

Isolated with C-19:
No Medical Care or Nearby Friends

Note: COVID-19 is an abbreviation for coronavirus disease 2019, a specific strain of coronavirus. Sometimes this article shorthands the name further by using COVID.

A huge number of individuals face being completely alone if ill with COVID. They’ll have no medical care or even friends or family nearby to help them.

These folks are ignored in the national dialogue about C-19. I did see one article about what to do if you’re stuck alone. The article’s suggestions would not usually work for people living in poverty, or for many people who have disabilities.

Racism, classism, sexism, ableism, and the other isms are leaving a huge number of people without necessary help. A few examples:

* Women and BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) are often turned away because doctors insist the symptoms are “all in your head.”

* In ZIP Codes where poverty prevails, Medicare might simply refuse to cover any of a person’s medical bills, even annual check-ups. If a stay in the hospital for C-19 will bankrupt you, leaving you and your children homeless, you’re facing an almost impossible choice.

This brutality from Medicare is often given free rein because its victims can be so busy, just trying to pay their bills and survive, that they don’t have time to fight for medical rights. Or do not realize resources exist so that they can fight.

* In those same ZIP Codes, agencies who oversee home care might block it. This is not new behavior. Years back, an advocate for people applying for home care told me that agencies often delay approval for care for so long that her clients die, simply because they couldn’t survive without home care.

* Many Americans became isolated before lockdown, for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps they’re among the thousands of chronically ill Americans who’ve been isolated for decades, without even a nearby friend to turn to. Or they moved to a town where they don’t know anyone yet.

It may not always be a good idea to be alone, nursing yourself through COVID. But many people will have no choice.

Isolation isn’t the only reason someone might want to take on COVID in solitude. Perhaps they won’t ask a friend to come help because the only people they know are high risk.

I, myself, wouldn’t go to the hospital here because the care is subpar, and that is putting it mildly. For one thing, the place is so dirty that just walking in is risking infection. My mother was the executive housekeeper at the Boston Lying-in Hospital. Word is there wasn’t a single case of staff infection when she worked there. So I know a hospital can be kept clean.

In addition, hatred of dark-skinned people has seriously impacted the medical care here. I am usually told nothing’s wrong with me, or I just have a low pain threshold, and perhaps am accused of attempting a scam.

COVID can become deadly. Western medicine or even hospitalization can be necessary. But if I have to deal with COVID on my own, I want to be powerful, informed, and capable.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants that.

Taking Power:
Using People’s Medicine to Face COVID

In my research on how to nurse myself through COVID, I talked with Susun S. Weed because, for me, Susun embodies people’s medicine.

As part of her bio says, “Susun has a joyous spirit and encyclopedic knowledge of health and herbs. For five decades, she has opened hearts to the medicine and magic of the green nations.“

Susun Weed Talks about Nursing Yourself through COVID

Francesca: Susun, Do you think it’s possible to nurse oneself through COVID-19 if one is completely on one’s own? I mean, I’m sure it’s possible with a mild case. And I know the worst cases might need hospitalization. But do you think one could have a pretty bad case and still nurse oneself through it?

Susun: Can you nurse yourself through COVID? Most people who are diagnosed with COVID are asymptomatic or have very few symptoms. This is the problem with COVID. Asymptomatic people can pass it very easily. This is especially true of children.

So the short answer is “yes” because you will have few or no symptoms. Rest. Use supportive herbs. And isolate yourself. 

But suppose you do have symptoms. If you cannot breathe, a small amount of osha root tincture (Ligusticum porterii) will definitely help, but is not curative. A major symptom is exhaustion. Makes it hard to help yourself in any way. Paul Bergner in his teleseminar with me earlier this year discussed having COVID and said that he was so exhausted he couldn’t even turn over in bed.

Your best bet in helping yourself deal with COVID is to prepare by using the foundational medicines. I discuss them—Serenity Medicine, Story Medicine, Mind Medicine, and Lifestyle Medicine—in my new book Abundantly Well. I also give a free course on the very best herbs for preventing and dealing with COVID19. (Link is at the bottom of this article.)

Francesca: I’ve been thinking about how to prepare beforehand.

Your free video series that you just mentioned discusses appropriate herbs, at length. Since you point out not only herbs to take when ill, but also ones to take beforehand so that you end up with minimal symptoms, I feel prepared herbally, but I’m wondering what else I could do to get ready.

For example, you’ve mentioned putting all the herbs you’d want for C-19 into a basket so that, if you’re in a delirium during COVID, you don’t have to hunt for the right herbs.

Another example: I listened to your teleseminar with Paul Bergner (Lessons from the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Link is below this article). Hearing Paul say that, when he had COVID, there was a day he couldn’t even get his body to roll over in bed, prompted me to clear my bedside table. Now, if I become too ill to fetch what I need, the table has space for a large bottle of water or tea to keep myself hydrated, and for other things I’d want at hand. 

I also filled a large tin with wholesome snacks, so that if I was too ill to cook or even get up to collect prepared food from my kitchen, I could eat from the tin by my bed.

I want to be ready and able. Goddess, yes!

Do you have other suggestions for how to prepare to nurse yourself through C-19 if you’re going to be alone?

Susun: What would I do if I thought I had COVID and I was all alone? Well, that would be too late. I would need help. So it’s best to prepare.

What would I need if I’m going to be so exhausted I can’t get out of bed? Something to pee in, first. And plenty of nourishing herbal infusions, including mullein milk. (Learn how to make it at my YouTube channel.)

I have a zipper bag already set up with the tinctures that will be helpful if I have COVID. It contains anti-infective and lung helping herbs including: echinacea root tincture, mullein leaf tincture, medicinal mushrooms tincture, elecampane root tincture, osha root tincture, poke root tincture, St. J’s fresh flower tincture, and usnea tincture. 

Francesca: Below our interview will be links to lots of information about herbs to use to fight COVID-19. Aside from herbs and anything else covered at those links, any other suggestions for how to nurse yourself through C-19?

Susun: Aside from green allies and physical support for getting through COVID, what else could we use? 

* Story Medicine. If I tell myself the story that I will die, my immune system will not work well—because stress and fear depress immune action.
* Mind Medicine: I would think encouraging thoughts. I would expand my heart. This will help my immune system work better.
* I would want to be in the sun and on the earth because that supercharges my ability to ward off viral infections.
* I would want to lie next to a tree or a favorite medicinal plant.
* I would want to have friends with me, via phone or zoom or IM or even in my dreams.
* I would invite my guardians and guides to be with me.
* I would remind myself—as I do every day—that “Today is a good day to die.”
Relax. Accept. Be at peace with life as it is. 

Francesca: Wow, the Lakota phrase, “Today is a good day to die,” is perfect for me right now. It instills in my cells the immune-boosting belief that I could conquer COVID (though the expression might do the exact opposite for some people, I don’t know), affirms life’s beauty, and is a profound reminder to, as you say, be at peace with life as it is.

My one fear is swelling. My medical condition causes such tremendous swelling that, for example, an eye has swollen shut. One doctor asked if I’d been hit in the eye because I looked like someone had punched me.

I’ve heard swelling can get so bad with COVID it kills or causes permanent damage.

Over a number of years, specific herbs, exercises, attitudes, foods, and lifestyle changes have reduced swelling bunches. It causes far fewer problems than it used to. But it is still so bad that it’s visible and continues to cost me serious symptoms.

Any thoughts about swelling and COVID?

Susun: COVID is a viral infection, not bacterial. Bacterial infections cause swelling. Viral ones rarely do.

The body fights viruses by running a fever and producing Cytokines. The National Health Institute says Cytokines are small proteins which act as communicators between cells. They are both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory.

Francesca: Anything else you want to add to our conversation?

And one last thought.
Do pranayama.
Or any breathing exercises you know.
Pretend you are blowing out the candles on your birthday cake.
Ten times.
Try alternate-nostril breath.
Breathe with a green ally. Send love and chi to your lungs.

Francesca: Always a joy to talk with you, Susun. Thank you so much.

Susun: I am honored. Thank you. 

People’s Medicine for COVID, including Herbalism

Two of the best investments of time and money I’ve made regarding self-care and C19 were, no surprise, provided by Susun:

1) The free video series Healthy Immune System: Coronavirus Help discusses herbs for COVID and has other tips. Click and then scroll down:

2) The teleseminar Lessons from the 1918 Flu Pandemic is quite relevant, though COVID is not a flu.

More Resources from Susun Weed

Ms. Weed’s six herbal medicine books focus on women’s health topics including menopause, childbearing, and breast health.

Susun’s newest book, Abundantly Well—Seven Medicines, is hailed as “critically needed and timely, it redefines patient-centered care.”

For information about her workshops, correspondence courses, and more:

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2 Responses to Can I Nurse Myself Through COVID-19 If I’m Alone?

  1. Kathy Crabbe says:

    Thank you sooooo much for this helpful, vital, important information.

    Luv Always,
    Kathy Crabbe

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