By Anupama Vaidya

Owner and Founder of Ayurved Sadhana Vidyalaya
Photo Credit: CDC

We wanted to share our Vaidya family’s experience, our Ayurvedic treatment lines during and after covid-19, diet and food, what helped our family and what you can do if you or your family member is in the same situation (God forbid that day doesn’t come).

Starting of Covid-19 Pandemic:

When March 2020 started, all news channels including NPR/CPR started talking about coronavirus and what was happening in Seattle, USA. At that time, it felt like it was still not going to affect our lives in Colorado. Too far away from us and our family. We did not feel too concerned about it. But all that soon changed.

We celebrated our son’s birthday in second week of March by going to a dinner in nice a restaurant. We did not know at this time that it would be our last dinner outing in a long time to come.

On Thursday, March 12, 2020 around 5:00 pm, we received the message from Boulder Valley School District that the schools will be closed for in-person learning and will be moved to remote learning. My office asked us to start working from home till further notice. With all the news and Colorado governor urging to keep social distancing and hence, lockdown or stay-at-home began. We decided that Ayurved Sadhana’s all programs and classes will be moved to online live streaming only. We informed all our students and teachers about our decision. We also informed our clients that their appointments will be done online, and we will ship all herbs or keep it in the mailbox.

The new life started with isolation, working from home, adjusting and managing three people working at the same time every day, taking short walks with dogs in parks, picking up the grocery orders with contactless pickups and cooking different dishes at home, etc. We all thought that this would change soon, may be in two to maximum three months. At that time, we did not know how wrong we were thinking.

Days changed to weeks, weeks changed to months….. Life went on with all adjustments to our daily life which we took it granted for our whole life. We as a family did not know that we would get affected directly. Dr. Vaidya continued doing consultations online as well as in person since July 2020.

We had our yearly graduation ceremony, Diwali celebration and Dhanvantari Puja scheduled in November along with lots of hands-on classes which we already moved to an online streaming platform. But, Dr. Vaidya started feeling bad on Saturday, November 7, 2020. He was supposed to be teaching Maternal Mental Health as per Ayurveda. We had to cancel his class and let him rest. First thought was that maybe it was just the flu. Still we went and did Covid-19 test. In the next two days, he started having high fever. We isolated him in one bedroom and started giving him food, water, and herbs in there by contactless delivery.

Fighting Covid-19 – Symptoms and Line of Treatment:

As an Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Vaidya started his protocol with Shamshamni tablets in the morning, fresh Ginger and Turmeric juice throughout the day, drinking only warm or hot water, Mahasudarshan Tablets, Vitamin D3, Zinc and multivitamin tablets, etc. He started measuring his oxygen level, blood pressure, and taking his pulse and heart rates to make sure that everything looked fine. The one thing which he started immediately was taking nasal steam with hot water (Nothing added in the water) covering with towel. Nasal steam helped him to open his nasal passages immediately and increased his oxygen level as well. We started him with watery khichadi, red rice (Shali Rice) gruel with salt and pepper, or simple soups, etc. He took Tribhuvan Kirti tablets when he got high fever.

Dr. Vaidya was getting slight heartburn; hence he started taking Jeshtimadh or Licorice powder along with Haritaki or Amlaki as needed. We all also started taking homemade Talisadi churna or tablets just to avoid cough and congestion. If we had high fever about 102 degrees, then only we used 1 Tylenol tablet with warm milk to avoid any acidity or heartburn. He started having fast heart beats up to 99 which was concerning but usually the heart beats went down after 1 or 2 hours. All of us started doing pranayama and deep breathing.

Dr. Vaidya’s covid-19 test on November 7 came as inconclusive. But, to make sure he did rapid testing. To do rapid testing at urgent care, you need to do a virtual meeting with the doctor first and then schedule a rapid contactless covid-19 test in the parking lot. That test results came to be positive. Then my son and I went and did covid-19 tests as well. But we got negative test results (LOL).

Even with negative test results, Sagar started having a fever as well. So, now I started taking care of two people in the household along with my 92 years old mother-in-law. We have strictly told her not to come out of her bedroom and be in isolation. I think that was the best decision of all as she is the only one who did not get covid-19 in our household. If she would have been contracted with covid-19, it would have been a tough situation.

By the end of November 14, Dr. Vaidya’s fever broke. Sagar’s fever started breaking on November 15. But then I started having fever and chills. My fever broke after 2 to 3 days. However, we did not know that the worst was still lurking in the dark.

Covid-19 Side Effect and Recovery- Symptoms and Line of Treatments:

The worst experience was the post recovery and the lasting effects of Covid-19. We started to have extreme tiredness which I cannot explain in words. It seemed as if you were sinking and your body and mind not together. Every tissue of your body is tired and screaming for help. You cannot get up and go ten steps to get water or go use the restroom. You are constantly feeling dizzy and have vertigo. We all felt tremendous brain fog and we could not focus or concentrate on any conversation or when someone is talking. These neurological effects were horrible.

A Covid-19 patient feels no desire to eat and has no appetite at all. You do not feel hungry and don’t have any taste for any food. Even the water was tasting sweet; and could not drink hot teas as well. But if you do not eat or consume three meals – sattvic food only, then you are very weak and tremendously tired. I understood that issue very fast and started doing the remedies.

One thing is definite that a person should eat after covid-19 even though you feel not eating at all. Diet should be high in protein, carbs, and veggies. Otherwise, you cannot recover faster. I moved my family from soups to solid food and no skipping breakfast, lunch, and dinner at all. I started my son and I with eggs, grilled salmon, and lean chicken. That helped us both tremendously to gain the strength. I started cooking lots of leafy vegetables like spinach, beets, collard greens, and spring onions, along with cabbage, etc. Also, I started making thick green moong soup, different varieties of dals with high proteins, and whole grain/multigrain Thaliphits (Savory Pancakes or Rotis) which has different grains and spices for Dr. Vaidya as he is total vegetarian. No sweet, sour, or cold food was consumed during this time.

So, now, no one in the family has had any fever for the last 15 plus days, but we have a long way to recover yet.

We have lingering side effects of Covid-19. I am getting random headaches, random rash on the body, have an eyesight change and tremendous tiredness. Dr. Vaidya has a lingering cough, random fast heartbeats, has an eyesight change and tiredness as well. Sagar has a loss of smell and taste and tiredness.

I even see that my hair and skin has become very dry due to high vata, sometimes so dry that my scalp will ache. I even tried to put warm ayurvedic oil and massage the scalp which helped a lot. For skin dryness and rash, I am applying locally Ayurvedic salves made at Ayurved Sadhana. Also, taking blood purifiers such as Manjishtha ghee and Sariva tablets which is helping me a lot. For changing eyesight, I am doing Triphala eye wash and trying to limit screen time. For tiredness, good healthy food and plenty of rest is required. For brain fog, we are taking Brahmi Ghee and tablets, hence, the brain fog is getting better.

We also continue taking Shamshamni tablets in the morning, Vitamin D3, Zinc and multivitamin tablets, etc. We are also taking homemade Talisadi churna or tablets just to avoid cough. We are also drinking lots of Ayurvedic decoctions – Turmeric Golden Milk, Bibhitaki, Jeshtimadh and Tulsi decoction, and even homemade Adulsa cough syrup, etc. We are chewing on a couple of Tulsi leaves with 1 whole black pepper to avoid any further viral infection as Tulsi and black pepper are highly anti-viral.

For getting back smell and taste senses, we are making sure Sagar is doing hot water nasal steaming with some essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus, etc. Even we started doing warm, dry cloth compress especially on eyes, nose, ears, throat, and chest to avoid cough and congestion.

One more thing which we made sure to do even during the covid-19 and after is that to get up from bed and at least walk 50 to 200 steps at least 3 times a day to make sure that our lungs remain healthy and fluid doesn’t get built in. When we get chills or feel cold, we are using space heater to warm our feet.

So, here is Vaidya family’s story of our Covid-19 journey which we experienced firsthand.

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