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My Long Haul Covid is TMS.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by avik, May 29, 2021.

  1. avik

    avik Well known member

    Just writing that out gives me chills.

    I just went through the most difficult, challenging, and traumatic experience of my life.

    I got Covid on or around the last week of this past March. When it "began" I had a strong mindset and great faith in my body's ability to handle the virus.

    I'm 46 (which is by no means "young")- I have 9% body fat, am an amateur bodybuilder, avid bike rider, lifelong snowboarder, and maintain a very clean/healthy diet.

    Covid couldn't care less.

    It proceeded to kick my ass...and put me in the hospital twice (once for possible blood clots in my legs and the second time for problems breathing).

    The symptoms were varied and relentless. Body aches and pains like nothing I've ever experienced, weird rashes, sinus and chest congestion from hell, and weakness that made me feel like my soul had been sucked out of me. And the memory loss/mental issues/mania/anxiety/brain fog? I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Indescribable "brain pain" that scared the living shit out of me.

    I can’t overstate how horrible I have felt through this entire process. I say this carefully and with no exaggeration: it's the first time in my life that at moments, I actually felt like I was dying. Like I might lose this battle.

    Once week 4 rolled around I started asking myself "ok...why am I not healing"?

    Unfortunately, like many others, I had gone into Covid with a laundry list of fears and concerns already planted in my head, from a year's worth of watching the news, following the death tolls, reading about it online and then ultimately learning about this "long haul" syndrome, which appeared to affect a large number of people who had had Covid.

    Here's what’s interesting-at or around week 4 I remember saying to my fiancé (who happens to be a Sarno advocate and firm believer in TMS herself)..."I’m having a lot of symptoms I've seen before from TMS, albeit a lot more extreme".

    I mentioned the above but didn't really give it much credence because when you've tested positive for a virus that's ravaging the planet, who even thinks to give TMS a serious look? It was clear to me that people were responding to this disease differently and that some people simply had it for a longer period of time than others.

    Week 5 rolls around and I’m still in bed. The greatest distance I have walked up to this point was from my bedroom to my kitchen. And here I am in week 5…then 6…then 7…and things appear to be getting worse!

    Yes, many of the symptoms had gone away but many others increased in severity.

    How could this be?

    Was the virus still inside of me?

    I then went on a two-week run of google searching, various Dr. visits, blood tests, and overall PANIC.

    Was Covid now living in my intestines? (as I have learned was a distinct possibility)

    Had it crossed the “blood-brain” barrier and infected my mind and overall nervous system?

    Fear and anxiety ensued unlike anything I had ever experienced and this coming from a pre-existing state of anxiety and panic. They were simply compounding each other.

    Last week, I found myself at a very familiar point of desperation (or as some might say, having been given the “gift of desperation”). I was not going to sit back and let this long-haul situation run its course, which from research told me it could potentially last for up to a year.

    I decided to Google “long haul Covid and TMS”.

    By the grace of God/the Universe, I was served a YouTube video by Nicole Sachs, LCSW that shared the exact same title as my search, although the “the” was replaced with an “is”.

    I listened to Nicole speak beautifully and eloquently about what this Pandemic has done to our collective minds, how we have been overcome with fear, and that ultimately she believed that these “post-viral symptoms” that many others like me were experiencing, were yet another (serious) manifestation of TMS. More specifically that my/our bodies were in a “sustained state of fight or flight” and that it was not normal for us to have been in this state for possibly months at a time!

    I was floored.

    Mind you I am a lifelong “TMSer” who has been propagating Sarno's message for the past ten years to virtually everyone around me. I never truly considered TMS as the culprit here or that it could “latch itself” on to Covid. I had a lot of questions:

    1. At what point did Covid stop and TMS take over?

    2. Was this “classic” TMS as I had come to learn and understand, in that my mind was diverting my attention away from painful emotions/rage/stress...or,

    3. Was this a new iteration of TMS (in my mind) that was simply the body staying in this state of heightened “fight or flight” not necessarily as a diversion or an alarm but more because my system was fried, did not know how to turn off the alarms and simply needed to calm down and repair?

    4. Or maybe the above two questions are one and the same. I don’t yet know.

    Here’s what I do know:

    I listened to Nicole. I listened to Dr. Paul Garner who wrote about his experience with long-haul in a blog that others graciously posted on these forums (I will link below all below). I began to think psychologically, much like I had done ten years prior to target my chronic pain/fibromyalgia and CFS at that time.

    Simply listening to Nicole’s video and letting it seep into my brain…and allowing me some subsequent joy at the thought of uncovering this new reality/truth contributed to 50%-75% cessation of all my symptoms, within about two hours.

    Excuse the language but HOLY SHIT.

    In the following 2 days (which were this past week), I began to walk my dog again outside, handle some basic chores around the house, sit up and work in my home office and just get some of my head back.

    I’ve already had significant setbacks and even a day where the pain went beyond anything I had experienced at that point. This naturally messed with me and (for a short time) derailed the optimistic path that I had been on but…it forced me to realize that I could not expect an immediate and permanent reduction in all my symptoms and that TMS was likely making a last stand…as it had done so many times throughout my life.

    I needed to step up my focus and overall approach to this thing.

    I’ve started journaling and it’s doing wonders…but has also unearthed a ton of repressed anger and rage. Apparently, I have (subconsciously) applied many past traumas and emotions to this whole experience, which resulted in a fear-inducing scenario that lasted for almost two months straight and basically, fried my body’s ability to maintain a state of balance or homeostasis.

    Full disclosure, I’m bawling my eyes out right now as I am simultaneously being reminded of how emotionally draining and terrifying this whole experience has been but also at the gratefulness that I feel that I am in this new state of awareness and that I can share it with you all.

    I can likely write another 5 pages here but I will spare you and leave with this:

    If you are suffering from some sort of chronic pain and you are still questioning whether or not your brain can really do this to you and create the level of pain you are experiencing…well I think you know what I’m going to say…damn right it can.

    This has been an eye-opening experience for me and I still have a long way to go…

    But I can tell you that if I do manage to get this under control using the techniques I’ve learned here, via Sarno and the host of other people contributing to this community, I will be on a mission to get this message out to other “long haulers”.

    Thank you for reading.

    Links to Nicole Sachs video (a MUST watch):

    Link to post by Dr. Paul Garner: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/25/paul-garner-on-his-recovery-from-long-covid/ (Paul Garner: on his recovery from long covid - The BMJ)
    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow! This is chilling, beautifully written and the most convincing story about long haul COVID and TMS that I came across. I am totally fascinated by long haul COVID and try to read everything that I can find on the subject! You confirmed what I suspected all along, but did not dare to offer my opinion since so far I escaped direct personal experience with COVID (thank you, Pfizer and US Government, for setting me free!).

    While I still do not dare to discuss possible recovery in the situations when a whole lung is destroyed by COVID, I am becoming more and more convinced that neurological impact of it (brain fog, fatigue, loss of smell etc) can be reduced or even eliminated by re-wiring one's brain, much like stroke patients regain speech, movement and memory by practicing.

    Unlike the conventional TMS trauma, which is mental, COVID injury to the nervous system appears to be physical in nature. However, the power of neuroplasticity is such that people can recover, which is what you confirmed with your own example. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your story!
    Tenley, miffybunny and Balsa11 like this.
  3. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    TMS is an important part of every healing journey, regardless of what you're healing from. Helping your body heal is more important than what is or isn't TMS. Covid is scary and dealing with the fear can help non structural symptoms more than any diagnosis ever will.
    avik, miffybunny and TG957 like this.
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Fantastic testimonial! Thanks for posting about your experience, as well as the video!
    avik likes this.
  5. mikeblue

    mikeblue Newcomer

    It was perceptive on your part to make the connection with TMS. And the fact that you got immediate improvement shows that you are on the right track. The fact that you suffered setbacks after the initial improvement follows the pattern that many of us have experienced with TMS. I'm betting you're going to eventually get full remission.
    oneperson, avik and TG957 like this.
  6. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Thanks a million, Avik for sharing in such detail. So important to know this.

    Glad you are on your way to good health again.

    Any idea how you caught Covid?
  7. avik

    avik Well known member

    Thanks for your post.
    I did want to comment on a couple of things here:
    I'm not sure I agree that conventional TMS trauma is mental. It's rooted in the mind, but the trauma to the body is real/physical.
    I know Sarno believed that it's "just" ischemia...but (and I am not a doctor so I ask this with a bit of naivete) can ischemia have long-term effects?
    Second, Covid injury to the nervous system being physical in nature I'm sure is correct but can TMS-associated "after-effects" from Covid cause long-term physical damage?
    I think yes.
    This heightened and sustained "fight or flight" pattern that I am in I believe IS causing actual damage to my body, much like a life of stress and cortisol production can ultimately contribute to heart disease or cancer.
    Thats why I say above that I think this (for me) is almost a new derivation or iteration of TMS, based less on emotional repression and more on a faulty alarm system that will not shut off.

    To me there is no difference between mental trauma and physical trauma. They contribute to one another and are inexorably tied.
    BloodMoon and oneperson like this.
  8. avik

    avik Well known member

    Thank you for those observations and vote of confidence.
    I hope your bet pays off.
  9. avik

    avik Well known member

    Hey Fred-thank you for your contributions to this community.
    I have read two of your books and numerous comments and they have all helped me immensely.

    As for how I caught it...I have no clue.
    My fiance and I have been incredibly careful throughout this pandemic, diligently wearing masks, social distancing and generally making what I would consider very conservative life decisions.

    My sense is that I may have gotten it from a Sommelier who spoke very close to me without a mask at an outdoor restaurant here in Miami. That however is me just reaching as I cannot figure anything else out.

    Very frustrating as I had been so incredibly careful up to that point and was going to be vaccinated that week (and I was at dinner that night with people who were all vaccinated and we were amply distanced from others outdoors).

    I'm fairly certain the frustration and anger related to the above coupled with a good helping of shame for getting it...is contributing to my long-haul symptoms.
    FredAmir likes this.
  10. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Thanks for the kudos, Avik.

    As long as you have done your part to protect yourself, then it was meant to be and it will lead to great things for you, even if it’s hard to see it that way right now.

    That’s the mindset that helps make the best of any adversity. I talk about it in this video on hardships and miracles.

    I am still looking at the data for vaccines and deciding to have one or not. Wearing a mask and social distancing has keep me and those around me from catching any type of virus so far. Of course, I am concerned about catching it, especially that it is now considered primarily a vascular disease.

    https://www.salk.edu/news-release/the-novel-coronavirus-spike-protein-plays-additional-key-role-in-illness/ (The novel coronavirus’ spike protein plays additional key role in illness - Salk Institute for Biological Studies)

    So knowing that if I catch it long Covid in most cases is TMS is comforting.

    Here’s something that I hope helps speed up your recovery. Once when I was not recovering well from a cold, I started looking for my options and discovered the many benefits of zinc and how zinc supplementation can speed up recovery from cold and also took vitamin D3. It works really fast to stop the persistent cough and increase my energy.

    If you have not tried them yet, it’s worth a try. Here’s the post I wrote about zinc.

    oneperson likes this.
  11. avik

    avik Well known member

    Thanks Fred.

    I have been taking high doses of both Zinc and Vitamin D from the start, including C, Quercetin, and two rounds of Ivermectin.
    If you have not heard of Ivermectin I would do some research. It's as close to a miracle drug for Covid as any.
    It's an anti-parasitic much like Hydroxychloroquine, but far safer to use. Its been used worldwide since the 70s.

    Do a search for the FLCCC website. Tons of info there.

    Video was great btw. I love the "staying excited" bit when the pain comes back or you get down. Having a rough day today and just watching that helped me change my mindset. Gratitude is key as well.

    As for the vaccine, I respect and understand your hesitancy but keep this in mind: this virus is evil. I don't mean to sound dramatic but I cannot think of another adjective that is more fitting.
    TMS aside, it ruined me for at least 3-4 weeks, and I'm in very good health/shape.

    My fiance somehow did not get it (thankfully) and although prior to me getting sick we were both questioning the vaccine, I pushed her to get it asap. She had her first shot last week.
    It s the lesser of two evils.
    I think that whatever the vaccine does to the body it pales in comparison to having this virus. That said, I am not a medical professional...that's just my instinct having gone through all of this.

    As an aside, do you know of or have access to any information about others recouping from long-haul utilizing a TMS-ish approach?

    The journaling and overall psychological approach have yielded great results for me thus far but I still have a ways to go. Any additional/positive info only bolsters my mindset and helps to further recovery.
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
    oneperson likes this.
  12. oneperson

    oneperson Peer Supporter

    Wow @avik!
    Thank you for sharing!
    And "Bravo" 1000x for this huge breakthrough. Very encouraging and something to hold onto as you move forward.

    I find your questions insightful. I have similar thoughts and questions about my own condition (not Covid related). You state them so well!

    Another wow...
    And wishing you complete healing...
  13. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Me too. I have two autoimmune diseases, one of them being neuromuscular, and I've just found out that the trials of the vaccines didn't include people with neuromuscular or autoimmune diseases (I believe this is because most people with autoimmune diseases take immunosuppressant drugs and neuromuscular conditions are often treated with immunosuppressants too). With the trials, the participants were either healthy individuals with no known underlying health conditions or a combination of healthy individuals with no underlying health conditions (the majority of participants) and individuals with conditions known to be made worse by covid 19 (a minority of participants). I'm now looking at the VEARS reports https://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html (The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) Request) to try and help me make a decision as to whether or not the vaccines are liable to make my existing medical conditions worse because, with one of my autoimmune conditions, if it were to worsen it could be life-threatening. My head spins with it all!
    oneperson and FredAmir like this.
  14. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    You certainly need to very careful.

    1. As for short-term safety with mRNA vaccines, they appear to be quite safe. My wife, all my relatives, and friends have gotten their with no serious side effects. I know three doctors that work in hospitals and they have had their shots as well. They confirm the case numbers are drastically down and they have not seen any major reactions to the mRNA vaccines.

    2. The reports to CDC are not verified. Anyone can file a report. Numbers could be much lower or much higher. Hard to know.

    3. With autoimmune disease you need to be very careful. Here’s an article from the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences titled, “Avoiding pitfalls in the pursuit of a COVID-19 vaccine” published 3/30/2020. I wonder if any of the concerns raised in the article have been observed so far.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/117/15/8218 (News Feature: Avoiding pitfalls in the pursuit of a COVID-19 vaccine)

    4. Here in California the only real change since last year has been mass vaccination, Before then, anytime they opened the economy we ended up with a surge of cases. In two weeks they expect complete reopening of all business to 100% capacity.

    5. I asked a noted immunologist, who is a critic of Big Pharma, his opinion about the mRNA vaccines. He told me that he and all his family members and relatives have been vaccinated with mRNA vaccine. Even though the 95% or so protection claimed by the Pfizer and Moderna are based on relative reduced risk and the absolute reduced risk is about 1%, in a pandemic he said that means a lot of lives saved. I asked him if in 2-3 months most people are vaccinated and Covid cases are rare, would I even need to be vaccinated. He said the risk will be minimal at that point but there will still be a risk.

    Probably by the time I make my decision there will be almost no Covid cases to vaccinate against. LOL.
    oneperson and BloodMoon like this.
  15. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    TG957 likes this.
  16. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I don't think we are disagreeing here. When I say that conventional TMS trauma is mental, I mean that it originates in the brain, while impact from the virus occurs directly to the body, such as inflammation in the nerve endings, tissues etc. My own case of TMS is a good evidence of trauma that originated in the brain without any precipitating injury, but resulted in very physical, visible trauma to the body: swelling, muscle contraction, changes in the skin. It was very physical, yet generated by the sheer power of my brain.
    oneperson and avik like this.
  17. avik

    avik Well known member

    BloodMoon, thanks very much for this.
    He goes a bit more into detail here which I found very insightful and motivating.
    BloodMoon likes this.
  18. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    The covid long haul syndrome captures peoples attention easily because it's a pandemic, scary and unknown. This is the purpose of the mind body syndrome and hence the effective severity of the symptoms and the corresponding distraction from 'more dangerous' repressed emotions.
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  19. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    In addition to Ivermectin, there is an antidepressant that has also been effective. See this 60 Minute report.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fluvoxamine-antidepressant-drug-covid-treatment-60-minutes-2021-03-07/ (Finding a possible early treatment for COVID-19 in a 40-year-old antidepressant)
    BloodMoon likes this.
  20. avik

    avik Well known member

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