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Episode 068 – Dr Ro gets COVID! His personal experience, positive health habits, mindset approach, dealing with other peoples reactions, putting aside the ego, and more

Happy New Year Seekardo Show Supporters! 

Typically the first episode of any year will focus on how you can make this your best year ever. This year Dr Ro and Harminder are kicking the year of slightly differently. 

Although the New Year is a universally accepted demarkation of old and new. But what if this time of the year is disrupted? In the case of Dr Ro, that meant getting COVID.

So in this episode, Dr Ro shares with you his personal experience with COVID. As part of this conversation, you can extract learnings as to:

  • Positive health habits
  • Mindset around COVID
  • Using technology to monitor your health
  • Managing Stress
  • Managing Noise
  • Family Interactions
  • The importance of rest
  • Putting aside the ego

Including an alternative perspective that isn’t often heard in the media. 

Important information about this episode: The conversation and experiences shared are of personal nature. Nothing in this episode should be construed as medical advice. For all things concerning your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional.

Go ahead and listen to episode 068 now.

Episode Transcribe

Harms: Hello it’s Harms here and welcome to another episode of the Seekardo Show. 

At time of recording this is the first episode of 2022 and today’s going to be slightly unusual in the fact that we’re going to talk about. It’s an unusual topic at the start of the year; it’s not typically what somebody would talk about at the start of the year. 

It’s been an unusual two years because if we think back to 2019 when Covid struck the world and by the end of 2020 we thought this thing, Covid will be done and dusted. But here we are in 2022 and Covid still exists and the reason we want to talk about this particular subject, it may seem unusual for the start of the year is because Ro personally experienced Covid through the Christmas and holiday period. 

Why this is critical and important is we get tons of news and information about Covid and often it’s in the form of a headline and think of it in the circumstance of maybe a journalist or an interviewer interviewing somebody who has had Covid been extracting elements of the story, which tie into the narrative that they want to portray to the world. 

That could be a fear-based narrative that could be promoting something that the journalist or news company wants to promote and the challenge with that is, we only get a snippet of the whole story, we don’t get the entire context. 

So here Ro is to provide us the context. 

Happy New Year to our listeners and Seekardo show supporters.

Dr Ro: Following on from what Harminder just said there thank you for supporting us.

This is a really sensitive subject and I’m very, very aware that some of our listeners may have had family members that have experienced it. 

If you had a loss or a death in these last two years our hearts and our prayers go out to you and it’s not subject that we have talked about during this period in any depth, although we’ve had some great interviews we’ve brought on to talk maybe about how we can build immunity, like Rob and Mel.

Harms: Yes, how to set your body up so that you’re not just relying on a binary solution. 

There’s not one pill that can help solve all challenges and they came on and provided a host of ways that you can protect yourself.

Dr Ro: I think that’s been a really powerful part of what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years looking after my health but particularly these last two years and, of course, we’ve observed it. I’ve known friends that have experienced, had or whatever you call it contracted Covid and a bit of backdrop to this, I went into the back end of last year very intense as you know running events. 

I think I ran four events in a row from memory and an event for me is starting Thursday night and that pretty much goes non-stop through to Sunday, that coupled with a house renovation work being finished off and getting ready for my mum to come up who hasn’t been to our house for two years since. 

So long days and in all honesty some very late nights. And getting ready for what was going to be a cracking Christmas for the first time all the family together. Was my immune system lowered by that? 

100%, I actually believe it was I think I remember messaging you saying, I feel a bit knackered at that moment, which is kind of unusual for me because normally coming into the back end of the year, although I might be tired of things I feel pretty springy. 

I think the truth is that I hadn’t looked after myself as well as I could have done leading into that period, but my brain was telling me I’m going to have a break over Christmas. I then was invited to a few social events and one of them was probably about 50, 55 parents from the community and it was a Sunday night before Christmas. And then came off that I got back. My daughter was with me as well actually and she’s 13 so I believe that Savannah my daughter has had Covid prior. 

We think she got it around March 2020 before it really became public. We only discovered about two weeks later the symptoms they were describing in the media was exactly what my daughter, my fiancé and my youngest daughter had experienced as well, so Savannah came with me to that event.

Do you remember about the 22nd I was messaging you saying I’m putting tools down, I’m not going to do any more work, I’m knackered? 

I thought it was the lack of sleep from two social events, plus a pretty intense month of getting ready for my mum coming and an intense year and other stuff going on with the businesses I was having to juggle and I just had no get up and go. 

I think it was the 22nd/the 23rd. I didn’t have any Spring at all and I knew something wasn’t right. I was thinking it’s just I’m run down and there’s a thing clean burn and when I used to run the turning point events we used to do a section on health. It was about running your body clean, so putting good stuff into your body. 

Some people wake up feeling a little fuzzy, heavy in their heads that may be to do with diet too much sugar, your body is acidifying, maybe you’re overeating in certain types of food processed food, et cetera so clean burn is when you shift from all those, toxic food and environments to putting your body through a really pure clean. 

That process of eating consistently healthy allows you to have a body that is much more attuned to when it is off centre. I think that’s what I was feeling, I was feeling off centre, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It didn’t even occur to me I’ve just contracted Covid. 

To describe the feelings it was heaviness in my body, a slight feeling of fever, but not heavy. I’ve had flus in the past that was way worse than I went through these last couple weeks with Covid. It was just a feeling like I’m a bit run down, maybe I’m getting a bit of a cold. 

I think you even said to me it’s time to have a break. I have a thing called the Aura ring.

Actually when Covid launched they did a study along with Berkeley University decided that anyone wearing a ring if you wanted to opt in which I did do you it would take your sleep patterns, which includes your body temperature at night, your heart rate variability, your resting heart rate all those things restfulness, body movements. 

It monitors everything so during Covid they did a mass study on this to see anybody that had got it, they can actually see the change. 

My first indicator was my temperature, so my average body temperature sits at a certain level and it monitors if your body temperature goes above a certain level, and sure enough, the 23rd, 24th it spiked about one and half degrees higher than my normal body temperature and those two days I tested myself on the 24th with a flow test and it was positive. 

I was like I know you can get false positives et cetera so I did another test and a very strong positive again, you know what I knew it, in my body I had this feeling that I hadn’t had before and more than anything for me it was just fatigue. I just felt really tired. 

The temperature was at night, but not during the day, not that I was aware of, but just absolutely knackered to the point where if I tried to move too quickly I had to sit down. I’m 55, 56 in about a weeks’ time and generally I can move and my body dynamics is very mobile. 

I felt like I was wearing heavy boots and my brain was saying I want to do stuff, but my body just wasn’t and this thing had got hold of me by then. I don’t know what variant I had but then we started getting messages from friends that had been to the same party and they’re all having positive tests.

My first reaction was shit, I have to let my family know because I can’t have my mum coming up. Everyone has a different view to this, but she’s due to come up and we were looking at the 26th so we knocked it back to 26th and I thought, well, I don’t know how long this is going to last as they say 10 days. So I waited and this is just an honest reflection. 

I waited probably until the end of the day before I even messaged and I called my mum because I wasn’t sure how she was going to react because everyone’s reaction to Covid is so polar. Some people go into panic mode. Others are like yeah, just rest up. 

Everyone’s reactions are so different.

Harms: It’s either like you said, extremely relaxed and to the point where people are like, if it is a virus I want to get it, get the antibodies into my system and then you’ve got the other. If you listen to the podcast with Rob and Mel one of the big outcomes from that was there’s one element which is you just take personal risk assessments and underlying that is taking care of your health. 

Then you’ve got the extreme which is complete panic, complete fear driven by things we’ve discussed in many podcasts. 

What were you worried about? 

What was causing the delay in the message?

Dr Ro: My mum has come from a background of the older school thinking and she’s at an age where she was in that vulnerable category. She’s gone through experiences with kidney failure, heart failure. 

It’s been a very sensitive year for us, so she has been probably at that other end of the extreme we talked about, which is extremely sensitive to any external contact people for a period anyway. She is different now as we’ve come through this last year, we didn’t see her for a long time and I was concerned. 

She’s also a caring mother and went through the whole experience with my father when he died, so I just was nervous that she was going to react to me and then everyone else in the family and this is a strange thing is that there is a stigma that people still seem to be carrying with this thing we call Covid and yet when someone says I’ve got a cold or flu in the decades I’ve been alive it’s like just rest up. 

I know people talk about flu boosters for years. We don’t take them but this whole psychology around Covid is like set aside from everything else. I know it’s been extreme and there’ve been some really tragic experiences with it, but then there has been the flu. 

I had somebody years ago I knew that got the flu developed into bronchitis and sadly passed away in their late 30s and yet that has been going on for years and still does. 

So for me it was a difference in association if I phoned up my mum and I said I’ve got the flu she would have said, rest up maybe we shouldn’t come up for a week. 

Whereas this time it’s like okay it’s the C word and it’s not cancer it’s Covid. So I hesitated and finally rang her and explained it and there was kind of a silence and she said how are you feeling? 

I said I feel tired and said just be careful and then the fear thing came in. I read this and my biggest concern is that even when talking to people in the family, the family filter is the media in our case. 

On the phone, the news, so depending on how much emphasis you place on that and when I talk to somebody that is weighted towards what they’ve heard, which is fear type information their reaction has been very different to others. 

My actual personal mindset was I’m going to look after my system and allow this thing to go through my body which I have done for 56 years and I’ve built up immunity and various other areas in my life, I just figured I’m going to see this through and we self-isolated. No one else in the family developed it, bearing in mind that the other three we believe had it back in March 2020 in my mind that makes sense. 

My daughter, who is 13, was at the same party along with a bunch of other kids that were some of them got it, but she didn’t get it.

Harms: I don’t want to act as a scientist here, but do some fact-finding on some information on natural immunity around Covid. It’s fascinating and what you’re saying Ro will start to make sense to the listeners.

Because one of the challenges is if we misunderstand natural immunity you may have isolated yourself in a room or went to an extreme of going to a hotel and that’s what some people have been doing, they left their family home rightly or wrongly depends on the information they’ve heard and they’ve just booked a hotel for a couple weeks.

That would have been a different Christmas  I would imagine.

Dr Ro We just locked ourselves in the house and we just stayed in the house. The thing is it was Christmas to some extent we were chilling anyway.

One of things I want to mention is the reaction of others and the fear of somebody and we’ve heard this from Mel on the podcast as well. 

The fear that somebody else can place upon you adds to the anxiety and I think if you were to say Harms if you got Covid what would concern you about telling your friends and family and publicly announcing it or whatever, it would be how well can I protect myself mentally and physically from the stress and anxiety placed on me by other people’s fear. 

That as we know could have prolonged your  recovery, could have made it worse. There was that little glimmer of it with my mum as you just talked about how I handle that conversation. Within all families you get polar differences of opinion we have done for years with our family, et cetera and my brothers have a different view to me on things and that’s fine because we are family.

The challenge is when it comes to the surface and then it becomes a magnified conversation and for me it was just like, I’ve had so many illnesses over the years as a human being, because that’s who we are. We come into contact especially as a professional speaker, sometimes I’m in front of thousands of people. 

To me my immune system has had that bounce. If you asked Dr Ro 10 years ago if I got ill I might say shit, but I look after my health. He is always healthy and vital but he’s ill that reaction came from a few people, like oh it’s finally got you Ro. Like shit he never gets ill type reaction, but the truth is, if I haven’t experience a virus in my life then my body doesn’t know how to have an immunity to it, but this is my personal experience of my own illnesses over the years, so I didn’t see it as a weakness in me.  

There’s a part of me that went, finally I’ve got Covid like I’ve had flu in the past. I’m going to start to develop the relationship with that in my body at a cellular level, and that’s how I approached it. 

I didn’t have any ego stuff attached to it, which I think probably in my youth I might have done, certainly if you go back ten, 15 years ago when I was really getting into learning to build my health and be much more consciously aware of it, as opposed to just doing it. compared to the illnesses that my father had I grew up into that whole how can I make myself healthier? But you’re right I didn’t get into this thing about allowing the concerns about other people. 

So when people said how are you doing, how was Christmas? 

There were two conversations I could have had one was everything’s fine and ignored it completely. Or just said we’re having a great Christmas, I’ve got Covid but we’re just riding it out and that was the conversation I had with people and I just kept it like that. At no point did I feel my stress levels go up at all over this I’ve been more stressed over stuff to do with my business, whereas this was just like I have to ride it out. 

The only thing I was very conscious of was making sure that I was taking and doing certain things whereas people at Christmas slack a little bit and have a drink, there was a very set of specific things I continued to take but I doubled on many and added a few extras as well over that period.

Harms: That leads nicely into, did you take any supplements? 

I think the personal caveat would be you have to seek medical advice. Both myself and Ro we’ve done blood tests, we’ve been personally advised on our body type and make up what to take and we take stuff at our own risk and our own experimentation if you like.

Dr Ro: The first thing was sleep and that was something that I resisted because it’s Christmas I want to be up with the kids et cetera et cetera and the first day I fought the sleep. 

When I felt really knackered and drained, what I would say personally is if you go through the experience of Covid and you suddenly feel drowsy and tired, which I didn’t on the first day, Harms just went to bed. 

I stayed up and that was a mistake because I felt really knackered going through and what I should’ve done was given up to it, which I did the next couple days. So during the course of the day, the 24th, 25th, 26th when I felt drained coming I got into bed and put Calm on which is an app I use a lot and just wrapped up and just slept. 

The kids left me alone and I let myself sleep until I woke up to the point where I want to get out of bed now. Also massively hydrating. 

So just drinking lots of clean water throughout the day and salted water. 

Celtic sea salt usually takes two, three pinches of that in a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon. That’s a little bit like a hydration pack for me. I usually have that every night as well, but that is something I did a lot of because the problem is I found with Covid was as I was drained, I couldn’t even be bothered at times to get up and do the things I would normally do like wanting to drink water, so I forced myself. 

I also drank a lot of hot teas, herbal teas, particularly pine needle tea. 

There’s a couple of natural immunity ones that we take, but the main thing was just having some warm drinks as well and just having them by the bed just constantly sipping. I ended up sitting down. I had more screen time this Christmas than I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t even sit and read consciously. 

It was apathy, like a weird sense of apathy which I’m not used to and I just thought just don’t do anything Ro, that was the resting process. Ginger shots. We buy it now squeezed in a bottle. It’s great when you take ginger you really feel it cleanses your system. It’s also good for your gut as well because that the whole chemistry that goes on in there is so important to how you maintain your immune system and keep it up. 

So for me that’s really important to take. Apple cider vinegar as well. So in the morning I was taking that, so my morning routine and it was this morning is I’ll have water with salts in it, and then switch to an immunity type-tinctures most mornings and an extra one for Covid as well. 

Then I have my good green stuff, that was every single morning as well. Then in terms of supplements vitamin D I was taking 6000 UIs. Zinc as a supplement as well as nucleotides, they’re to do with cell regeneration. Vitamin C high doses 5 to 6000 mg I was taking and oregano and thyme. It’s the tincture form you just drop into water and oregano is a really strong anti-virulent type it gets into the blood system.

Harms: If you have oregano in this form you’ll know, it’s potent.

Dr Ro: Capsules as well. I did it in the tincture form, then I started taking and I have to say this is the first time I’ve done it in this combination an immunity tincture that was recommended by a good friend of mine. It’s a combination of Echinacea, it also has Ligusticum. They come from flowers and another one is Shisandra, it comes from North China. 

It’s basically a berry extracted into a tincture is really punchy again very, very potent. In the past we’ve taken these separately but a friend of mine was like you get this as one combination it’s like an immunity buster and I take 10,15, 20 drops of this in water and again it has this amazing process of cleansing through the body. It also includes an astragalus which is from Mongolia, originally and goldenseal as well, so it’s got a lot of good stuff. 

Added to that just the normal routine of going to the toilet, allowing the body to detox and that’s still going on at the moment even though it’s been two and a half weeks. I would say that process just became habitual to me. 

It was just adding extras in there and getting tight on the sleeping routine as well.

Harms: How do you feel now?

Dr Ro: That’s a good question. 

First of all to finish off the story because when I started to feel better, which genuinely in my head seriously was probably three days after testing positive. 

So my head started to get better clarity wise but my body still felt like it was laggy and I actually made the mistake of going out into the garden and moving stuff around took stuff up to the fire and clearing things out and doing some raking and man within about an hour I came back in house and I was fucked. 

What I realised was although mentally I was coming out of it still this thing was in my body and I needed to let it get through me and my PA Nicky messaged me saying stop it because that could prolong it, because by doing that it raises your heart rate and the immune system goes all over the place. 

Fast forward a week into it I’m now able to start to do things and I wasn’t feeling so laggy, but there was still a lag there, so I just decided to let it ride itself out and I had pretty much two weeks of doing fuck all, but my sense of clarity is I feel really vibrant. I don’t have any sense of lagging, in my chest I went for a long walk yesterday and felt a little bit tight in my chest, but that could also be because it’s like zero degrees as well. I haven’t had heavy or any of those symptoms I know other people described and it might be a different variant, but also I do think looking after myself just consistently over the years for decades and then also through this not allowing myself to have sugary stuff. 

The overall food was clean food, lots of green veg, no sticky, starchy, anything like that. Psychologically there were conversations with various friends and people and there were people that you can just tell are fear driven. 

They just ask, how are you doing? Are you through this yet?

There were definitely two schools of conversations that are like yeah we’re just resting up now, fancy meeting up in a couple weeks?

Harms: The people who went to the party that also got Covid how did they bounce back?

Dr Ro: The host sent a message to us just yesterday to say we’re just coming through the back end of it now, does Savannah want to hook up to have a playdate with the daughters? Their psychology is very much to look after ourselves, ride it out, stay healthy, build immunity, et cetera. 

For me that’s been my experience. 

Now I’m not saying it wouldn’t be something for somebody else but I think definitely going back to your first point, the most important was the psychology of going into this was I’m just going to do everything I can to look after my body and I’m not going to feel fearful about this. 

I went online to read the different variants going around when I got it to see what the media was saying and I started reading articles about people my age that were seriously ill, passing away and is I thought well, I don’t know if I want to read something that may psychologically make me go shit, should I be worried? 

Because actually I’ve just always believed that if I do everything I teach and practice I look after myself and I stay in a positive mindset. I will be the best person to judge at some point.

Maybe I need to go and take this down a different path now and go and seek intervention. I didn’t need to do that.

Harms: What’s interesting is if you are ill or even in day-to-day life and you read that headlines like man in 50 passes away from this variant.

Dr Ro: Another one I read last year was man 55, went for a run, I’ve not done any exercise for two years and had a heart attack. 

Again being careful what I say but my mum is the sort of person if I go I’m going to do this, she’ll say be careful son, remember you’re not as young as you used to be. It’s that fear that is sometimes there in people and it’s just built into the nature and I know it is caring and loving people from a mum, it’s that protective nature and we do it with our children I guess, but I’ve just never come from that space. 

If I want something I’m not going to allow a physiological or an emotional or age-related thing to suddenly label me to say, you’ve got to be careful but I’m mindful that I recover less than I used to, I have a few aches and pains in my body from old injuries.

These are things that have come with age and injury but I just go right, how do I overcome that?

 What in my mindset can I do to remind my body that I can heal but secondly what are the actions that I can proactively take rather than be fear driven and just react to make myself as healthy and vibrant as possible. 

Not to say I’m perfect as I do get run down, I do get ill occasionally, I do get injuries. But I feel really engaged.

Harms: You don’t look like you’ve had  Covid or at least the perception of what somebody looks like. Outside that it is the same Ro it. 

I can see the clarity in the eyes.

Dr Ro: I think that’s a good pint, you do see it in the eyes. There are other things you can do. There’s a gentleman near us that does some really amazing work with oxygen hydrogen therapy and he’s been working with people post Covid who had the Delta variant and then some great stuff just helping them breathe better. 

This is more a message about I think anything that hits us in life is about adversity. Whether it’s a virus, an illness or something that happens in the family and these things happen I think it’s how we approach it.

Harms: Two things I’ve taken away just off the back of that is for people listening is just encouraging them to focus on their health and do it consistently. 

It is extremely hard to do and easier said than done, but I think it is an important message that of course it’s going to be personal to you Ro because you’ve done it for decades. You’ve always had health as one of your core values and things like this will enter your system but your work in harmony with them and then you move on and I think that’s the key. 

The final one is why I was excited about this podcast you said you wanted to share it provides context provides a different story around Covid, because what does feature in the media is people who have passed away and that doesn’t help the stress and the fear that everyday people who have Covid, the thousands and thousands and they just move on.

Dr Ro: I know friends of mine that listen to this podcast who have lost parents during these last two years. I have a very dear friend whose mum was actually already not well, prior and contracted Covid in the past but she doesn’t assign it to that, in her mind mum was already on that path and was likely to not last the year out anyway. I think that’s the challenge when we have these conversations. 

It’s about what we associate with it and so for me it’s still a sensitive subject as I have got friends that have had the experience of having a lot of pain. 

Our view on this podcast is that we have to walk into life with just constantly dealing with challenges in a way that we can become as better human beings, being grateful for the choices we have whichever way you choose to go in life, but then also knowing that you can change your mind about things as well. 

I have got friends that have had a very strong view over the last 12, 18 months, but now are starting to question that view and starting to really think differently about how they look after their health. 

You talked about going and researching how the body develops immunity and that’s another area that people should go and do as well, but I guess anybody listening to this is we’ve had a year of a lot of information thrown at us from different walks of life and maybe 2022 is a good opportunity to start to listen to the information ask yourself the question, is it sensible? 

Does it make sense if it does great if it doesn’t then don’t be afraid to go and research other alternative messages. 

Don’t be afraid of that and listen to your body and I think that’s the big message here.

Harms: I want to thank you for sharing the experience. It’s in the everyday walk of life now, but the fear doesn’t necessarily go away if anything people may be going into 2022 thinking this thing is still here and I’m still terrified. 

So hopefully everyday stories are not to say be relaxed but put emphasis on your health.

Dr Ro: Go and seek medical advice where you think it’s appropriate and necessary and had it got to a point where I needed to that I would have.

Harms: Thanks for sharing that Ro. 

That’s myself and Ro signing off will see you on the next episode.

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