Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT - Episode 21
Post-Covid and Perimenopause
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT - Episode 21
Post-Covid and Perimenopause
In this episode, Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT talks about Post-Covid and Perimenopause: How women in their 40's can recover from Long Haul Covid
Dr. Jessica Drummond is the CEO of The Integrative Women’s Health Institute and best-selling author of Outsmart Endometriosis and Clinician to Coach. She holds licenses in physical therapy and clinical nutrition and is a board-certified health coach. She has 20 years of experience working with women with chronic pelvic pain, facilitates educational programs for women’s health professionals in more than 60 countries globally, and leads virtual wellness programs for people with endometriosis. Dr. Drummond lives and works with her husband and daughters between Houston, Texas, and Fairfield, Connecticut.
Learn more about Jessica Drummond at https://integrativewomenshealthinstitute.com
Here’s a free gift from Jessica Drummond: https://integrativewomenshealthinstitute.com/immunedrinks/immunedrinksoi
For more information about Dr. Evan and his programs, go to https://www.fixyourfatigue.com
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Evan Hirsch, MD 0:00
Hello and welcome to the fix your fatigue podcast. Whether you can't get out of bed in the morning, your energy crashes throughout the day, or you're a bio hacker looking to optimize your energy, productivity and focus. This podcast is for you. I am Dr. Evan Hirsch. And I will be your host on your journey to resolving fatigue and optimizing your energy. And we'll be interviewing some of the top leaders in the world on the team resolution. Welcome.
Hey, everybody, welcome back to another episode of the fixture fatigue podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. So I'm really excited about whom we're speaking with, I should say who we're speaking with Today, we're gonna be talking with my friend Jessica Drummond. So Dr. Jessica Drummond is the CEO of the integrative Women's Health Institute, and best selling author of outsmart endometriosis and clinician to coach. She holds licenses in physical therapy and Clinical Nutrition. And as a Board Certified health coach, she has 20 years of experience working with women with chronic pelvic pain facilitates educational programs for women's health professionals in more than 60 countries globally, and leads virtual wellness programs for people with endometriosis. Dr. Drummond lives and works with her husband and daughters between Houston Texas, and Fairfield, Connecticut. Jessica, thanks so much for joining me today.
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 1:25
Thanks for having me. It's my pleasure.
Evan Hirsch, MD 1:28
So today, we're going to be talking about a little bit about your experience long COVID. The title of the talk is post COVID and perimenopause, how women in their 40s can recover from long haul COVID. So let's start off with your experience. Tell us a little bit about what happened.
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 1:46
Yeah, so I got COVID in mid December from my daughter, my 17 year old and she I was taking care of her I we had her pretty isolated but you know, when you're a mom, you can't just totally isolate your 17 year old for weeks and never check them. So I definitely checked her and, you know, broader food and whatnot. And, you know, always mast and everything. But you know, it's impossible to be completely avoided. But she recovered. Well, you know, I, we all were very, our whole family was very vitamin D rich. And you know, we eat really clean and taking all the supplements, zinc and quercetin and fish oil and everything for months. We had we were prepared with antiviral herbs. And we did all of that. And she responded well, and she was pretty much better within you know, four or five days, she never even really miss school because she was digital learning. During that time, actually this some of them still are. She still is. And then I thought I skated by, you know, I really wasn't sick for two weeks. And then we all read, or she and I retest. I was negative when she was positive. And then we retested a week and a half later, and I was positive in the ret, my husband and other daughter were negative. They never got it, which is amazing and great. And I had just a mild cough for a couple days. And then, you know, had one day where I was like, oh, okay, I'm sick. Like, I've went to sleep like you would with a bad cold flu situation, whatever headache, all that. And, you know, then I thought, Okay, well, that was probably December like 812 like 20th. And I was talking to some friends of mine who had had COVID who were not as healthy as me by any stretch, and they're like, you're gonna be fine by Christmas. No big deal. Well, Christmas morning, I actually the night before, the night before two nights before the timeline is a little fuzzy now. I woke up in the middle the night with a resting heart rate of like 150. And I thought maybe I'm just anxious, whatever. I calmed it down. And then was okay. And then Christmas morning I woke up and it was as if like, I was breathing tar. I couldn't I just couldn't breathe. It was just like, couldn't breathe. Now it's Christmas morning. I don't have a primary care doctor because I haven't been sick and 20 years. My gynecologist retired, you know, I don't really want to go to the ER because it's the middle of December in Connecticut. And you're like, I don't want to go to the hospital unless you're dying, but you're kind of dying. So I fortunately have a lot of friends who are doctors and several of them have been doing telehealth COVID work for my you know, months at that point. So I texted some people and one of them called me in a steroid. So my daughter went to pick that up and I started taking that and you know calming things down. I was able to breathe better. But still, two nights later, I was still resting heart rate 120s to 140s you know, pulse ox barely 95 really struggling. So I went to the ER, and they did everything I have to say, when I getting there was stressful that, you know, people show up in your house in the whole suit. But once we got there, they were ready. And you know, everyone was geared up, of course, but they rolled out blood clots, and, you know, pneumonia and everything very fast. And as it turns out, really, I was just the hydrated.
And who knows, like what else was going on. But that was the core thing, it was able to settle down. And then the next night, the same thing happened. And I went back because I tried to breathe through it for two or three or four hours. And it was like I can't, I'm running out of energy. It's like, when you're delivering your baby and you think like, I'm not gonna live through this, like, I can't, I don't have any more energy. So I went back and then that night, I was having more esophageal spasms, which they thought was kind of a side effect, like a GI side effect on most of the steroids. So who knows, but after those two really rough nights, things started at least I was like, out of the woods, like I wasn't, you know, getting worse from a breath standpoint. But then I didn't get really get better. So I went to it again, I didn't have a doctor. So my husband had, you know, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner that he'd seen once or twice in the regular like medical system near us. We live in Connecticut. So it was like the yell hospital system. So I went to see her about a week later. And I was like, you know, I had COVID but now I'm like, alive and I don't seem to be like I was out of the 14 days the ER doctor said you're kind of out of the woods, but I'm not really better. I'm still struggling to breathe, I still have a lot of chest pain. I had a lot of really weird squeezing arm pain felt like there were needles and are really more like nails in my hands, pain in my legs. All of like this cardiovascular stuff. And so she immediately put me on high dose ibuprofen like 800 milligrams around the clock and she scheduled me for an echo and sent me to a cardiologist who saw me like to like the next day or two days later, I did the echo within that week. They ruled out again, blood clots, tested my D dimer opponent all that was normal, and basically diagnosed me with COVID post COVID pericarditis, which they both said, super common post COVID and tends to be in the healthier people, people who are more fit. So crossfitters runners, people who are heavier exercisers. One theory is that you have more Ace to receptors in your heart and lungs if they're more fit. So, and or you know, so that may be the issue. The other thing I've later learned is, you know, COVID definitely triggers autoimmunity. Even people who didn't have autoimmunity, I had no autoimmune conditions before, but this could also be some kind of autoimmune pericarditis, vasculitis, a lot of burning pain in my arms, vessels, stuff like that. So I think the underlying causes a little both of those things. It's like an inflammation from the COVID but it's also an autoimmune inflammation. So that's been the long haul kind of part of it. And then the other thing that I've experienced in that is a lot of dysautonomia, so I can't really shower and dry my hair because I'll be too, too wiped, like I can't stand up, I get dizzy. I get a lot of changes in pain and pressure in my head and stuff like that. We went skiing in Vermont, well, I wasn't skiing, obviously. But we went to Vermont my kids were skiing and just driving up that mountain. Like was like spasm is in all the vessels and which and I and I wake up in the middle of the night which I'm not 100% sure yet is not this. I was thinking it was sleep apnea because my pulse ox drops into the 80s periodically at night still and I'm so it may be sleep apnea, but it also seems to be possibly dysautonomia because I have like tachycardia. Still it's not as bad as it was but a couple times at night and that's where I was thinking maybe related to perimenopause because it's definitely exacerbated and maybe even triggered by hot flashes.
Evan Hirsch, MD 9:55
Interesting. So that the hot flashes are potentially triggering the COVID
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 10:01
well not triggering triggering the COVID but triggering the dysautonomia. So I think at this point and even, like months ago, so now we're three and a half months out. I don't really feel like I have acute COVID I don't think I still even have COVID, although there's some theory that that's possible. And I've definitely seen in clinic, people who have had triggered things like Epstein Barr, you know, things like that. But in my case, it seems to be an auto immune inflammation or a COVID related inflammation like the immune system never turned off. And again, another reason why it might be more common and people who were healthier, like the stronger your immune system, there's some level of too strong.
Evan Hirsch, MD 10:49
Yeah, I'm one of those people actually, I saw the study on with a four months after somebody was after they were diagnosed with COVID, acute COVID. And they were asymptomatic four months later, and they did intestinal biopsies, and 50% of those people still had live virus in the intestinal lining. And so and those are asymptomatic individuals, so people who didn't have symptoms, right, so I'm thinking that those long haulers, it may mean, that's the next study, right? Is that to see how many of those long hollers do and I would imagine that the percentage would be higher? If not 100%?
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 11:25
For sure, I mean, maybe the virus is still there and activating the immune system and or it's an autoimmune kind of trigger for the immune system, I think. I think there's a lot more research that needs to be done. And interestingly, yesterday, I did meet with a colleague and naturopathic colleague of mine, and we reviewed my gut microbiome, which is super weird now, like, like, 00? Gosh, what's the name of this species? Akkermansia, that the one that makes a lot of mucus, so a good Keystone, you know, zero, overgrowth of lactobacillus like, but a lot of like weird variations that you don't normally see even in people who just have like, dysbiosis I don't have any gut symptoms, never had any gut symptoms. usually have just fine microbiome, you know, but definitely the COVID did something to my microbiome.
Evan Hirsch, MD 12:25
So then what got you to so you're better than you were, we're still having some issues. What have you tried so far?
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 12:33
So I think the thing that's helped the most so far is first just aggressively in early treating the pericarditis. So started with ibuprofen pretty quickly added culture scene with like, in the first week. And then Personally, I have a blood type of Oh, I do better genetically. And, you know, just know this about myself with a more Paleo Food plan. So I've been essentially grain free in the beginning days, I was not as super strict about that. You know, occasionally ate a little rice or a little corn, but I noticed I did like Super Bowl Sunday night, a little corn. And immediately the lung, breath stuff came back a few weeks later, ate a little bit of rice. It was like someone poured hot fire and all of my vessels that night. So it was fairly obvious that grains were not helping me. So I've totally eliminated that. But I've eaten very high antioxidant, clean protein, super clean food plan, sleep. I think the other thing is, this is not something you can like exercise yourself out of like no working out, essentially at all. I couldn't even walk more than, you know, 200 feet when I first had this and even now half a mile Max, you know what it's like 30 to 45 minute mile pace. really slow, you know, walking is kind of my you know, right before I got COVID I was doing HIIT interval classes and stuff like I was skiing, I was hiking up ski mountains. I haven't done anything but walk very slowly for three months and I think that's really important. Like the body really needs to heal, you can't exercise out of this. And then a lot of antioxidant supplements and anti core certain particularly because with the goal of healing the lining of the vessels, I think that my vascular epithelium was hit particularly hard. So I've done really pretty high doses of course in that whole time I've done fish oil and spms and resveratrol which is really good for my particular genetics. What else you know Tumeric curcumin today, I actually did a So I'm trying to just come off the culture scene now, which is fairly obvious how nicely it's been lowering my pain. The moment I stopped taking it, I was like, Oh, this is what it feels like to be in withdrawal. So, but I did IV glutathione today, which actually was really helpful. But I haven't done a lot of that. But you know, as a bridge, the other thing that's worked well as a bridge when I was coming off the ibuprofen was CBD oil as a tincture. And you know, just tons of sleep, I go to bed every night between eight and 930. I sleep as much as I can all the time. And the other thing that's helped a lot is acupuncture for the dysautonomia, that and a lot and I was even doing this. Acupuncture has been more recent, maybe the last three, four weeks. But even while I was acute second, just sitting in isolation, I was doing a lot of breathwork mindfulness practices, gentle movement, really like four or five, six times a day. And I've continued to do that. And I think that's been very helpful for minimizing the effect of the dysautonomia because we're seeing a lot of pots in our clinic and much more severe dysautonomia than I've experienced, and I never got any brain symptoms, no loss of taste, or smell, no brain fog, things like that.
Evan Hirsch, MD 16:38
Interesting. Yeah, it's so interesting how people present with all sorts of different symptoms. And most of the time, the more mild cases seem to progress on to long hollers. So you talked a little bit about pericarditis. And so for people in the audience who don't know what that is, can you talk a little bit about what that is? And what were those specific symptoms that you were having.
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 17:04
So it was a lot of chest pain for me, I couldn't tolerate laying on my back, I still can't really but I'm, that's improving difficulty breathing my pulse ox, which normally is easily 99, you know, just, you know, oxygen saturation of the blood was hovering it 9596 for a while, you know, elevated heart rate, sometimes palpitations, I didn't really have any, like arrhythmia, but that's you could have cardiac arrhythmia. And what it is, is an inflammation essentially, of the lining around the heart. And, you know, it was a fairly intense symptom when I was first coming out of the COVID. And as you said, like, you know, I was never hospitalized, I had two nights in the ER, and really, I only had like three or four acutely rough days. But then it was, you know, kind of got worse after that for a couple of weeks, until they really figured out what's going on.
Evan Hirsch, MD 18:09
And then the culture scene was helping with which pain in particular was at that pericardial pain.
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 18:15
Yeah, I was prescribed particularly for that. And it did. And it did help with the vascular pain. Although not it's obviously that lasted a lot longer. And even last night, when I was coming off it. I mean, there was a point where I woke up in the middle the night with a hot flash, and it was, again back to as if somebody poured, you know, gasoline in my vessels. The I actually the acupuncture has helped with that the most but I think healing under it has been the quesiton the resveratrol, a lot of the like antioxidants over time. It wasn't like any of those things, change the symptoms immediately. But having done them now for four months pretty, you know, at therapeutic levels pretty consistently, I mean, literally every day and eating a very antioxidant, dense and low, low inflammatory food plan. You know, over time, I feel like things are healing if that makes sense.
Evan Hirsch, MD 19:15
Yeah, definitely sounds like it. And so you were talking about hot flashes. Were you having hot flashes before this?
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 19:21
So what's interesting is yes, so I'm 46 I'll be 47 in a couple weeks and I occasionally have hot flashes. You know, I was sort of starting the decline of perimenopause, you know, longer cycle longer time between cycles and things like that. And that's been going on for a couple of years off and on you know, I but I was taking very good care of it. I was really supporting my HPA axis and all of that but I got COVID during my luteal phase so the second half of the cycle when the hormones are lowest, and never got my period back for like 60 days, and then it came back once pretty light. And that's all I've had so far. So the hot flashes have definitely intensified in the last six weeks, they've sort of come back it was almost like nothing. It was like, it just threw me into menopause. I had nothing, no symptoms, no period, nothing for during the acute COVID and then maybe four to six weeks after that, but then it started coming back and definitely the hot flashes seem to align with the heart arrhythmia. So they're, they're sort of feeding each other in some way. And again, I think that's more related to dysautonomia, then really a heart issue at this point.
Evan Hirsch, MD 20:44
Yeah, I would agree with that. And so then, what is your plan at this point? Do you, you know, for hot flashes? Yeah.
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 20:55
So, you know, now I'm back to sort of just supporting HPA axis hormonally. I feel like in some ways, it's a positive sign like the hormones are coming back online a little bit. I've been doing more maka, I've been taking a lot of adaptogens you know, for the last several months, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Tolsey, things like that. And I really feel like it's just about support of the HPA axis. A lot of sleep, a lot of time for recovery, I've in the last two months, I get accepted that this is going to take a lot longer than anything else I've ever experienced in my life. So I'm changing like I'm streamlining and cutting back my work a lot with the intention of doing that for at least the next three to six months like give myself a lot more time to heal than I would have originally anticipated. You know adaptogens and and I think the other thing is just knowing that I'm in perimenopause, but that I can use all those hormones supportive techniques to also calm the dysautonomia. So acupuncture is helping a lot. The minute you know, the mindfulness practices, cold showers I've started doing. And at night, sometimes I literally just kind of put like cold packs on me, you know when it flares up. But cold showers is a more regular practice with the breathwork. So things like that, that really tone the nervous system, Vegas nerve, and support recovery. I think the biggest problem for people with long haul COVID is that it's so underappreciated of how long it takes to really heal it. It's a very like it to me, it feels more like an injury than an illness. It's like someone injured my cardiovascular system and my autonomic nervous system. And it feels more like a recovery rehab a recovery in that way. But it's not when you can push. It's not like an orthopedic rehab, where it's like, okay, push that knee a little further this time. It's like, you almost have to like downshift it for a while.
Evan Hirsch, MD 23:19
Huh? Yeah, that makes sense. It's good analogy. Yeah, and the reason why I'm asking about hot flashes is because it reminds me of what happens when someone has any sort of stressful event. Like, oftentimes women can get thrown into Paramount applause or men applause, whether it's a car accident, whether it's a divorce, whether it's, you know, loss of a loved one, whatever it is, or an infection, right, it's just stressful on the body, it up ends the adrenals and the thyroid and the sex hormones and and that's one of the reasons why people are losing their hair and are getting thyroid symptoms and, and the dysautonomia a lot of times is kind of adrenal stuff as well. So I'm glad that you brought that up, because I think that you're absolutely right, all those things that you're doing are great. And it's a good example of how those hormones are so dependent on each other, and how important it is that all of them are well supported. You know, like for sure, there's thyroid issues or sex hormone issues, like they all need to be well supported in order for everybody to work well.
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 24:25
100% and I think that comes with nutrient sufficiency. You know, it was hard to eat for a while I've one of the things I've noticed with my patients with COVID. So many of them lose weight so fast. You know, the younger ones, especially my daughter who's 17 and a lot of our endometriosis clients, in their late teens early 20s quickly lose 1015 pounds and not necessarily weight that they should lose. So I've seen a lot of that and then I personally experienced like, it's just you just don't really feel like eating like everything. hurts and you know, you can't breathe when you're too full. So getting nutrient sufficiency, I think is important rest and recovery. My thyroid, luckily seems to be pretty resilient. But anyone who might have an underlying autoimmune thyroid issue or just, you know, kind of creeping up their TSH, this would be a vulnerable stressor, I think it's exactly right. And it's one that takes a lot to recover from, what I've noticed is really important is that my nervous system is very weak, for lack of a lack of a better term, I'm not I'm very intolerant of stress, mild stress, things that wouldn't rattle me before, I'm a pretty chill person. It's not that I'm emotionally rattled, necessarily, but it's like my nervous system is rattled, I had to notice like I can't. And it's and again, this is very frustrating for people that are trying to a lot of the people I know who have COVID long COVID are healthcare professionals and are trying to go back to work, but don't have the emotional and nervous system bandwidth to tolerate really any stress. And then when you layer on that there's there's a lot of gaslighting around this, you know, it's not that big of a deal. It's not that common, it's, you know, it's just fatigue. It's just psychosocial. It's really not, it's a very physical experience, I would say it's actually more physical than almost anything else I've experienced. When it comes to illness, which might have some psychosocial component, I feel like this is actually very physical, it's very autonomic nervous system. And when your autonomic nervous system doesn't have that resilience, it's hard to handle the emotional stressors.
Evan Hirsch, MD 26:50
That makes sense. Can you talk a little bit about the autonomic nervous system just for those who aren't familiar?
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 26:57
Yeah, so the autonomic nervous system essentially has two phases, your parasympathetic, which is that phase, you want to be in calming, healing, recovering what we call rest and digest, and biology one on one, and then the sympathetic nervous system that gets you geared up and awake and fight or flight. So what I feel like the recovery for this involves is spending as much diligent time in rest Rajat, rest, digest, recover, he'll repair. And that takes a lot of work, but can easily be sort of knocked into fight or flight. So something simple like, I don't know, your kid comes run again, like with an announcement, like, you'd be like, okay, normally you're like, Okay, wait just a second. It's like, what, you know, you get like, easily startled, popped and startled, popped into that sympathetic nervous system. So that's the kind of underlying nervous system that we're not, it's not really under active control. It's not like your cognition. It's not your intelligence, your brain function. It's more your response to stimuli of any kind. And so these practices of cold showers and breathwork and slow breathing and mindfulness, keep me moving into that parasympathetic nervous system state so I can recover, you know, spending time in nature, things like that, which, you know, was a little tough in the middle of the winter in Connecticut, but it's getting easier now.
Evan Hirsch, MD 28:35
Imagine, yeah, so then, so is there any good news in all of this? Is it just a slog? You know, have you learned anything? That's, that's been interesting, you know, do you? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? What do you think?
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 28:51
Um, I think compassionately for a lot of people, it's just a slog, because it's, so there's so little known about it, that it can be it can feel very disheartening, because it's very slow. Personally, I feel like I'm starting to understand it. And I think that will shift over time, but starting to understand it enough, at least in my own experience, and that of some of my patients, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I think the key though, is that it's still going to be a few more months. And having that time perspective is also helpful because, you know, as a person who was very healthy before I got COVID, I wasn't walking around in fear. We were very, you know, we live in a place that doesn't have a lot of mask arguments or anything like that. The kids were home, we were home, I worked from home. It wasn't really very dramatic. And in fact, last summer was kind of nice and relaxing. In fact, most of last year because I didn't have to travel every weekend for work and we live near the beach, you It was very relaxed. And then you know, winter was a little stressful. And that's, of course, when it started spreading because of the kids, the teenagers went inside. So only so much you could do about that. And there's arguments of not to write, you know, what we had to protect their mental health as well. But it was not, you know, I, it's my expectation was, if we get COVID, we're well prepared. We're very healthy, we've been preparing for a long time, all of us have great, vitamin D, and all of that. And so to come out of it, you know, and then weeks and weeks and weeks come by where it's hard to know if you're ever going to come out of this. It's very disheartening. And I certainly have seen cases that are much worse than my experience. But I would say that I'm starting to see intellectually as a clinician, this is fascinating. And experiencing, it helps me to have a level of compassion that I think is really needed, that it's many things, it's it's layers of things. So for me, we had to deal with the acute inflammation first. Now that uncovered some of the dysautonomia, you know, the inflammation is not totally gone. Dealing with the autoimmunity, it's piece by piece, but knowing what the pieces are, is helpful. And I think for functional medicine approach gives us that like, these pieces aren't wildly different from things that I've seen, it might take longer to recover from them from, you know, like, I've had I had epstein barr reactivation 20 years ago, 17 years ago. And, you know, once we knew what that was, and took just a few weeks, maybe two months to like, fully get back to normal. This is three to six to nine to 12 months to get back to pretty functional. And I think for many people that have paved the way for me, and it really helped me to understand this. They've personally been dealing with it for more than a year now, which is quite disheartening. But I do feel like I'm not stuck that I'm very glacially, but consistently making improvements and understanding those improvements over time. So you know, you've got these layers of things for some people, there's there's activation of other viruses, and they actually still seem quite sick, they still have fever, they have enlarged, painful spleens, where, as you said, they kind of still have COVID, which is interesting, several of the people that I know through, like professional groups of other people who have this who are health professionals, they're some of them got better when they got vaccinated. And that's such a fascinating thing, because that's not what you would expect if it was fully auto immune, right, like so that's been really interesting. There's like some kind of stickiness in the virus still being around, and it triggering other viral latent viruses like epstein barr, which a lot of people have that level of fatigue, that still illness sickness. There's a lot of brain fog, a lot of cognitive issues, which to me is probably something similar to the vascular issues I had like inflammation, but in a different Achilles heel. And then there's the layer of dysautonomia, which can be quite severe. I mean, some people can barely stand up, you know, that's problematic.
And then there was one other and then if you layer it on anything else you were dealing with like perimenopause, or if you had a pre existing You know, a lot of our clients have endometriosis had surgery had other autoimmune conditions. And then one other thing that happened in my case, which is I think, a curiosity for me, and I have an interesting, interesting research question about this. So I didn't I wasn't that sick for the first 10 910 days that I had this right. But I was isolated in my room in the winter in Connecticut, and I have a nice room but and with a bathroom and we have a deck off the back. But you know, I really didn't open it because it was 30 degrees. And I was running a humidifier because it was helping me it was just comfortable to breathe. But later and my when my husband came back in the room, he started having all these allergies. And we found out that there was mold growing on that sliding glass door which might not have happened until I was running humidifier for two weeks. And I think there may be some interaction between and then when I did an organic acids test on myself in my head Been, my husband had much worse, but I also had some mold markers. And we got rid of it. And then and then his symptoms immediately cleared up, which was interesting. And mine, actually my vascular pain Got a lot better within a week or two of that. And one of the number one predictors of, of death from COVID was having also pulmonary Aspergillus. So I feel like there might be some interaction because I, I, there's a lot of people who have long COVID that I know who live in beach towns, or who live in London, or who live in New York, like or live in Seattle, like places that are moldy, less in Idaho, and you know, Denver, like places that are dry, I would be really interested to see if there's some kind of interaction there.
Evan Hirsch, MD 35:56
Yeah, I think that's a really good point, because it's kind of like this, this barrel effect where you know, as we go through our lives, we're accumulating crap, or accumulating, accumulating all these toxins, heavy metals, chemicals, molds, allergies, negative emotional patterns, electromagnetic fields, like all this crap, and then you drop COVID on there. And sometimes it's the straw that broke the camel's back, where all of a sudden, you know, mitochondria gets dysfunctional and you get increased inflammation, and then, and then it hijacks the immune system, and then a bunch of these bugs can come out in place. So it's interesting that you were talking about how, you know, is this COVID? Or is this a reactivation of some other bug? Because I've had people that I've seen who It sure looks like bartonella, and we actually treat bartonella. And the bartonella symptoms get better, like was it from COVID was COVID, acting as a biofilm disruptor were the herbs that I were using, that I was using to get rid of bartonella also, because they're multifunctional, also getting rid of some of the COVID. You know, so it's, it's really curious. And then this effect that I call the whack a mole, where, you know, you go to the, the fair, and there's the different moles that are kind of popping up is, you know, what is the whack a mole effect happening here, where COVID is going into the the system and other bugs are popping out? You know, and so it's just a very interesting question. So oftentimes, you know, if I'm, if we're not getting success going after what we think to be COVID symptoms, then we sometimes we have to pivot, and we have to look at some of these other infections. Does that make sense?
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 37:27
Yeah. And that's why I think there has to be this kind of layered approach. I think, doing that is more hopeful, too, because you understand what you're looking at, at each level. And if you think of it as like, okay, we'll clear this out. And then let's see how you feel. Is there any improvement? And even if it's a little bit, I see I see that as a big win here, because I think COVID is a car crash of a stressor. Yeah. And so we see any progress? And I'm taking that is a win. Yeah.
Evan Hirsch, MD 38:03
Yeah. And so then, last, well, two last questions. But what are what are your next steps? Now? Do you feel like you're addressing everything and it's just going to take time? Or is there anything new that you feel like that you need to do that maybe you haven't been addressing at this point.
Jessica Drummond, DCN, CNS, PT 38:17
So I feel like from a nutritionally that, I just want to stay the course for a few more months. I am planning to add low dose now trek zone for about three months, because it just seems so autoimmune In my case, and it's something that I've never had before. I don't have any autoimmunity in my family. Like it's just not a common thing. But because it's such inflammation everywhere, that keeps not totally subsiding with all the, you know, nutritional tools and lifestyle tools. That's my next tat and my next layer of support. But even without that, I feel like maybe that will speed things up, hopefully, or maybe that will help get to a deeper level of healing from an immune system standpoint. But I think even without that, I'm on the path and between acupuncture and supporting all the systems from a functional medicine approach, and occasional you know, IV glue assigned to support all the antioxidant to give like an antioxidant booth boost, and then resting and slowly getting more active, I feel like I'm safer and safer to to be more active. I don't feel like my heart is injured, My heart feels a lot more recovered. So I feel like personally, you know, three to six months and I expect to be pretty back to normal.
Evan Hirsch, MD 39:50
Brilliant. So and so thank you so much for Yeah, thank you so much for sharing that story with us just to transition a little bit. Tell us a little bit about what you're offering clinically and where people can learn more about you and the amazing work you're doing.