Spring and a spring in my step…


Spring is really in the air in Stockholm.  When the sunshine comes here in Sweden you will see the natives standing at the edge of any train platform facing sunward, head up, arms outstreched, eyes closed, mouths smiling in gratitude of the warmth and light.  It is also fairly standard for the apartments to have a balcony which has been of great help to me as for some weeks I have been signed off sick from work. Long story short: acute bronchitis complicated by asthma hit me hard as I have the chronic illness CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) so my recovery has been slow and difficult.

But, as the title suggests, there IS a spring in my step.  Without having to stop at every chair, table or tree to knock on lots of wood, I can say that I am definitely on the turn, an improvement and hope of recovery after a rather bleak time not feeling well, sleep deprived not to mention frustrated, bored, isolated, anxious for missing work, missing orchestra, and I was a noisy, coughing, germ-monster for my poor, dear Swede to put up with.  At this point, he deserves a mention for best sambo award (sambo = live-in partner.)  He recently came home from a trip to his beloved Skåne (southern Sweden) with some presents to cheer me up: a cute owl bag – perfect for my knitting bits and pieces – and a decorative Easter bunny.  AND today we went on my first outing in ages and on the way he asked a lady on the train if she knew of any knitting shops in the area (unprompted by me!) Then he set about finding this shop for me and patiently waiting for me to look around and happily took down the yarn I couldn’t reach from the top shelves.  Did I mention he was tall, dark and handsome? 🙂

The key that unlocked my stuck position in terms of my health was actually getting a painful crick in my neck.  I was so uncomfortable and fed up that I looked online to find a masseuse to fix it.  Luckily I went on last-minute booking site and found a treatment that was highly discounted and, as it turns out, was actually with a magician called Haishan.  Her official job title is more on the lines of “Chinise medicinal masseuse” but magician she is nonetheless and is based here: https://www.bokadirekt.se/places/nyvana-s%C3%B6derkliniken-(victoria-grepo-akademin-ab)-5625

I came out of her treatment room feeling alive and with an energy that I can’t remember feeling in ages!  I wondered first if this elation was purely the relief of SURVIVING this intense session.  Pain, oh the pain. But, no it is something more than this and I have already booked the next session…

Haishan located the (many) problem areas in my body through acupressure points which, in my case, were problematic in connection to my lungs and spleen.  The latter has effect on my immune system and the former is no surprise given my recent chest infection and breathing difficulties.  The prolongued period of illness has really taken a toll on my condition and I was ready to get some help and there was an immediate self-confidence from Haishan that she could do a lot to make me feel better.

There was an element of embracing the feeling of being totally powerless, flat on my tummy, eyes squinting through the hole in the headrest.  There was also quite a lot of “lost in translation” moments as my understanding of biology in Swedish is not great and it is even worse when deciphering a Chinese accent whilst in various degrees of agony.   This woman was pressing various unmentionable areas of my body until I could take no more and could only plead for mercy.   She got over this by not accepting this feeble English effort and telling me not to be “ololigt” (“oroligt” in Swedish is worried) whilst firmly holding the acupressure point and giving me a countdown to indicate when the agony would be over: “åtta, sju, sex…” (eight, seven, six…”)  It was relentless as Haishan found then unblocked one trouble spot, to my sigh of relief, only to find something worse somewhere else and to describe what she could see and feel as a “traffic jam.”  She had to unblock this “traffic” jam to release my energy.

Haishan’s Chinese-Swedish struggled to reach my tired brain, pain shooting from one point to the next.

“Det är bala början” (I realise it is “bara början” in Swedish) – “This is just the beginning,” she was telling me.  “Det bli bla” – (“bla?” oh: “bra” she means.) “Everything is going to be ok,” she was reassuring me.

In fairness to Haishan most of my answers to her were neither in English or Swedish but rather a sort of “awwwwwwaahhhhhhhh” or “shhhhhhhiiiiiii…..” – you can guess the rest.

So, I am looking forward to Wednesday for the next session.   Now school is out on Easter break so I am just seeing myself as free from work and trying to break away from the state of being “sjukskriven” (signed off sick) as my recovery improves.  It won’t happen overnight and I do predict some ups and downs but I really think this therapy will help me in a holistic approach, across my whole body.

And, of course, I do have the ultimate therapy on hand: knitting!

Happy Easter!  Glad Påsk!


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