Tag Archives: flu

Sinusitis is a nasty lurgy. I’ve solid experience of this strange disease now, as it has been my (too) faithful friend for more than 2 weeks. It started as a “normal” flu, which then got stuck in the sinus.

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Looks funny, eh? Acupuncture socks – a true ex tempore purchase from the Danish shop “Tiger”, which sells miscellanous stuff you didn’t think you’d need, now in Helsinki too. Anyway, maybe I’ll return these ones, as I fell ill with a flu despite the pressuring treatment offered by my boyfriend.

Then, the dear doctor prescribed me antibiotics and antihistamine, which I took scrupulously for 10 days – for nothing, it seems! Last Sunday the pills ran out and I was still feeling really tired and run-down… Especially at the office: the smallest task seemed like the most complicated project of the year.

Luckily I was mature enough to go and visit the doctor again this morning – and the simple (and so difficult) truth of this life was confirmed once more: if you’re feeling ill it’s because you’re ill.

To my own surprise, I even had a light fever in the morning! And sinusitis is still there, going strong. No surprise. So the doctor prescribed me even stronger antibiotics and antihistamine. As stupid as a feverish person can be, I then biked to the office as I’m “absolutely irreplaceable”, hehe… Anyway, my colleagues were wiser and told me to go home early.

So at 4pm I was already lying on the sofa with woolen socks on, drinking tea and watching stupid daytime TV. A program called “Swedish Millionaire Mothers” just finished, and now there is Finnish Top Model going on. But I’m ill and allowed to do and watch anything I want! I’m only not allowed to get up from this sofa. And the boyfriend is entitled to pamper me – luckily he’s good at it (and I think/hope he likes it too…)

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This is the autumn view from our sofa – not a bad one, at all! Luckily, because the last weeks I’ve spent more time on this sofa than in many months before…

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Baana – the newish bicycle route combining the centre of Helsinki with Ruoholahti. A great invention! Even if it looks very grey these days – like everything here.

However, last Sunday – the last day of taking antibiotics – I tried to convince myself that now I’m perfectly fine and healthy! Little did I know. The sun was shining, so I took my camera and went for a short walk alone – noticing that it’s not normal to sneeze every 5 minutes… Anyway, mentally this was a good thing for me, as I had been mostly inside the flat for the whole week.

We live in the centre, Southern Helsinki, very close to the sea… So I decided to say walk there and say hello to my beloved friend.

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Amazing! I had never noticed these stairs near our flat. It’s so important to walk slowly and look around every once in a while.

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Everyday beauty.

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Jätkäsaari Harbour

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Friends! It’ll be my birthday in the end of October… And this beauty is being sold. Just an idea. 😉

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Jätkäsaari Harbour – this ferry goes to San Petersburg.

IThe sea… Why do so many people love it? We really do, as the BBC article People really do like to be beside the seaside, study says explains.

“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.
Robert Henri

I agree! And primitively speaking, it makes us people to feel safe to contemplate the horizon – and know that no enemies are approaching that way.

Anyway, I continued my walk towards Kaivopuisto and noticed – to my big joy – that another “Baana”, bicycle route has been opened here, also on old railway tracks. Great job, City of Helsinki!

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Kaivopuisto – finally at the sea. This view is curious – the water in the front is actually an artificial bond.

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Cafe Ursula – a recommendable place by the sea in Kaivopuisto.

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Sinusitis is a nasty friend but Helsinki can be pretty – even in October

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The art of being sick – not again?!

It’s been a while since I blogged – the reason is that I’ve been lying half dead in bed for some days. Well, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but at least I’m positive that my THIRD flu this year has been the worst one so far.

I noticed I wasn’t feeling too well last Thursday when I was having lunch at the university cantine near my job. It was this: pea soup and pancake (hernekeitto and pannukakku in Finnish), the typical Thursday dish here in Finland, no idea why. Wikipedia tells that in the old times eating pea soup (which contains pork) is said to be preparation for fasting on Friday. Anyway, the tradition still goes strong – and I love it!

My lunch last Thursday - the traditional pea soup with pancake and strawberry jam - notice the heart shape... And some salad to make it healthy.

Anyway, while I was eating I started to feel strange: totally exhausted with sore throat and runny nose – and without any appetite. Actually my appetite is still a bit gone. It feels strange not to get hungry when “you are supposed to”. So I’ve been eating light – except of the vanilla ice cream, as a doctor told me it’s good for your throat. Well, that was when I was 10 years old, but of course I still believe him.

The worst thing this time was getting sick just before the weekend! As they say, like the good workers do… You really should get compensated for losing your weekend. So unjust.

Today is the first day I feel normal, more or less – and it feels wonderful! Just sitting on the sofa with the afternoon sunshine, eating an apple that tastes of something again – and watching my boyfriend passing the vacuum cleaner around the house (hrm, I’m still a bit too weak to do some things… 😉

The sun makes me especially happy, as it gives faith that spring actually is on its way. It was already around the corner but then, suddenly, it started snowing a couple of days ago and the people of Helsinki got hysterical: what is this?!? Snow in April??!! Well, in the end it’s not that strange here in the North, but I understand them. After suffering a long winter you really grave for spring. So please: go away snow!

There are nicer things too, of course. Last week I discovered a great new bar just around the corner: Birds Cavabar. They have excellent  Can Paixano cava from a Barcelona producer – whose rosé is especially delicious. The next best thing is the price: 2,50 euros for a glass and 10 euros for a bottle (+ they give you free pistachios, not so common here in Helsinki…) They also serve fajitas (my friend tried and liked it) and salads for lunch. Highly recommended. And the place reminds me of the 6 months I lived in Barcelona… oh those times.

Birds Cavabar in Kamppi, Helsinki

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The Art of Being Sick

I feel like the weather when I look outside to out yard full of wet snow and the gray skies above… It’s +2C in Helsinki so I guess the spring is very slowly approaching. At least the snow is falling from the roofs. A terrible accident took place yesterday near my office as a woman got killed when a icicle dropped on her head. A horrible way to day, on your home street in the middle of a sunny winter day.

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Icicles in Helsinki - pretty but very dangerous this time of the year. Credit: Yle.

Las weekend I spent in Turku, my old university city and the old capital of Finland, visiting friends and partying quite much. The result? A nasty flu. Yesterday I tried to work but today no option but to stay in bed.

What a feeling! I’ve been through flues hundreds of times during my life… All the body parts hurt, you can hardly breathe and a cactus has made its nest in your throat. Uff. Nothing new, I guess a flu is as old as the human being.

The new phenomenon is the social media with its thousands of “home doctors”. As soon as you come up with your first flu status update, people start actively commenting and suggesting treatments – I do it too. In the end, most of the tips offer nothing new, but psychologically it’s important to get them. It’s like searching up on the net the same typical advices again and again every time you’re ill: stay in bed, drink a lot, rest, wash your hands, eat vitamins etc etc.

My friends are a bit more original, though. For example, one suggested to make a hot drink with fresh ginger, honey, lemon, fennel and propolis. The other had tried, I guess with success, to make a “hard-core mojito” with some garlic, chili and avocado. It opens your nose, I guess.

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Ginger - they say it's very efficient agains a flu. And it tastes so good, heatlhy! Credit: ellit.fi

Anyway, we already have our cupboard full of medicines – most of them for our old friend, the flu. Vitamin D and the so fashionable zink (they say it’s the best thing against ful nowadays!), propolis, black current juice, ibuprofen powder with different flavours, normal honey and honey with ginger, multivitamin pills, dried blueberries and cranberries, pills for the throat and of course my Big Love: a neti pot for nasal irrigation. It really makes you feel good! Well, as good as you can feel with a flu…

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This is how the nasal irrigation goes! Looks a lot worse than it actually is.

In the end, the best tip I’ve heard so far is very simple but almost impossible to do: disconnect your computer and especially Facebook, also TV, mobile phone etc – and stay in bed without doing anything! Max activity is to read something light and preferably already read.

I’ll take up the challenge right now and move my sick body to bed – without my laptop! Let’s see what happens. But first, I’ll need some nasal irrigation.

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