Malin Wallin has always been slim but has never had a problem with eating. Until her last year in high school that is, when – without any warning – she began to be affected by a persistent feeling of having a lump in the throat and trouble with swallowing.
It would take several years before she would be helped by a new treatment method in the form of a neuromuscular exercise device and regime from IQoro.
For many years it has been a torment to eat in the company of others.
It is a very modest young lady that turns up to the interview to tell us about her tough years with swallowing difficulties, difficulties that of course have caused anxiety, worry and social isolation at many shared mealtimes.
– For many years it has been a torment to eat in the company of others. I carried with me a constant fear of having something stick in my throat, and I avoided mealtimes with colleagues or friends, says Malin, who now works as a childcarer.
The holiday was ruined
She tells us that the problem began somewhere in the beginning of 2010 when she was in her last year of high school. The situation worsened for every day that passed.
The effect was even greater when she and her best friend went on a long planned trip as students to Malta as a reward after three years of study. Reward it wasn’t, instead the trip turned into a catastrophe.
When I tried to eat, I could not swallow. The only thing I lived on for a week were bananas and tomatosoup.
– The problem hit me with its full force. When I tried to eat, I could not swallow. The only thing I lived on for a week were bananas and tomatosoup. Malin rang home and cried and, of course, her parents were very worried.
Malin lost a lot of weight
Neither she herself, nor her parents had ever heard of people that couldn’t eat. Inexorably, everybody’s thoughts turned to eating disorders, but Malin loved food and really wanted to eat. She just couldn’t.
– It was a long week on Malta. It wasn’t easy for my friend either, which I can see. How could she be able to understand something that I couldn’t even understand myself?” remembers Malin.
Things went so far that Malin was dishonest and pretended to have fun when they were both out partying.
Malin went down from 54 kg to 47 kg, but nobody could help her.
The holiday is not a pleasant memory to think back on. On her return she began a tour around many healthcare institutions. The already thin Malin went down from 54 kg to 47 kg, too little for a girl of 170 cm in height, but nobody could help her.
The swallowing difficulties made her socially inhibited
– I became socially handicapped. If I did dare to go out to a restaurant I made sure to find a table that was concealed. It felt as though everybody was staring at me, an ordinary mealtime could take almost two hours, she says.
Trying to order her thoughts was not easy. Malin felt that the problem was physical, but when they couldn’t find any solution she began to think that the problem must be in her head. She found a therapist and began CBT treatment.
Even if I doubted myself it was still obvious that the problem was actually in my throat
– It helped a little to talk about the difficulties, at the same time that it felt muddled. For even if I doubted myself it was still obvious that the problem was actually in my throat.
Found love – and a helping hand
Earlier the same year, in the middle of all these difficulties, she met and fell in love with Pontus.
– Strange that he was interested in me then. He really didn’t get to see the best of me, laughs Malin.
Her boyfriend found the solution
But the boyfriend, who is training as a physiotherapist, became a real support. And it was also he that found the solution.
– It was he that saw how tough it was for me, and he believed in me.
The openminded Pontus began to Google around on the net. He didn’t believe that Malin could be alone in having this problem, and he was right of course.
Randomly, one day when he was reading a sports page an advert flashed up about a new treatment method for swallowing difficulties. For him, the method sounded both logical and trustworthy. Pontus acted immediately and bought a neuromuscular training device IQoro for his girlfriend.
I succeeded in halving the duration of my mealtimes to 45 minutes.
– Already after just a couple of weeks I noticed that something was beginning to happen, and within a pretty short time I succeeded in halving the duration of my mealtimes to 45 minutes, says Malin.
Dreaming about yoga and singing
Training with IQoro has meant a lot for Malin.
– I still have bit to go, but nowadays I have a concrete aid to work with. It’s not in my head, as people believed, but now I hear that it can possibly be caused by a hiatal hernia.
Today Malin has put on weight again and can eat a normal portion, even if it still takes a little longer than it would for others. As her strength returns, so do her dreams of starting again with training passes at the gym, and yoga.
I want to start to sing
– I haven’t had the strength for it before, but now I want to start. And then I should like to sing more, up until now it’s only been at home, says Malin who will continue to train with her IQoro device.