You may ask yourself…”Self, What the heck is she talking about? Isn’t there enough acronyms in my world without adding another? Already I have the learn NS, NL CM1, EDS, AC, POTS, IIH, CCI…and here we go again!
Stay with me..I will explain.
Remember, I aspire to be a pilot…one day..one shining day, I will solo.
I plan to pick my lessons up again as soon as the air begins to chill here in Texas…
Then watch out!
In the meantime, my adventures in aviation are limited to those that require me to fasten my seatbelt and stow my electronics at take off.
However, I feel I take that to the next level. I feel I fly more frequently than most. I’ve gone from being an occasional flier to a virtual globetrotter.
I love it and I refuse to be limited by a little pain.
That being said, I thought I would share my first adventure in flying after my second surgery.
Again, as passenger, not pilot.
So, we board the plane.
Already, we are in a state of fatigue. Due to rain we were bumped and re-routed to another airport.
We were assigned seats in First Class…by this time it’s 11 p.m. and we’ve been at the airport since 1 p.m. Our flight is to take two hours.
I settle in the leather seats of the AirBus A319. As the other passengers board, a wave of panic hits me. In all of the packing, prepping and planning for the trip, the fact that this was my first flight since surgery had not crossed my mind. I grab for my bag of “just in case” meds and pop a Flexeril, three Valium (6 mg total NOT 15 mg) and four Ibuprofen (800 mg). I mentally berate myself for not bringing my travel pillow. Open the blanket and prepare for the worst.
I have flown post op before..but NOT with shunts.
My mind is a flurry of “what if’s “–“What if they clog? What if they move? Can they move? What if the pain is so severe I can’t take it and I can’t get out of this plane? What if I have a seizure? What if….?”
You will be glad to know that I think I dodged all of the “What If” scenarios that came to mind.
So what happened?
Something I totally did not expect. Something I did not find in the QRH, something no one warned me about…but given the fact that I’m very verbal with my physicians that I fly frequently, perhaps they could’ve mentioned and avoided a panic.
First, my ears got stuffy…normal occurrence when flying.
Swallowing didn’t correct it..so I just went with it.
My head began to ache..not terribly.
My muscles spasmed in my neck and shoulders..not a new thing for me.
Then..my skull caved in.
I mean it sunk in.
Or medically, a large indention appeared at the base of the skull at the site of the craniotomy defect and cranioplasty.
It was freaky. I felt as if I instantly looked like E.T. with his misshapen head.