Friday, December 23, 2005

Should We Divert the Airplane?

This is the question asked of me somewhere over Columbia or Bolivia or maybe the Brazilian reinforced by a flight attendant. The rest of the story is...
I had been given a sleep aid so get me through the ten hour overnight plane ride. So about 12:00 am I took one half a pill. It seems that was just enough sleep aid for me to drift off for about an hour and half and make me really mad when I woke up at 1:30. I sat and tried every method I could possibly think of to lull my brain back into sleep but by 4:00 am it became obvious that I was not going to sleep on that plane. I also realized that my stomach was a little queasy so I thought a trip to the tiny, tiny lavatory was in order. My seat was on the aisle about 7 rows from the back of the plane so I began the short walk to the galley and lavatory. I began to feel a little light headed just about the time I reached the lavatory door and the next thing I knew I was on the floor of the airplane with a panicked flight attendant asking me if I knew my name and the date. Then she asked if I was sweaty my heart racing. I knew that she was trying to decide if I had experienced either a stroke or a heart attach. I had all the right answers but what I did not have was a detectable blood pressure.
[Occasionally in my lifetime I have experienced a fainting spell. My blood pressure falls to some undetectable level and I fall to the ground. I always recover in a relative short period of 15 minutes.]
The flight attendant first called the pilot to tell him there was an emergency...I kept saying that I was fine and would be completely ok in a matter of minutes. Then the flight attendant called on the plane intercom for a physician. A physician shows up but the flight attendant has to see his credentials before she will let him use the blood pressure cuff on me. All this time I am still on the floor and doing some better. The physician finds his credentials and tries to find my blood is still too low to register on the cuff. He went to the first class cabin where his things were and got his wrist blood pressure cuff and by that time I had enough pressure to be measured. They let me sit up and drink water and more importantly I gained the medicinal values of a Diet Coke.
In the middle of the Diet Coke consumption the very kind and very, very concerned flight attendant called the pilot again and leaned over to me and said..."we are about 2 hours away from any airport where we can land. Do you want the pilot to divert the plane and land so you can get medical help?"
Who knew that all it really takes to change the plans of 300 people was to faint?


At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Katie in NY said...

you should have said, "no, i'm fine, but you should upgrade me to first class until I fully recover. Coach seats don't allow me to elevate my feet."

At 7:29 AM, Blogger BW said...

Katie, you are a genius! Why didn't I think of that!
When are you bringing that precious baby to visit those you know and love in the South.

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous katie in NY said...

I really do want to come and visit! it just never seems to financially work out. I think you and Reagan should make a girls trip to Albany.....ok, ok, make a girls trip to NYC and Lily & I will meet you there.


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