My Trip From Hell

Yesterday I flew home from Britain, and it was not an experience I want to repeat anytime soon.  The day before — Monday — I had gotten soaked in the rain, but didn’t think much of it.  On Tuesday I got to the airport in plenty of time, got on my flight, ate my dinner.  I set to work on my Edge 3 edit.  Then not quite four hours into a ten and half hour flight I became desperately, vilely ill.  The first thing I discovered is there were no air sickness bags in the bathrooms in business class.  I guess they think business travelers don’t get sick.  I asked the stewardess and they brought me one.  Eventually I had them running all over the plane bringing me many air sickness bags.  I went through five or six before it was all over.  Then I got hit with violent chills.  The cabin crew was lovely.  They made me a hot water bottle and got me an extra blanket.  Unfortunately this began just as we were nosing out of Scotland heading for Iceland.  There was no possibility of setting down.  At one point I really wished they could just open a hatch and throw me out.  Death seemed preferable.

I almost asked them to land in Newfoundland where my doctor/writer/editor/painter buddies live and have them check me into a hospital in St. John’s.  Still I endured until we reached Los Angeles.  I was so weak, and we landed at a remote location that seemed to be in San Diego County.  The top stewardess said it was a bus ride followed by a really long walk to customs and then standing in line at customs and she recommended a wheelchair.  I have never done anything like this before in my life, but I said yes.  I honestly didn’t think I could walk, and I certainly couldn’t have lifted or dragged the suitcase.

The wheelchair guy was just lovely, and I will say — when you are in a wheelchair customs is a breeze.  He recovered my case, and got a porter to take the case.  They took me outside onto the sidewalk, and I tried to contact Lyft.  Only to discover that they won’t come to the airport now.  You have to meet them somewhere else.  That was not going to happen so I hung up and tried to figure out what to do.  When you are weak, sick and dehydrated your brain doesn’t work very well.  I talked to Super Shuttle about getting a private car.  I think the guy could see I was in bad shape.  He said they couldn’t get anybody to the airport for at least 20 to 30 minutes and that it was going to cost as much as a cab.  So I took a cab to Woodland Hills.

This is one of those times when I’m so grateful that I have done okay financially.  I didn’t need to take a van and endure six or seven stops before I got home.  I could just go home.  I don’t want money for money’s sake.  I don’t want to affect other people’s lives.  I mean, not in a bad way like the Koch brothers trying to buy Congress.  I just want to make my life easier, and that’s what happened yesterday.  I got home, sipped on a Coke and went to bed at 8:00 p.m and slept until 8:00 this morning.  I’ve since had another long nap, and I’m starting to think that a saltine cracker or two might not be amiss.

All in all I can not say enough good about the crew on American Airlines flight 135.  They were kind and as helpful as they could be since they weren’t doctors.

14 Responses to My Trip From Hell

  • Debbie Lentz says:

    Oh, damn! That’s awful! Hubby and I got con crud at Loncon, so we spent the second half of our vacation coughing and sneezing and not sleeping. I’m so sorry you had that experience while flying home. Glad to hear that the crew were so caring, though. Feel better soon.

  • David Broadbent says:

    Gosh, I am sorry to hear about your flight. I had a similar illness 18 months ago, so I know how that goes. I was glad to be home when it hot. I travel a lot for work and can only imagine getting hit with that. Very glad you made it home ok.

    I have a suggestion. Let American know about the good job your flight crew did to make your flight less miserable. Go on the website and let them know how the crew did. It will be a good thing to do for the crew.

    Reason I know is I fly with another carrier a lot. I found out one day about the impact my thank you email did for a crew member. So the five minutes ripples through in very positive ways.

    That is….just in case you haven’t already!


    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I was wondering how to do that, David. I hadn’t done it because I’ve just been in bed all day, but I will find a way to tell them how great the crew and the little guy with my wheelchair turned out to be. They were all so kind.

  • BADKarma says:

    Was with you right up to the point at which you decided to throw in your little political pot-shot, dearie. Here’s some news for you: The Koch brothers (BOOOGA BOOOOOOGA!!!!!!) aren’t even in the top five of political donors. Hell, they’re not even in the top ten.

    Here’s a link showing the top donors of all time, through the beginning of this year:

    Peruse it, and see how far you have to scroll down the list before the Koches even appear. Also, pray note the party to which the vast majority of the top players contribute 80% or more of their donation dollars.

    Oh, wait. I forgot… Huge donations to Democrats are nummy, life-affirming and wonderful. It’s only donations to Conservatives or Republicans which MUST BE STOPPED!!!! (It’s FOR THE CHILDREN!!!). SO sorry… My bad… Carry on…

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Because clearly working to deny poor people (actually anyone) medical care is a life affirming action, or fighting a raise in the minimum wage that might help raise people out of poverty is a positive good. Personally I want all this money — left or right — out of politics. We need the British system. They are limited on how much they can spend and compared to American elections it is very low, and how long a campaign can run. Generally a month or two when a new election is called. I think that would be a relief for all of us.

  • How horrific for you! Glad you’re finally home safe and on the mend.

    I’ve been selling-plasma poor and I’ve been comfortable financially, and I can agree with you that the best part of being comfortable is not having to hesitate about calling the doctor or buying meds or taking a taxi when you’re sick. The rest is just stuff, but being able to take care of yourself is vital.

    Get well soon!

  • Steve Halter says:

    That sounds terrible. Possibly food poisoning. I caught a cold during the Con but nothing like that. Hope things improve rapidly.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Actual incidents of food poisoning are very rare according to my doctor buddies. This was some kind of vicious 24 hour flu that just did it’s worst (which was pretty damn bad), and moved on. I’ve slept another 12 hours last night, and I almost feel human again.

  • Paula Helm Murray says:

    Oh dear. Yes, the wheelchair dudes are awesome, we had them fetch us on our trip home. Margene has issues with her hips and back anyway, and I was still feeling the impact of falling down the Tuesday before the con. (Middle of night, walker instead of foot, walker caught something and BAM!)

    That sounds really awful. Glad you made it home safely and can rest and recover.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I’m so sorry to hear you had fallen before the con. That must have made it difficult in that giant convention center. John Douglas clocked it. It was 1 kilometer from the west to the east side. Still it was a great convention despite my being in the Crowne Plaza which added a bit more distance to my walk. There were a couple of times I broke down and used the DLR and the Oyster card. There was a stop quite close to my hotel. And what a pleasure to be in a country that actually has public transportation.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    Have folks ever noticed how someone who just drops by to say something nasty never hangs around to actually engage in a conversation? They just fly by and drop a little turd bomb. Unless the comment is a threat or abusive to other people I always let them through and I try to give a thoughtful response, but then… nada.

    • Steve Halter says:

      The drive by trolls don’t seem to be able to actually engage in discourse. The persistent trolls don’t really engage either–they just shout about their own concern a lot.

      Glad to hear you are feeling better.

  • JaniceG says:

    Wow, so sorry to read this – what terrible timing. Glad it seems to have passed relatively quickly and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I’m on the mend, but it’s slower than I’d like. I managed 2 errands yesterday and it laid me flat. I’m hoping to get back on horse on Monday. Today and tomorrow I’ve got Carl arriving and helping him have his 50th birthday party. And the alarm on NM keeps being naughty. Just life in the twenty-first century.

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