Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

May 8, 2008

I'm back.....

....and I'm sick. Really sick. Really really sick.

I had a good trip and a good time, esp. getting to spend time with Sharon & Paul, and Diane & her kids. Once I get my pics processed I'll blog them.

But on Monday, I started to not feel 100%. My stomach was churning and I didn't want to eat. I chalked it up to late nights, being wired from the excitement and sleeping w/ the windows wide open at mom's. Here at home we have central air and I keep my windows covered w/ "blackout material" to keep my room dark, so I never sleep w/ the windows open. I napped on Monday afternoon a bit. Then on Tuesday, I woke up w/ a sore throat. Again, I just figured it was my allergies, although I did plod through the day w/ mom taking all the garbage/recycling to the dump, doing a little gardening at my dad's grave. She wanted to go out to find a new cement birdbath basin too, but I knew there was no way I'd be able to carry that for her and was relieved when she decided to blow it off. That was my last night in town and we went to dinner with Sharon & Paul. We were having a great time in the restaurant, but the site of their appetizer of steamed mussels was making me sick. Then I was overcome with heat and had to dash outside to get some air before I passed out.

I woke up yesterday morning with the full blown fever, sore throat, earache, body aches, headache, nausea, coughing up nasty chunks, etc. Lovely. Just in time to travel. I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable trip back home but little did I know what the day was to have in store for me.

Mom and Sha dropped me off at the bus stop in Barnstable so that I could take the 1:40 bus to Logan Airport. The security line was so long and the terminal was so hot. I got a sports drink and tried to stay out of the blinding sun coming thru the windows at the gate. We boarded on time, but it being Boston, the fucking plane took off a half hour late, as usual. Then the pilot said that the headwind we'd be fighting was fierce, and it was going to be a 6+ hour flight. I wanted to cry. I thought about taking a tranquilizer in the hopes that I'd sleep, but being as sick as this, I knew that was not a good idea.

I usually have a fairly pleasant flight on Alaska Airlines, but not last night. The seats were impossibly uncomfortable. Nothing I did made it any better. My entire body was aching, from head to toe. In fact, while I was sitting there reading, I started having cramps, which I knew was impossible b/c I'd already gotten that unpleasantness behind me before I even left. I tried to stretch, get up and walk, anything to relieve my discomfort. I have zero pain tolerance and even less tolerance for heat.

We'd been traveling, what I thought was forever, when the pilot came on and said we were just passing north of Detroit and approaching Traverse City. I quaked. How can that be? We've been traveling for fucking EONS, how can we only be over Michigan??? Every time we hit turbulence the pilot would come on to tell us where we were. After another 50 years of travel, he comes on to say we are over Green Bay, Wisconsin. GREEN BAY?!?!?!? I wanted to stand up and scream, "GET THIS FUCKING RIG MOVING WILLYA! STEP ON IT! GO NORTH INTO CANADA! ANYTHING! JUST GET THIS DAMN THING TO SEATTLE!" I was beginning to think I was never, ever, ever going to get home.

It was at that point that I knew what was going to happen. It was inevitable. I fought it as long as I could, but I started to get really hot. I tried to calm myself down, I tried to stay hydrated, I tried to concentrate on my book, but eventually I staggered back to the bathroom and went inside. My face was beat red. I ran cold water on my wrists, soaked towels and put them on my head....but I couldn't stay in there forever. I stumbled out and the flight attendant sees me and goes, "Are you OK?" I barely got out the words, "No....gonna...pass...out" The 3 of them grabbed me as I slid down the wall and plopped on the floor. Everything was buzzing. I was dimly aware of cold towels being applied to my head. Someone strapped an oxygen mask to my face. Passengers start turning around to see what's going on. The flight attendant had to tell the pilot, who then instructed them to find a doctor on board. A nice woman doctor came back and helped to take my vitals. I sort of remember them helping me into a seat where everyone was fussing over me. They had to radio my vitals to the airline emergency people, "MedLink". My blood pressure was 132/86. Normally it's 117/71. They kept me drinking lots of water and I had to sit there for quite awhile w/ the oxygen bottle and cold towels. I vaguely heard them talking about whether or not I should be checked out by the medical staff when we got to Seattle. "Oh no", I thought. It's bad enough that the fucking plane is landing at 10 instead of the scheduled 9:15, Brian has to work in the morning, we are about a 40 minute drive from the airport as it is, the last thing I wanted was any more delays, and it was bad enough that everyone was looking at me. So after a few more minutes, I told them I was well enough to return to my seat. By that time we were starting the descent over Washington.

But then that opened up a whole new problem for me. My earache and sore throat. I was chewing gum and swallowing, but my left ear plugged up solid and started to hurt all the way down into my neck. The pilot parked the plane a country mile away from the exit and I was stumbling along just trying to get out into the cold night air. I was getting so ticked off at the "slow walkers". It was all I could do to keep from yelling, "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY ASSHOLE!" My left ear stayed completely plugged till I got home and started blowing my nose.

This isn't the first time I've passed out on a flight. I went down on a flight from SF to Boston in 1987, on the way home from vacation. That was way worse though b/c I was really out for quite awhile. The planes were bigger back then and I woke up on the floor in the back with oxygen strapped to my face and we'd been aloft for at least a half hour. I don't even remember taking off.

What a wretched, miserable day. I have looked into the gaping maw of hell, people, and it was Alaska Air flight 15 from Boston. I am truly grateful to the flight attendants, and the pilot too. It wasn't their fault that we had a 112 knot headwind. But I will never, ever again fly coach. I do not care HOW much a roundtrip first class ticket costs, I will not go thru that kind of discomfort for 6.5 hours again.

Well, I've gotta get showered and ready. The Urgent Care clinic in Puyallup opens at 8 and I need to be first in line.


  1. Oh Jojo that beyond sucks!I am so worried....let me know what they say.Well,post it,of course.

  2. oh, glad that you're home but unhappy at the ordeal that you endured. isn't it wierd how time seems to s-l-o-w day down when you're in that state of mind and body? as another who hates to fly, i totally understand your plight-i've never been ill, but, i've been close to a panic attack on a flight from detroit to boston that seemed to go on forever.

    (but, i waved to you as you flew over michigan...)

  3. I'm so sorry about your flight and your health! What a disappointing way to end what I hope was an otherwise fun trip. Me, I just don't fly at all anymore. Luckily my mom is within train distance--God bless Amtrak.

  4. Hey all - they said it's bronchitus. But the guy didn't even look at my throat. He was trying to shove me off to the hospital but I told him I would keep driving to Tacoma to my own urgent care clinic so he relented.

    Fen - when they said we went over Detroit, I said, "Hi Susan!" lol

    DP - Went to the Edward Gorey house and took LOTS of pics. It was very, very cool.

  5. Hope your feeling better now. Glad you enjoyed most of your trip!

  6. JoJo, that sounds awful. I'm so glad you're safely home now.

  7. well, since you were sick, i'll forgive you for not saying hello to me too:)

    sooo hope you're feeling way better soon. that sounds completely miserable.

  8. Kris - but I thought you lived closer to Indiana? We were way up north of you.

  9. Lizzzard7:04 PM

    Oh Jojo!!!!How awful! I thought
    of you the entire day- and hoped that your ordeal was ending! Who knew it was getting worse!

  10. Jojo, thanks for the heads-up you left on my blog. I felt blindsided by a lunatic, and needed your perspective. Thanks so much for your generosity of spirit.

    And hey--I hope you feel better! I have always been afraid of passing out in mid-flight... one of my worst nightmares, since I do get light-headed up there. Let us know how you are!

    And thanks again for your visit, which did me a world of good! :)

  11. Hi Daisy!! Thanks for stopping by. No, you aren't alone. That guy is a real jerk. I believe the word "Abbadon" means "destroyer". How appropriate.

    I do feel much better today.

  12. Anonymous11:37 PM

    Bobby's Girl here, JoJo, so sorry to hear about your ordeal. It's so hard to be sick when you are away from home. And then add in that you were on a plane! Glad to hear you are feelling better. Hey, I can see why you like Edward Hopper. So many of his paintings were done there. I spen three hours in the exhibition in Chicago. Wish I'd had more time. Take care of yourself.

  13. Oh Jojo, what a nightmare! I'm so sorry. You take good care...Feel better soon :)

  14. Anonymous10:17 AM


    JoJo, I am so sorry to hear about the pain and suffering you endured on the way home. It's worse on a plane since there's no way out and you're stuck in there. I really feel for ya. I reckon you won't be getting on one any time soon. I love you, BFF.