Saturday, October 11, 2014

Not what we planned

Our journey to Manchester started out OK, we got to Alicante airport in good time and checked our car in. We then checked in for our flight and passed through security without a hitch. Time for a spot of breakfast before boarding the flight.

Once settled into our seats on the plane, I tried to get a bit of sleep to catch up with the time I had lost coughing the night before. It was hard to get comfortable though and so I resigned myself to staying awake. At that point I became very light headed and felt faint.

The next thing I was aware of was Pam and a stewardess attending to me. I had seemingly blacked out and they had managed to bring be around. How long I was out is hard to say because, at first, Pam thought I was just asleep. It could have been anything up to five minutes or more.

The stewardess managed to find a doctor on the plane (there always seems to be a doctor on every flight) and he tried to check my pulse which he said was very weak. He only managed to find a pulse at my neck. That was a pretty clear indication that my blood pressure was low.

A row of three seats were vacated and I  was made to lay down with an oxygen mask. The colour apparently came back to my face and I started to feel more with it. When I sat up though, I started to feel faint again and so had to lie back down and keep breathing the oxygen.

The stewardess asked the doctor if the pilot needed to divert and land at a nearby airport, she explained that we were only 35 minutes from Manchester. I joked that meant I had only 35 minutes to live. The people on the seats behind overheard me and took my joke literally. I apologise for frightening them in that way.

When the aircraft had touched down at the gate, the chief steward explained to the passengers that there was a medical emergency on board and instructed them to stay in their seats whilst paramedics came onboard to assist me. I could feel all the eyes of the passengers watching as I left the plane. They had no idea what had taken place just that I was getting off the plane before them.

The paramedic assessed my situation and advised me to be taken by ambulance to hospital for a through check up.

At Wythenshaw hospital I was examined by a doctor who scheduled a series of tests for me including a chest ex-ray and blood tests. I had already had an ECG and my vitals taken in the ambulance.

Finally, four hours later I was given the all clear. There were apparently no indications of anything untoward that could have caused my blood pressure to drop and for me to faint in the way that I did. So I live to fight another day but the mystery remains.

What I would like to say is a huge thanks to all those who assisted me from the stewardess on the plane to the paramedic, the ambulance staff and the medical team in the hospital. They were all very thorough and more important reassuring. I would also like to thank my son-in-law Dave who came out to pick me up and took Pam back to the airport to collect our cases which of course we had left there.

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