Days before the trip the anxiety hit. Terrible waves of uncontrollable nausea and dizziness. The shakes and palpitations became like second-nature and all manner of aches and pains descended. The fear of illness spreading like an un-itchable rash though my whole body and forcing me to call not only the travel insurance company, but also the doctor’s surgery. I needed some reassurance from a professional that I was going to be ok. Unfortunately the doctor in question (not my usual) announced herself to the the ‘psychiatric lead’ of the surgery and rather than listen to my concerns, chose rather to tell me in detail about how valium was a problem with middle-aged women and how the NHS was pressuring them not to prescribe it any more, but obviously there were the exceptions etc etc etc etc and OH LOOK we are over time now….well NO SHIT, I wonder how THAT happened! All I wanted to know was whether it was safe for me to take valium 11 dyas after a mild head trauma, and I was told all of this junk followed by, she would normally give beta blockers (to someone with low blood presure – crazy bitch!) and recommend not to take valium until 14 days after a brain trauma BUT I’d probably be ok. ER, yeah, way to reassure me… Soo fortified with the dubious probability that I wouldn’t have some kind of catastrophic brain damage from the post-concussion diazepam combo, I took the damned pill. Aaand the fear all just slipped away into blissful relaxation. And so I drifted through the night before the flight, still thinking about the impending medical disasters during the flight, but having no physical reaction. Triumph!
The flight was therefore fine, and we landed in Seattle to the glorious clarion call of security line shakes and sweats – thankfully no-one noticed this and I flew through without any drugs testing or anything! and sat down for a few mins to recover my senses.
An then the DVT began. My legs were aching in a weird way and I knew due to my medical expertise and the fact that I had consulted Dr google, that it was definitely DVT and certainly not muscle strain or cramping from airplane seats. Oh no! I couldn’t suffer those kind of ills, I was clearly going to die from a pulmonary embolism and I’d already been warned by that lovely doctor not to go see an American doctor under any circumstances because they were terrible, and so I just spent two days fretting and worrying and sweating and shaking, and then it just went away. Huzzah!
It wasn’t until the journey back to the airport that the fear of mortality reared its ugly head once again. In my epic wisdom, i decided that pulling a 40 pound suitcase and a backpack up a pretty steep, 167 feet elevation increase over a 0.7 mile hill to the station. Now. I’m not the fittest or most muscular of people, so this was a distinct physical challenge, and one that came with a free bizarre-o buttock muscular and then sciatic pain that was agonizing and terrifying in equal measures. because we were less than a mile from the station, we couldn’t legitimately call a taxi so just had to keep on going, much to my upset. Turns out SO’s suitcase was significantly lighter than mine. I had a super high heartrate and felt dizzy with exhaustion. Grrrr. So once I got through security at the airport, that was me back on the valium train in order to ease the muscular tension situation (see, a really good reason for taking valium there!) sadly I didn’t take enough to put me to sleep and spent 10 hours trying and failing at dozing and landed barely knowing what my name was, let alone what time of day.