Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cool vibrations

I would say I started feeling a sense of discomfort the day that I got onto the plane. The night we were supposed to depart our flight got delayed by an hour, so instead of leaving at 11:20pm we ended up starting to board at 12:30am. I went to bed a little bit too late the night before so I didn’t get that much sleep – good sleep, just too little of it – and now my day was becoming a very long one indeed.

I love the window seat, but unfortunately on my particular flight there are only rows of three available on the side by the window. The only bad thing about sitting by the window is that you have to disrupt two other people in order to stretch your legs or go to the bathroom. I try to be as considerate as I can, but I also pray that I sit next to two really nice people. So far – thankfully - it has always been the case for me.

So finally we got to board and then, instead of taking off, we were waiting for (what felt like) forever. Eventually the captain announced that they had a hydraulic problem. They were not taking any chances with regard to safety. We ended up sitting in the plane for another hour and a half and going nowhere slowly while some technicians investigated it.

Usually this wouldn’t be a problem for me, but when it gets to 1:45am… By that time half the passengers were falling asleep hungry. We hadn’t listened to the safety guidelines before take off and we hadn’t received ear phones, nor had dinner been served, which is usually done around 10 – 20 minutes after takeoff. To have fallen asleep then you would have a good chance of missing something important. Eventually my eyes felt like sand had been rubbed into it, and I was getting hungry. Dinner was finally served at 2:30am. Consequently our arrival was also delayed by quite a bit and breakfast was served at around 11:30am.

The delay after having boarded effectively caused that flight to be another hour and a half longer than the original 11 hours, which is already a lengthy flight considering comfort and blood circulation. It wasn’t long before I started feeling a bit swollen. Whether I was or not I can’t tell. I couldn’t see properly, and later, because of the delay I didn’t have time to inspect.

Before we knew it we had to rush to the next flight and sit down for another 9 hours. Much to my dismay I discovered that the travel agent had booked me a seat on the wrong side of the isle. She booked me in the 2nd seat of the middle row of four. Now there was only one (very pleasant) young woman sitting between me and the isle but it didn’t take me long to discover that I had a black box of some sort beneath the seat in front of me. This meant that I was unable to straighten my legs for 9 hours. I am 6 foot tall. The whole way I did my best but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being swollen. Again, I couldn’t check, so I don’t know for sure.

Between my second and third flight I got held up in customs for over 2 hours. I missed my connecting flight but had no time to inspect my swollen feeling. At that point I had already been traveling for 30 hours non-stop and I wouldn’t exactly call the naps on the plane sleep, plus we had traveled back in time by 7 hours.

Then, when I got to my final destination, my luggage had been delayed, so I spent another hour and a half on the airport trying to track it down and arrange for it to be delivered. After this we still had another two hour drive home. Finally, after 40 hours of traveling, we got home around 1:30am… two days later in terms of when I started my journey.

I traveled from a freezing winter in South Africa to a scorching summer (heat wave) in Kansas, US. I now realized – finally - that my feet were really swollen like that of a pregnant woman. They’ve been swollen for about a week no matter what I’ve done so far. To make matters slightly worse I seem to have hurt my ligament in my left heal. Boy! You don’t always realize the muscles you use to make simple every day movements until one of those muscles are hurt and you feel it pulling when you need it to move.

I am well aware that I have a circulation problem. For this reason I’ve been having chilblains in South Africa mostly ever winter for as long as I can remember. Finally I found a solution in the massaging effect of a foot spa. What I had always considered a luxury had become a necessity for me – and it worked like a bomb!

So finally today we went out and got one, plus a menthol cream for the bruised ligament and an anti-inflammatory drug. I’ve used it once so far and my toes already don’t feel like little sausages anymore. I am actually starting to feel like I might just fit into my skin again.

With all the best of intentions Garett (my boyfriend) has surprised me with a ton of skin firming moisturizing cream. Hmm… was he trying to tell me something? I just smiled at the thought of maybe, just maybe the cream is so effective that I now had more foot than I had skin. Turns out the cream is not that good.*wink-wink*

Hopefully I will have my old feet back in another day or two.

Let me introduce you to Mr Foot Spa: the newest addition to our family.


  1. Lee, be very careful. I am busy working on a post about a local photographer who ignored his circulation problems. I too suffer from bad circulation and got a big fright when I saw what happened to him :(

  2. I agree with you, Cin: issues with your health should in now way be ignored! At first I hadn't realized how swollen my feet were, but upon closer inspection I saw it was actually quite bad, and then we got the foot spa the next day. I tried raising my feet higher than my heart to improve the circulation but it didn't help so you could see an improvement, but after just one session in the spa I could see my ankles this morning and my toes are not swollen anymore. It is helping!

    I'm curious about the post you're writing. I'll be keeping an eye out for it.