247 ~ Light on the horizon – Prologue ~

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

NOVEMBER 11 2016

Seated aboard Mango airlines, eagerly awaiting take-off. I was longing to breathe in salty oceanic air and feel its cooling breeze whip against my face. This body needed to reinvigorate after 16 eventful months and drastic life turnovers.

After two delays due to a faulty part and rainy weather, engines are finally switched on and the plane glides down the runaway up into thundering stormy skies.

It was only 8 months later since the onset of my first symptoms and we barely knew what my illness fully entailed or how I suppose to have prepared for the trip, as well as the humid change of climate.

I didn’t know that I’d already been experiencing many of the later confirmed comorbid conditions such as; Gastroparesis, Tachycardia, and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. So I undertook this (thankfully short) journey not being adequately equipped in the least.

We touched down 1 hour later at King Shaka international airport and I was totally wasted – nauseous, dizzy, and could not stand without going pre-syncope. As soon as we entered the apartment I collapsed into bed thinking about how I might never want to attempt another flight again. Definitely not one the likes of this specific experience.

Most of the 10 days past by in a blur. Small Fiber Sensory Polyneuropathy pain severely incapacitated my body (I wasn’t prescribed any medication at the said time) so I was constantly restless and couldn’t wait to get home 🙈

Sounds weird to someone. I mean why wish to be home while on a vacation right at the seaside??! But when encompassing pain becomes a limiting and overwhelming, unbearable factor.. You’d do anything to be back at your own climate in a setting more gentle on the body.

Extreme humidity is harsh when coupled by Dysautonomia. Many of us cannot go out unless in an air-conditioned vehicle or rather opt to stay at home around the likes of a cooler, fan, air conditioner etc

But heyy! Not every two travel experiences can ever be the same so although it’s only natural to have trepidation twined to the idea of another, don’t harbour too many pessimistic thoughts based on one experience, because the future ones may just be better than imagined.

Minimal memories were captured, but not without saying, it was followed by two other travels where golden memories of a lifetime were created and remain cherished ✨

After unpleasant experiences, light always surfaced on the horizon some time later, and the most beautifully captured horizons resulted due to a lengthy process of hard work and patience.

Little had I known; once the post-exertional malaise passed, as much as I would anticipate an adrenaline rush and thrill of soaring through the clouds in the nearby future, many overlapping complex symptoms would unravel and turn flying into a complicated dilemma.

Who knew that a seemingly simple venture as stepping (or being rolled onto a plane in style 😝) would pose consequential effects and risks that required extensive deliberation 7 months later as my condition rapidly deteriorated and I developed Prinzmetals Angina, Chronic Pulmonary Edema, Cyanosis, Respiratory Failure and more…

Flight talk became a foregone topic in the distance until 14 months subsequent to a debated emergency declaration. Life’s wildest journeys unfolded…

(Airport decorated for the festive season)
Sitting in plane awaiting take-off
#LightOnTheHorizon covers #FlightTalk ✈️

Alhamdulillah the first 2 points on this graphic don’t pose major problems to me because I’ve been o2 dependant since 2017 and always use a wheelchair when flying. Lengthy walks from one boarding gate to another and standing in long lines are impossible. So Alhamdulillah we’re escorted to the front line, skip long queues and board first – VIP style 💁‍♀️😂

(I have a travel wheelchair in particular because it’s lightweight. My small fiber nerves also react to the metal wheels used to roll normal wheelchairs that offer more independence. I guess if they’re covered it shouldn’t be a problem)

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