Friday, July 10, 2009

Fear of Flying?

My version of “pigs flying” happened to me yesterday. Ironically, they (the pigs) flew when I was about to fly…

Me, the incessant traveler- the perpetual passenger- someone who has probably spent more time in airports than at home, had a panic attack as I was about to board a flight.

It was a standard route- Milano to Barcelona- nothing extraordinary. Yet, all of a sudden, as my car pulled up to the airport- my chest tightened, I couldn't breathe, my hands were sweaty and started shaking, and I felt like I was going to throw up.

My friend, Stefano, who had accompanied me to the airport took my pulse and basically told me I may be having a heart attack- in not so many words. (not a good thing to tell a hypochondriac in the throws of anxiety). Which, of course, made me freak out even more- so I ended up in “pronto socorro” – the Italian version of the emergency room- camped out under terminal one- and a doctor who was all of 21 years old manhandled me by means of an EKG.

Everything was fine until I actually started yelling at the kid for unnecessarily exposing my entire upper body, at which point my anxiety turned into anger and I felt much better. The nurse gave me Valium and I got on the plane and came home.

Not a good start to a summer full of numerous international flights. This is going to be an interesting obstacle to my lifestyle, to say the least. Updates to come…  

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