Inflight doctor

My dear friend,

You probably have seen them, the scenes in a movie where they ask if there’s a doctor on board because someone isn´t feeling well. It might sound a bit odd, but it’s one of my fears during a flight. Not because I’m afraid that I’ll have to get off my lazy ass to help someone. It’s the fear that in these moments you’ll discover all the skills and knowledge you do not possess. Everything you lack exposed, when you need them the most. And because of that, you won’t be able to help someone when they need you the most.

Well, here’s what happened during my long flight to Singapore a few weeks ago. My husband woke me up because he heard an announcement. A passenger needed medical attention, so he thought I should go. At a moment like this, the shot of adrenaline flowing through your bloodstream will make you feel wide awake. I looked for my glasses and walked to the back of the plane on my socks, because putting on my shoes would take too long. While I straightened out my clothes and hair, I tried to prep myself for all the possible medical situations I might encounter. The flight attendant didn’t sound very panicky, so the situation shouldn’t be too bad, right?

The passenger turned out to be a man of about 70 years old, who, according to his wife, probably had a hypo because he did take his pills, but didn’t eat very well. I took a quick look at my inflight patient and in my head I released a cry of relief. He was feeling better already after a glass of juice. I asked a few more questions and examined him to the best of my ability with the tools I had at hand, to make sure he didn’t had a stroke or a cardial infarction or any other serious problem. Luckily for him AND for me, this story ended in some sort of an anticlimax. My fears didn’t become a reality.

After filling in a report of my findings, I returned to my seat. My brother, who was sitting next to my husband, welcomed me back and concluded his questions with: “And this happens, just when you decided to quit your job and education. Is it a sign?”. HA! This thought I had, floating at the back of my head, he just said it out loud. That’s what brothers are for. The truth is that I didn’t know, and still don’t, what this event meant or if it meant anything at all. I want to leave this as it is, just a coincidence.

During the rest of the flight, I dreamed vividly about other passengers in all kinds of shocking conditions I needed to help. And I was really OK with it, as long as these situations remained in my dreams. I needed some practice anyway.

I hope you are well my dear friend. Thank you for being there for me. Take good care of yourself.

Much love,


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