‘My flight from sight' — a reader responds

2011-09-28 00:00

WITH reference to Lynnette Hichcock’s terrible experience while flying which you published recently, (“My Flight from Sight”, The Witness, September 15) I would like to relate my story.

I flew to the United Kingdom via Dubai for three months recently for my daughter’s 40th birthday. Taking off from King Shaka Airport in Durban, I experienced a bit of discomfort above my left eyebrow. This lasted until we reached the altitude required when I forgot about it and had a comfortable flight until we started our descent into Dubai. The pain above my left eyebrow became unbearable and I felt nauseous.

When I boarded the next flight, I told the head flight attendant and he said it would not happen again, because they take a long time to descend.

When we started to descend into Manchester, I thought I was dying with the pain above my left eyebrow. It felt as though a knife had been twisted into my scalp. I started to retch and could not talk. I sat there for some time in the plane when we landed, and fortunately the pain started becoming bearable. I then had to go through customs, and stood in the queue three times, because I had to go to the toilet to retch because of the pain.

When I saw my daughter I just collapsed and cried. I went to several doctors and pharmacists in the United Kingdom, but they could not help me.

I mentioned this to a friend in South Africa who Googled on the Internet and found out that there are ear plugs with pressure valves inside, which you put into your ear before take-off and when you land. I used them on the return flight, and also took antibiotics five days before take-off. I didn’t experience any discomfort on both flights home, but after reading your article I have decided never to fly again.

Thank you for your article, I am sure many people do not know how dangerous flying can be.

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