So, this week I was uber excited to be accompanying my husband on his business trip to Germany. Never been there, it’s the land of my ancestors, so I’m in! He would be working and in meetings with his company, and I would be free to roam and explore beautiful Heidenheim an der Brenz.
Up until a few years ago I had a terrifying, debilitating fear of flying. Weeks before a trip, I would begin to get distracted, and undergo a real sense of “discomfortability”. By the time the day came, I would be close to tears, snapping at everyone, sweating and struggling with an impending panic attack. Consequently, we never took family vacations with one exception (a trip to Disney) and I was a mess.
Actually, one time I had to fly somewhere, and there was a layover in Charlotte NC. I was so terrified of the landings and takeoffs…my brother-in-law worked at that Airport and he and and his wife lived in Charlotte. He picked me up during the layover and brought me to their home for a short visit. A lovely gesture, one that should have been an opportunity for me to share some time with them, get to know them a little better and learn more about their lives. The fact is, to this day I don’t remember a single bit of the visit. Not one thing. Sheer terror in motion. Ugh.
I want to say I have worked hard to get rid of that fear, but honestly, I just finally decided to let God fly the plane. Like a miracle, that fear and terror disappeared with faith, and has not returned as of this time. Amazing.
So…fast forward to this week’s trip! I diligently planned my packing, had everything ready, including making a reservation for a tour in Munich during my time in Heidenheim. All systems are go!
It was a lot of fun, and we made it back to the airport and decided to have a bite to eat during our layover. We had a delicious bowl of fish chowder at one of the restaurants in the airport and went to our gate to sit, take a “bon voyage selfie” and await our flight time.
Suddenly I could feel it. My chest started to itch, and when I went to look in the mirror, I had big red welts appearing. They continued to bloom on the side of my face, my arms…didn’t itch, but my face got hot and I just was not right. I took two Benadryl that I had brought with me (see? I was prepared for everything!). Then the two glands at the base of my scull popped out like golfballs. Literally.
By this time we are in the boarding line, and I had no idea what to do. We got on the plane, everyone settled in, the doors closed and my neck started to swell.
Don’t panic…don’t panic…don’t panic. I pictured myself unable to breathe while some guy or gal who claimed to be doctor cuts a breathing hole in my windpipe with one of those plastic spoons that come with the in-flight dinners. Breathe, breathe, breathe.
Slowly the swelling started to subside in my neck, the golf ball glands shrunk up, and the welts disappeared. So now my fear of flying? Not what you might think! More like fear of some phantom food or fish allergy.
I was able to relax, the flight was perfect (well, except for that little issue with not being able to move in those high-chair size seats for 8 hours), and everything has gone according to plan thus far.
And yes, Heidenheim is awesome!