Image Credits: Mariana Zannata
Image Credits: Mariana Zannata

My story continues. If you haven’t read the first part, you can find it here

After that first panic attack I started to be afraid of the most trivial things: being on a train, being in the underground train station, getting into a car but most of all, being alone. That was the main reason I accepted my boyfriend’s family’s offer to stay with them until I felt better. During that time, I visited three different doctors who had different opinions. Some of them suggested that my anxiety could have been triggered by the lack of vitamin D (due to winter), or something wrong with my levels of white/red cells (or something like that), so they suggested I kept taking Valium for the panic attacks. I was not getting better; by all means I was getting worse with the clock. I started to worried about my mum, somehow I was feeling something very bad was about to happen to her, or something would happen to me during my upcoming flight. I needed to do something to end that agonizing feeling.

On Saturday 27 of September, I spent two hours and $800 AUD trying to move my flights to a closer date. After confirmed the new flights, I called my boss and told her I needed my family and I could not wait any longer, I was leaving in two days.

Previous to my big journey (3 flights, 32 hours and 3 cities) I was scared but I really wanted to face the situation and get over with it as soon as possible. The first flight was Melbourne – Los Angeles, 15 hours of movies and books, then Los Angeles – Houston and finally Houston – Home. I have never been able to sleep in a plane, so as you can imagine by the time I got to my final flight I was exhausted, sleep deprived, under secondary effects of 3 Valium (one every 8 hours) but feeling closer to home. It was a midnight flight in a relative small plane scheduled to arrive to Bogota at 6.00am. It was a “short” flight of 6 hours so I when we took off I was confident that it would soon be over.

Lights were off, everyone was sleeping, there were no empty seats, we had been flying for 20 minutes when it happened. The lights were turned on, everyone’s sleep got interrupted by the pilot calling for a doctor on board: A passenger needed help.  Guess what? That passenger was me.  I was having the worst panic attack of my life. I thought I was dying. I was dying on my way home, just hours away of getting home, I thought I would not be able to see my family again because I was having a heart attack.

I have big angels in heaven: My grandparents and two lovely uncles. They put an anesthesiologist on the plane, who confirmed that it was not a heart attack; it was secondary effects of the Valium. There was not much he could do for me, he advised me to take another Valium and try to sleep. The Valium did nothing. I was not feeling any better, so the only thing left to do was having faith that God will allow me to get home alive. I spent the rest of the flight praying to him, without stopping, prayer after prayer until we finally landed 6 hours later.

To be continued…

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A Colombo-Australian woman living in Melbourne. I love books and pugs! You too? Let's be cyber-friends! I also have a YouTube channel in case you want to know more about me.


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