Hi all and Happy New Year
Just as many of you know me, and that I am largely a long term persistent AF sufferer with no real symptoms, but need to just tell a short story that proves we can never rest on our laurels.
As is my wandering bent, I was away over Christmas, Thailand and Cambodia and the plan was on the way back to spend New Year in Kiev with some friends and and come back to the UK on New Years Day.
All went well, until in Dubai on the way home I got caught up in the FlyDubai debacle (which is continuing) and my flight was cancelled and after the most awful 17 hours in Dubai with no airline representation and literally not even a voucher for a free coffee, did I manage to get onto a flight which was jammed as you might imagine, and eventually arrived in Kiev only 22 hours later than planned missing the whole new year of course, but also to find that of the 148 people on the aircraft only 7 had their suitcases.
Now fair enough we are all at least in Kiev, but imagine this 4:30 am, and 141 people now need to fill in and complete a missing luggage report and customes forms, with only one poor overworked and very tired girl in the luggage office, and of course not only did she not speak English but all the forms were in Russian.
It took nearly 5 hours, none of us could leave the baggage hall which had no water or food, until we had completed the forms and I was one of the last, and that with a lot of help from some very kind people.
Relief I thought, at least now I was out of Dubai, and my flights home (over Amsterdam) were with KLM and unlikely to be a problem.
And they were not, first flight left on time but was 30 mins late into Amsterdam, leaving me 15 minutes to go through security and change gates to get onto the London flight, not a lot of time, and it tells you a lot when I say the new gate was D47, in other words 47 gates down a very very long straight line of aircraft.
It was then that I realised that after 65 hours of continuous travelling with no sleep and only hard floors to sit on and pretty awful seats in small cramped aircraft that my body was running on empty, and I had to literally run a kilometre to catch this flight.
Of course and understandably at that point I had an AF episode, only my second ever heart rate way over 200 I suspect and unable to breathe properly and really emotionally wrecked, I staggered into the gate over 15 mins late and they had held the flight for me, and I was traumatised and distressed and they could see that and very kindly let me sit in Business Class and generally made a fuss of me all 45 mins to London, and by the time I arrived the heart rate was back to normal "trainers in a tumble drier" but only at my usual resting rate of around 70
I tell this to remind us all that even us "lucky ones" have to remember that we have a heart condition, that at best when in AF it's estimated that the heart is working at 80% of usual capacity and that if we get into either over exertion or had difficult circumstances (and I had both) that we can very easily forget our troubles and we need to take care.
But on the positive side (and there is one) it also means that AF need not necessarily inhibit us, abd that we can do want we want to do in life, BUT do it with caution, and always with prior medical advice if you are not sure.
Anyway, finally I think I can say Happy New Year to everyone
Oh and of course luggage is still missing that's going to take weeks I am sure.