Worst.  Flight.  Ever.

My redeye out of Honolulu to Newark yesterday definitely took the cake in terms of horrible flights.  And it was all of my own doing, ironically.

Friday night I boarded the plane, prepared to sleep the whole 9 and a half hours to Newark.  I put on my brand-new eyemask, got into my sleepsack, put on my U-pillow, and lastly, took 2 Tylenol Simply Sleep sleeping pills, just as it was written on the bottle.  Hub had suggested I take them to sleep the whole flight; as my last trip to New York last year I had taken a dose of Nyquil when I wasn’t sick…and instead of sleeping the whole way ended up jittery and awake the whole way.  Never had Nyquil not work for me before, but after that experience I decided I shouldn’t take medicine if I wasn’t sick, and so Hub recommended Tylenol Simply Sleep, which is what he always takes.  The last time I had taken any sleeping medication of any sort was more than 2 years ago.  But this time I was exhausted from going to the wedding and the long day, and just wanted to sleep.

Well. (Read on for the gruesome details…)
I had taken the medicine on what I guess was an empty stomach.  We had had the wedding banquet from noon -3 pm Friday, and I was honestly so stuffed still at 9 pm that I didn’t feel like eating anything.  I had just guzzled a whole lotta water too.  I felt full!

An hour later the pills didn’t seem to be working.  I felt my breathing was depressed – it was difficult to make my lungs inflate; I felt a little short of oxygen.  (Sleeping pills/cold medication depress one’s breathing rate in order to force relaxation.)  I felt nauseous, and got up to go to the bathroom.  I didn’t throw up, but in the bathroom my vision started to get fuzzy; I felt claustrophobic and couldn’t figure out how to open the door.  I scrabbled at it, and managed to get out.  I was walking back towards my seat when it happened.

I blacked out and fell down the aisle, hitting my face on the carpet when I fell.

At least I think that’s what happened.  Nobody I asked saw what had happened; there was no sensation of falling, no feeling of faintness, no warning whasoever – just one minute I was walking down the aisle and the next minute I was conscious of people all around me – “What happened?”  “Did she fall?” “Is she okay?”  “Is there a doctor on the plane?”  I had a glimpse of a white uniform and I thought the pilot had come out (it was one of the stewards).  There were voices all around me; I was being pulled by numerous hands, and dragged across the floor to the back empty row, where they stuffed me on the floor in front of the seats.  [could they not have lifted me into a seat?]  I heard the words “nurse practicioner” and then “I’m a doctor” and an elderly man was looking at me, taking my vitals.  I told him I had just taken 2 sleeping pills; I told them where the bottle was.  They kept asking me if I was on any other medications or if I had drank any alcohol.  I kept saying no; I hate alcohol, but they weren’t listening.  I kept falling in and out of consciousness and my head was lolling back.  Finally, I threw up.  The doctor said now I had thrown up it would be okay, and they took me back to my seat [so I would vacate the 2 seats I had been lying in, which were for the crew to lie down and sleep in], and gave me some juice.  The doctor told me to sleep.

Funny thing was, I couldn’t.  I was all shaky and nauseous, but kept drinking and eating some crackers.  I threw up again, and then felt like I was going to pass out.  I called the steward back, and let him know; he brought the doctor who re-checked my vitals.  I threw up again, everything I had drank or eaten since boarding the plane.  (I was on the aisle side in the middle; the guy next to me must have been loving me by that time.)  I kept saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”  I realized I was also wearing two titanium Phiten patch discs on my shoulders where I had some sore muscles; once I removed them I suddenly felt loads better. [Phiten uses magnetic technology to draw blood flow into sore areas, relieving pain.]  It shouldn’t have made a difference, but I felt much less woozy; though I insisted they were just magnetic discs the doctor didn’t believe me and told me they had medication in them.  Anyway, I thought the ordeal was done.

But per procedures the crew had to call MediLife or something – a ground unit that relays medical advice to crews when flying.  They instructed to put me on oxygen for an hour, and then do an IV if I wasn’t responsive.  If I further didn’t respond, they would have to land the plane early.  I heard them whispering in the back.

Anyway, so I was put on an oxygen tank which ran out after about 25 minutes.  I kept breathing in the mask for another 10 minutes before I was feeling faint again and finally told the attendant I couldn’t breathe and was taking it off.

After that, I spent the remainder of the flight shaking and nauseous.  Luckily they assumed I was sleeping and did not have to land the plane early.  When we got to Newark I was so weak I couldn’t walk, and disembarked the plane on a wheelchair.  I was taken to the curb and put in a taxi, and collapsed when I got to the hotel room.

Much fun.  Must do it again sometime.

I was too weak to go to the Academy of Arts University show [section G, row 4, seat 4, thank you very much], could not do my backstage interviews, missed going to the HauteLook suite (free pampering!  ugh.) and couldn’t go to Irina Shabayeva’s show sponsored by Tupperware [which looked fabulous by the way – will post piccies soon].  I barely was able to make it around the corner from the hotel to get something to eat and check in at BP for my press credentials.

Now today I’ve slept a fair amount since yesterday, and am ready to go. Much better- stomach is still a little tender, so I’m taking it easy.

So.  Moral of the story?  Don’t take sleeping pills on an empty stomach! [love that it doesn’t say this on the box.]

Maybe this is not normal, even on an empty stomach.  Had anyone had any similar experience with Tylenol SimplySleep?

(original img from aol travel)



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