As I type this, it is our third day in China already! And I still am feeling like it's all a dream, simply surreal. We departed on Wednesday late morning from Newark, NJ airport. The trip to the airport, and getting through security went seamlessly!
Not long after leaving home, I remembered that I forgot to pack the snacks! Eeek! I'm a snackin' kinda girl and wasn't sure how many meals would be served, etc. on the plane. Was I gonna make it with my sweets? So I had Merle pull over at a little market that wasn't far from the airport. It was a tiny little Mexican mart and they only spoke Spanish.! So we started this whole language/culture thing early :) We happily spotted oreos (thought of you Faith!) and I grabbed several packs along with some other junk food for our big journey ahead.
Our airline started boarding the plane about 50 min. before our scheduled departure. With 90% of the plane having Chinese passengers, we were already the minority. While it can feel uncomfortable (getting lots of stares, pointing and whispering) in situtations such as this, I think it's a good when we have those experiences. Getting a mere glimpse at what it's like for others that live as a minority is a good thing. My sons live this daily and soon my daughter too. It's a good thing to "walk a bit in their shoes." (I'm NOT saying it's the same but simply a tiny way of "how it might feel") Ok - on with the journey.....
We situated ourselves in row 39 - all three of us together....with big 'ole bags resting at our feet in the stow away area in the seat in front of us. About a half hour into flight, Emily said she was feeling "kinda dizzy". Because Em and I often have low blood pressure that can sometimes cause side effects, I opened up my salt tablet bottle and handed Em 3tabs. Hoping if her bp was low, getting some extra salt would raise it enough and take care of the dizziness. Fast forward to about 10 hours into the plane ride. I awaken from a very short nap and Emily says to me, "weirdest thing, I just fainted in my seat!" I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open when it registered and I said, "why didn't you wake me?" She replied, "I didn't want to bother you". (YES, she's a sweetheart to not want to bother me but honestly, I would have rather had my zzz's interrupted). I promptly asked the flight attendant for some ginger ale and water. She drank a bit but was feeling nauseous. Not longer after, I saw her faint again (yes while sitting!) and when she became coherent, the poor girl vomitted all over herself. I immediately dove into my Mama mode, flagged down the flight attendant again and told her what had happened. She was visibly concerned. Things then happened fairly quickly so I'm not sure I have the order of events quite right. Being the world travler that I am (NOT) this Mom wasn't prepared with "extra clothes" in my carry on (thinking of you Carol ;0). We stratigically removed her gross t-shirt and threw it away and I gave her the lightweight sweater I was wearing. While doing these antics, I hear over the loudspeaker, if there is a doctor or nurse on board please see a flight attendant.
A very kind Chinese/American doctor came forward. She quickly heard our story and suggested that we have Emily in a more of a recline position (as opposed to the whooping 5" seat back in the economy section of the plane). SO...... we were escorted to 1st class (by the way Merle and I noted. these tickets were $5000 per ticket!! The doctor thought she was most likely dehydrated - so she put in an IV (and she was fabulous - first stick and got the IV) and quickly got in 1 bag of saline water (squeezing the bag). She then had a second and third bag. Please note we WERE drinking and not just one or two little cups??! Once we landed in Beijing it was protocol to call the medic team on board to "assess". I asked the female doctor if she would please stay on board and explain the situation and tell them she was stable. She gladly did that for us. Em was escorted off the plane in a wheelchair and through the airport. We breezed through customs and on out to where our friend, Dave McCulloch was waiting to take us to his home.
Emily seemed better and there were no more fainting episodes or nauseous feelings. We were just VERY TIRED. Through the whole ordeal - we had that "peace that passes understanding" feeling. Seriously, no panic feelings or "why me" feelings -- just very grateful for God's provision in a kind and caring flight attendant staff as well as a doctor who was knowledgeable and caring!
Needless to say we were EXHAUSTED but at the same time thankful to be in China and with dear friends/hosts, Dave & Evelyn McCulloch and ready to try on the China time difference.
We actually didn't crawl into bed unto about 10:32 p.m. (which is a good thing) and slep very well -- yes awakening often but able to go back to sleep until about 6:00. Praise God from whom all blessings flow for HIS constant provision and love!