Friday, June 19, 2009

On flying

Okay. I'm crazy. I know this. I'm okay with it. However, my fear of flying over open water has just gotten worse since the tragic crash of Air France Flight 447.

When we flew from Japan to Los Angeles in April, I was a mess! I had to turn on my iPod as loud as possible, close my eyes, drink heavily, and pray every time there was a slight bit of turbulence on the airplane. When you fly across the world, your personal TV on the airplane has a map that tracks the airplane's location. For me, it's terrifying to sit and watch as we travel thousands of miles over OPEN WATER. Horrible things flash through my mind. I can't relax. All I can think about is crashing into the Bering Sea and dying a horrible death. (And, flying is the only way out of Japan, since it's an island nation!) By the way, this is a new fear. When I used to fly to Germany to see Husband, I was fine. But now the idea of possibly being in a plane crash with my son is absolutely horrifying.

I'm okay with the idea of me dying. Look, I've got asthma and know the reality of the situation. I could die anytime from an asthma attack. I know that and I've come to terms with it. I know I'll probably die young as a result of having diseased lungs. I've spent my whole life dealing with it, and I've accepted my fate. I'm cool with that. You have to be when you have a chronic illness that takes your breath away!

But the idea of enduring a plane crash in the frigid water's of the Bering Sea frightens me to my core. But up until 2 weeks ago, it was just a ridiculous fear. Now I know such a thing is possible and surviving such a crash is basically impossible! The recent crash of Flight 447 has just added fuel to my fire. Now I'm even more horrified than before. Now I'm scared shitless! Now I fear every flight over open water. I'm okay flying over land but not flying water. I know, it's weird!

I'm not scared for myself. I'm scared for my son. I'm scared about those last 2 possible minutes before the plane crashes into the cold ocean, to never be recovered. I know I'm much more likely to die in a car crash or from an asthma attack. And I know flying is one of the safest ways to travel, but still I'm consumed with fear when I fly over vast expanses of ocean with my child. Maybe it's the mommy in me just trying to protect my baby from everything. Or maybe it's just my lack of control I have during the flight. All I can do is sit there and think about every possible frightening scenario and play it out in my mind every time the plane hits the slightest bit of turbulence. I can't sleep on the plane. I can't rest. I can't do anything except think about crashing into the ocean and watching my child die. I know, it's horrible. It's a horrible fear.

And now we are planning a trip to Okinawa in July. And the only way to get there is on a plane! I feel sorry for the poor bastards that have to sit next to me! I plan to drink heavily, listen to my iPod on it's loudest setting, and possibly take drugs!

So now you know my fears: flying over open water and cockroaches. (I'll tell you my cockroach story later. It's a good one!)

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