My wings are starting to get antsy. I miss the fast paced lifestyle that I am so accustomed to. Popping in and out of cities, countries and continents. I skip and hop over time zones. Days, nights, weeks and months flow smoothly by.
I am temporarily grounded. Been so for ten days now. What cut my wings and forced me to the ground? COLDS.
Yes, the common cold was my downfall. Sniffles, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion. Sometimes it comes with cough, headache and fever. As a frequent flyer, I should have known better. Never fly with a cold.
Flying with a cold increases the risk of suffering from barotrauma. It happens when the eardrums gets stretched and tensed due to the unequal pressure in either side of the eardrums which causes discomfort, pain and slight hearing impairment during descent. To ease the pain on descent, try chewing, swallowing and yawning.
I tried all the methods I know, unfortunately, my nasal passage is too congested that I cannot equalize and resulted to barotrauma. After an ear check, I found out that my eardrums slightly bled and were bruised. I was grounded up to 5 days depending on the recovery of my ears. Three days after my check up, I felt a throbbing pain on my right ear, my hearing is as if I am underwater and as I lay down to sleep there was a clear liquid coming out of my ear. Panic stricken. All I can think of is please don’t let me go deaf!
After another ear check, the doctor told me that there is a perforation in my right ear causing an ear infection stemming from barotrauma. I want to kick myself for risking it. I knew I should not fly with a cold and yet I did. I have been grounded and lost the chance to be in Glasgow, Dusseldorf and Milan.
I sit here now, writing this post in hopes that whoever chance upon this would think twice and not make the same mistake I did. I am still lucky that my barotrauma is still considered a minor case. Worst case scenario would be kissing my hearing goodbye along with my flying career.
NEVER FLY WITH A COLD. You have been lovingly warned. 😀