11.23.2014

Deep Vein Strombolis

I got a bit of sleep on the big arsed plane, thanks largely to a triple whammy of prescription muscle relaxants provided by my sister, an herbal sleep aid, and that workhorse of mandatory drowsiness...Benadryl.

Thanks to my nine year old niece and nephew, my sister was able to board the plane early as one of those people "with disabilities or with children who may need a little more time in boarding," and I grabbed onto her coattails with all my might. Boarding a plane early is a first for me and it was quite pleasant not having to be herded like cattle and deal with slow people blocking aisles.

Once the plane was in the air, I stayed awake as long as I could to push the envelope of my biological clock. This equated to watching 1.5 movies on the LCD screen embedded in the seat back of the guy in front of me...Godzilla (fun and campy) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (ok but predictable and the CGI apes were awkward). Then I dosed myself with sleep aids, popped in my earplugs, and let my mind get sucked down into the black hole vortex of slumber.

I brought a U-shaped neck pillow with me on this trip, which provides great neck support in a reclined airplane seat. It was cool in the cabin so I pulled up the hood of my hoodie and used the blanket supplied by QANTAS airlines to keep my legs warm. I was about as comfortable as one can be in economy class, but as tall as I am, my legs are never happy. I estimate I got perhaps four to five hours of pretty solid sleep. It will do. As I type this, my phone, in airplane mode, says 9 AM Sunday morning, which I suspect is the time in LA, the last place my phone had network connectivity. Melbourne, Australia is only five time zones away from LA, amazingly, but because of the International Dateline, it is actually 19 hours in the future. My biological clock doesn't really care what day it is, only what time of day, though so it thinks it is early afternoon (Wisconsin time), not 5 AM (Melbourne time, as I write this). That explains why I am not sleepy at the moment.

There are another four hours of this flight. That's about the time it takes to fly from Chicago to LA, which I did...yesterday? I can manage that. The harder task is that I will need to burl through an entire Aussie day on top of those four hours, and be exhausted enough that I can get an early night and force my biological clock to reset with a good night of sleep. Hopefully, my parents brought melatonin with them, which aids in both sleep and diurnal rhythm reset.

I guess deep vein thrombosis is a common thing on planes. Already the flight staff have requested the assistance of any doctor among the passengers. Not sure what that is about, but on a plane this size there are statistically going to be medical issues among passengers as well as a fair number of doctors to come to the rescue.

I keep wanting to call it DEEP VEIN STROMBOLIS for some reason...probably a side effect of the muscle relaxants. I could not tell if the drugs from sissie really had any observable effect, but I definitely feel at ease, content, and about as rested as I have ever felt on a 15 hour flight. Due to the cool temperature of the airplane cabin, I didn't perspire too much during the perpetual night either, so my travel stank hasn't reached dangerous levels yet.

So far everything has been smooth. I will sacrifice another goat to the Travel Gods when we get to Melbourne to ensure things continue to go swimmingly.

Perhaps I should not use the word swimmingly when moving at 800 mph at 37,000 feet above the Indian Ocean. But I am not a superstitious man.

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