Note to self: If you are not completely recovered from a sinus infection, with resulting pressure on your ears, do not even CONSIDER flying on a plane - ever again.
The flight from Kansas City to Dallas - almost resulted in a burst eardrum. It was all I could do to hold it together while the plane was descending. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.
During our 5-hour layover in Dallas, about all I could focus on was how I would survive the flight to Belize. I was in a tailspin, that's for sure.
Some of my traveling partners - bless their souls - took my situation to the help desk at the airport. There, 3 flight attendants happened to be standing around, and they all 3 quickly chimed in with advice. Buy some gum. Take another Sudafed. Buy some Afrin at the airport shop and USE it. Get a warm compress on my ears immediately.
So - I did it all. Yup - I bought the gum. I took another Sudafed. I bought the Afrin and sprayed. I got a warm towel (thanks, Dallas American Airlines employees - you rock) and hot water and held it on my ear.
When I boarded the plane, the situation was quickly explained to my flight attendant - and she made it her personal mission to see to my comfort on that flight.
I did okay on the ascent and most of the flight. It was during the descent that all hell broke loose - again. I survived - without a shattered eardrum - but just barely. Damn, that hurt. I mean, it hurt worse than childbirth.
But - God was with me. I happened to be sitting right next to a physician. No kidding. Who talked me through it and also gave me tips and advice. He also gave me the bad news that it would probably take 3 weeks to kick this infection, so yes, I would probably be flying home on the 14th with this same problem. Great.
Anyway - I'm okay. I have fluid on my ears right now (5 hours after landing) and so I can't hear very well at all - but the doctor said that is normal and it would eventually go away.
Belize is awesome. It's warm. Very warm. And we didn't see much, as we left the airport and then drove north for 2 hours, arriving in Corozal around 7:00 p.m. tonight. And it was dark. Tomorrow - church and then some Mayan ruins. Should be fun.
And - I met Phil, the Guatemalan Mission guy and his wife today at the airport - so we could discuss future Guatemala mission trips. That was awesome.
So - my ears are sore, but all is well in my world. Thanks to all of your well wishes; you all are great!