Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Airport Gateway Hotel, 206 Kirkbride road, Mangere

Yesterday I flew up to Auckland from Dunedin. As we began our descent to Wellington, I began to experience fairly severe pain in both ears, which stubbornly refused to acclimatise to the changing pressures. Things were quite bad, but the pain subsided whilst I was waiting for my connection flight to Auckland. Sadly, the approach to Auckland was worse (I didn't think that there was a "worse" to how the ears were coming into Wellington, but I can assure you that there is!).

I realize now that I was quite shocked and disorientated after I disembarked. The sea was roaring in my ears, and my head felt like it was under water.

In the midst of the chaos of trying to find my way to the International Departure place, I took several wrong turnings and even found myself crossing a road at an airport carpark! Anyway, I found the International part of the airport, and, more importantly, a little desk with a sign above it saying "Help!" This was manned by two people who were probably volunteers. I was so thankful to them for their understanding. They managed to arrange for airport paramedics to talk to me, who nothing about ears (they were from the fire department), but were kind and helped me find the airport doctor. Getting to the airport doctor meant a taxi ride of less than 2 km, that cost me $50.... The standard return fare was $60, but he offered to do it for $50 when he saw my distress. Actually he was very kind, and waited, and waited for me whilst I was at the doctor. All this was going on, and I had less than 30 minutes to go before boarding the LA part of the flight.

The doctor found that the left ear, which was the better of the two, was already bruised inside with bleeding going on behind the eardrum, and the right ear was worse, and also was filled up with fluid. The doctor was experienced with seeing flight staff, and said I could not fly for a minimum of two days. I asked him what would happen if I simply kept going and got him to write me an antibiotic script to keep away infection later, and he said that to continue I was very likely to rupture something in the ear, and if the wrong part ruptured, I would suffer permanent deafness.

Then I had to rush back to the airport. Air NZ were really helpful, and managed to retrieve my luggage from the plane. I then had a long talk with the after hours desk at Flight Center, who were also helpful, and then a rather non productive long talk to the flight insurance people.

2.5 hours later I was booking into the Gateway Hotel, somewhere (goodness knows where) close to the airport.

To be honest, I have no idea what to do at this stage. I have a feeling that it is unlikely that I will be able to fly for quite some time.

Anyway, I am terribly sorry that I am going to be almost certainly missing the opening of the show, and I think it likely that I may not be able to come over at all.

I will have to leave things here. I will stay tomorrow night at this Hotel too (I'm in room 158). I don't know if there are any Auckland bloggers that follow this and feel like they could rescue me for an hour or two, but you can always leave a message at the desk here.

So, big apologies to all of you in America who were expecting me and were arranging things for me. I will try to Email you all, but I'm on a hotel computer, that is eating up the dollars rather.

Dunno how I'm getting home again to Dunedin, that will be an adventure in itself if I am not flying.

I feel really like I have let an awful lot of people down.


Judy Shreve said...

Oh my Peter - what an ordeal. You must have been in so much pain. I am thankful that you found a proper doctor who urged you to take care of yourself. I know you must be so disappointed.

I hope that you can get home quickly & safely. Please post that you have made it home & feeling better. I'm sure everyone in North Carolina will be sad not to meet you.

Dad said...

Dear Peter,
East, West, HOME's best - and not by air!!!!
Thoroughly frustrating for you and disappointing to all your Blogger friends too; but until something's done medically/surgically(?) flying's out for you. You missed L.A.'s 45C record temp if that's any consolation for you!

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Peter: I received an email from Laura this morning, just as Gerry was waking up with an INNER EAR INFECTION! and a terrible chest and sinus cold or something. He has been in bed all day, so he feels your pain, literally! I am so sorry this has happened, but no one is let down, just concerned for your well being and sad for you that your adventure has gone this way. NO worries, get the ears better and things will fall into place, keep the faith!! We will be thinking well thoughts for you here! Keep me posted in case I should need to come pick you up at the airport at a later time.

Linda Starr said...

So sorry about your ear troubles, but you must take care of your hearing. I am sorry to miss meeting you in person and I know you must be really disappointed. Hopefully good things are just around the corner.

cookingwithgas said...

Peter things happen and even though we looked forward to having you here your health is more important.
Our house is and will be always open to you.
We will be thinking about you until you are safe at home.
Best- Meredith

Angie said...

I feel for you ....but your health is the most important thing. Take Care ...Hugs XX

Peter said...

Thank you so much for your comments all of you. You are all very kind. I'm really not sure what I am doing right now, but will try to rest today, and will most likely start to find ways of traveling home again.
Both ears not the best, but I have a heap of antibiotics and other stuff to take, so should come right soon.
Love to you all,
P xx

Hollis Engley said...

So sorry to hear about your ear problem, Peter. Dee's had similar pain in some flights, but nothing that serious. We'll miss seeing you later this week, but obviously you made the right choice. Hope the flights back were less painful. Come to Cape Cod some time.

Danny Holland said...

Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time, Peter. Take care, hope you have a safe trip back home.

ang said...

oh pete total bummer i was just about to wish you happy travels...what a stinker, still take the docs advice and rest!! you can travel later, that cabin pressure is a freaky thing just a short trip to brizzie I took a while back was a nasty one!! and that was without any ear dramas..cheers pete and take it easy...:)

Ron said...

Peter, do take care. I hope you get home safely and quickly. These things happen, it's a bummer you can't come this time and you certainly haven't let us down. All the best,

ro said...

Indeed a bummer! Alas and lackaday! And only today Marion was asking if I knew how you'd fared getting away. Bitter disappointment.

Marion is almost in tears at yr plight

Arkansas Patti said...

Peter, I am sooooo very sorry. What a dreadful thing to happen after all your plans.
Of course I am disappointed but that is nothing compared with how badly I feel for your maybe not being able to come at all. What a freaky thing and I hope you recover nicely and can salvage some of your trip. If not, just get well soon, your hearing is most important. Hope you were able to recover your money for the tickets and got home OK.

Armelle said...

I am really sorry for you Peter, hope you will be better soon, take care. I hope you will be able to come back home with less pain.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I am so sorry to learn of your distress! First and foremost, you must take care of yourself; Good Lord willing, you will be able to come to the States at a later date, even if you have to come by ship at ground (water) level.

Wishing you a safe and comfortable return home and a speedy recuperation.

Christine H S said...

There was me thinking,'I wonder how Peter is getting on with his travels', and then I read this. Oh that is too bad, what a huge disappointment. I am so sorry. But like everyone else has said, you're health and hearing are the most important things to look after just now. Just hope you can get yourself home without too many adventures of the wrong kind. Good luck, take care and there will be a next time I am sure.

Peter said...

Dear All,
Thank you for your kind comments, all much appreciated. Just an update (a post will follow soon), I have been rescued from my motel by friends (old school friend of Laura's), and am staying a few days in Auckland to recover before heading home. All going well, I might get in touch with some potters up here and see what is going on in the galleries. Will see the doctor this afternoon to check on progress. You are very much in my thoughts.

Amy said...

Won't be able to go to the exhibit either and I'm only 2 hours away! Gosh, it's so good to hear that you're taking care of you, which is most important. Yes, I can imagine that many are disappointed, because they will miss you. That's all. Blessings as you heal.

ang said...

Excellent rescue from the motel!! woohoo cheers for great friends, get well soon peter and enjoy Auckland..

jim said...

hi peter, i've been a bit remiss lately on my blogging and was checking in with all the pics of the blog show (that i didn't make either) and trying to find you in the group shots. so here i came looking for clues and was saddened to hear of your ordeal. hope all is well, i'm sure you were missed.