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.