Wheels Up

I love to travel! It feeds my soul and gives me life! I wanted to be a flight attendant when I was a child for the mere fact that they got to travel! I had no thought of how labor intensive the job is. On my long haul to South Africa, I flew my airline of choice Delta. The flight attendants were just amazing. I have to give a shout out to Jana, Karen, Charlotte, Yvonne, Allison and Mary on the flight TO South Africa and a special shout out to Troye Washington and her crew on the trip FROM South Africa back to the US.

After 8 hours or so, I get out of my seat and join the attendants in the back, we chat, laugh, twerked…yes delirium set in and we did twerk on board DL flight # lolololol! These flight attendants are people who have the daunting task of dealing with people, some not so nice, highly entitled demanding people for 10+ hours! Kudos to them! As a physician, I understand that there are times you are not in the mood to really deal with rudeness or entitlement and when you don’t work for yourself, you have to do your best to represent the brand with dignity and integrity. Shared some health tips with my new homey Jana who was gracious enough to charge my phone for me in the flight attendants’ quarters since the outlets at our seats were not functioning. When our journey ended on the way to SA, we hugged and took selfies! What a great group!

On the way back, the team was equally awesome! Very efficient. Troye headed up the team…she was spunky just like Jana! My kinna people.

“Ladies and gentlemen if there is a doctor on board, please ring your call light”

aaarrgghh the dreaded announcement. I hesitated! Then jumped into action. One of their own flight attendants was ill. Myself and another internist and PA assisted. We checked vitals, took history performed exam, documented findings. I found myself doing what I would do for my own patients or family and massaged her hair. She cautioned me that she had dirty hair and apologized.

Me: That’s ok hon, this is better than diabetic ulcers…just relax…take nice deep breaths. You’re going to be ok.

She managed a smile…she started to feel better after some medication and Sprite. Rx for rest, no more work on this flight. Explained to she and her team leader what I thought the problem was. I checked on her again an hour before landing and was escorted up a secret place I never knew existed! Did you know that there were bedrooms upstairs in the plane. That there was even an UPSTAIRS in the plane. My lady was resting well and felt better..I became my silly self and managed to do some dance or the other while the flight attendants who were up there laughed.

Me: Dang this is some cool stuff up here! I never knew this existed!

Them: Now you know you’re special because you got the info girl!

We laughed about the very strange passenger who walked up to me talking thinking that I was one of the flight attendants she spoke to earlier

Passenger: I know you

Me: Uh uh, no you don’t. I don’t know you!

We laughed because this passenger had done this prior with someone else. Strange.

As I left the plane after we landed, Troye and the entire team thanked me and I was surprised to get a message through my website from Troye updating me about my lady. She was doing better and it was what we thought it was. I am so thankful that Troye displayed so much grace and gratitude.

No-one is ever ALL good or ALL bad and we sometimes don’t realize just how much goes into doing a certain job. I watched those flight attendant busting sweat balls in the back of the plane and I decided to provide comic relief….I appreciate the work they do because at this stage in my life, I would not want to do it. Some of these flight attendants were much older and while I know they must love what they do, I cannot help to think if it is a MUST for them…that they cannot survive without the income. They worked hard to make our 14 and 15 hour trips palatable. In light of all the fallout from a situation where we only know one side of the story, I think it is is important that we see the other side. I think it is important that we remember that we are not always ON and there are times when we too might err…let’s build a coalition where #thisiswhatateamlookslike