I usually keep a prescription pill bottle with a variety of pills in my purse. Yes, I’m sure this is illegal somehow since they aren’t in the original, labeled bottles. However, I’ll take my chances and risk getting arrested. I like to have some ibuprofen with me. And some aspirin, in the event of an emergency. And a variety of other meds I take rarely, but am extremely happy to have on hand should I (or someone else) experience a panic attack, or my neck/shoulders seize up.
Anyway, on the flight from Guanajuato into Houston yesterday the man in front of me had a seizure or a stroke or something. I am NOT good in a medical crisis. My immediate reaction was to stand up and ask if there was a doctor on the plane. The man’s companion (possibly his daughter, but I wasn’t sure), was unbelievably focused, calm, and professional. Turns out she’s an ER/trauma doctor, so the “doctor on the plane” was already with him. (And, no, there wasn’t another one.) Thank God, because otherwise I would definitely have needed a Valium which, luckily, I had with me. 😉
They considered diverting the flight to Corpus Cristi, but the woman wanted a level 1 hospital and decided to continue into Houston. When I heard her mention that he could possibly be having a stroke, I told her I had aspirin. She took it from me and had him chew it. Her aspirin was in her carry on but, because the plane was so small, most of the carry on bags had been stowed under the plane and weren’t available. She was very grateful, and I was SO happy that I had my pills with me. If he’d had a stroke, or if it had been a heart attack, that aspirin could have been a life saver.
Now, I’m sure the airline must have had aspirin on the flight. The somewhat worthless stewardess (truly, she was remarkably disinterested and almost put out by the crisis) got an oxygen tank for the “patient”. But she didn’t pull out a first aid kit or anything. And, while I’m sure the doctor would have preferred an aspirin that came in a little marked packet vs. a pill I picked out from among a variety of meds dumped into my hand, she took and used it without hesitation. (She did check to make sure it as an aspirin.) Also, this kind of situation could clearly happen in a place other than a commercial airplane where the chance of being equipped, medically, would be much less likely. I never really thought the need would arise, but it did and I was SO happy to be able to help.
I really hope the gentleman is OK.