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Medical Emergencies, Ingesting Poison, and Lucky Lady Doctors

Have you ever eaten Voltaren gel?

I have--on accident-this morning--in the first 20 minutes I was in Ireland.

Let's back up to the FIRST medical emergency of the day which happened upon take off from ATL to Dublin.

While on the tarmac, getting settled in my seat for a 7.5-hour ride across the pond for a 10-day Irish/Scottish adventure, the first of 2 Medical Emergencies happened.

We were told the flight was delayed after we boarded due to maintenance issues.

No biggie, we were settled in and what's another 40 minutes anyway?

And then, an announcement came over the PA system:

"If there are any medical professionals on board, please go to row 44"

I was in row 26 without a vantage point of said emergency.

However, the man next to me was making hand gestures to the back of the airplane.

I asked him,

"Is everything OK?"

He said, "Yes. My family is in row 44 but my wife signaled that it was on the other side of the aisle so I am relieved they are ok"

I was relieved for him and it begged some other questions,

"Why does he get to sit 20 rows up away from his family and get a mini solo flight vacay from the inevitable kid chaos? "

It reminded me of a family picture we have of my mom, dad, and all 4 kids.

Mom is holding EVERYTHING, dad is happy as a clam in his leisure suit without a worry in the world, and the rest of us are oblivious to my mom's full hands.



At some point over the years, a sticky note was fastened to the pic that said "Don't worry guys, I got it"

I guess this is the plight of moms.

They always "have it" even when their husband is 20 rows up on an international flight and there is a medical emergency in their row and the mom is left to tend to the kid worries.



Paramedics came on and wheeled the patient off the flight, the maintenance issue was resolved and away we went. I don't know what happened to the medical patient--I hope that person is OK. I am so grateful it happened before we took off for a long flight so hopefully the patient could get the quick medical attention needed.


The flight itself was pretty fast and easy. I slept for 3 hours, watched the sunrise, daydreamed at the clouds

and caught up on Ted Lasso and various work projects.




Upon landing, I was so excited to brush my teeth, wash my face and go pee.

I went to the bathroom, washed my face, and now it's time to brush my teeth--the moment to which I'd been waiting 14 hours.

I squeezed the toothpaste on my toothbrush and started vigorously brushing.




I thought to myself:

"Hmmm this doesn't taste like toothpaste and it's not the same consistency as my normal stuff"


I looked down at the tube and realized I was brushing with Voltaren Arthritis Gel.

My whole mouth went numb and tingled. I started freaking out putting my mouth under all the faucets. Since they were on sensors, the water trickled slowly and people were moving out of the way as this mad woman was shoving her face in their sink.


I asked,

"Am I going to die? Did I just poison myself?"

I literally said this out loud like the anxious voices in my head could not contain themselves and had to audibly be shared with all the Dublin arriving passengers.

This scared the many other ladies in the bathroom and they all banded together to help. One lady gave me a fresh bottle of unopened water and yelled

"Rinse. Just Rinse"

Another lady found paper towels and shouted

"wipe your whole mouth out clean and scrub your tongue and teeth"

And then. like a fairy Godmother out of nowhere, the luck of the Irish bequeathed me a lady doctor! A woman approached me and said

"I am a doctor. I heard you may have ingested Voltaren Topical Gel. Did you swallow it?" I said "No, I did not swallow it, I just put it on my teeth and a little bit on my tongue,"

She said, "you will be ok. You do not have to make yourself vomit. Get a new toothbrush and brush your tongue really well, use that whole bottle of water and rinse out and you'll be ok. Your mouth might be tingly for a while but you'll be fine."


I told her she was my medical angel, thanked her and away she and her Mayo Clinic jacket went. What are the odds that a doctor would be peeing and overhearing my drama of potential arthritis cream poisoning?

I followed her instruction to a tee and so far, so great.

I am still a little tingly in the mouth, but, no other side effects.

I am still in awe of how quickly all the Dublin bathroom ladies banded together to help me. I was a total trainwreck, alone in a foreign country, truly believing I had just poisoned myself and the bathroom babes stepped up. Speaking of trains, I am on one now.




There are a lot of sheep just laying around on bright green pastures.

This is the last leg of the adventure for the day and am headed to Shannon/Cork.


The day started exactly 24 hours ago when my husband dropped me at the San Diego airport--I took that to Atlanta--took that to Dublin--then a taxi to a train station--and now--the final leg---to the final destination at Savoy Hotel.


I feel lucky that my first 20 minutes in Ireland did not end up in a hospital or a brush with a poison control hotline.

Moral of the story: After a long international flight, pay attention to the tubes of things you're putting in your body and in your mouth. I got lucky this time, but I blame 3 hours of sleep and a deep craving for a clean mouth.


I will be posting about this trip sporadically thought-out the next 10 days. Hoping these are the only two medical emergencies to share and that the rest of the adventures are true magical FUN moments.




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