I don't particularly like to fly. I've flown lots (including to Australia and back) but I'm not that fussed on it. I hadn't flown in over three years and it was the first time I'd ever flown by myself. I tend to get nervous before I fly and so you can imagine quite how nervous I was before flying out on Thursday!
I threw up before we left for Gatwick and was sat in the check in queue with tears streaming down my face feeling like I'd be sick. My Dad asked me if I wanted to go home and I said No, I wanted to go. He seemed a little stressy with me and really I can't blame him. After a lot of fuss they found someone to take me through security and down to the gate - originally they tried to say that my Dad would have to take me to security and attempt to talk the security guards into letting him come thru security and taking me to the gate.
As soon as the guy was with me (he was lovely) he took me straight to the gate and pretty much straight onto the plane. I calmed down while I was with him and he had me laughing when he pointed out that one of the buggies they use to move people around the airport was going round with a tire that nearly fell off every time the wheel moved. But when I got to the plane I started crying again.
The cabin crew were great (and I was lucky enough to have the same head steward flying back and to know that ahead of time) and got me tissues, talked to me a little and then checked on me regularly during the flight to see if I needed anything etc. I soon calmed down. The head steward guy was really funny too which helped a lot I think.
I was sat in a window seat (I sat in the window on both flights) and strangely I enjoyed looking down. When we flew over Jersey it was really beautiful and I wished I'd had my camera out. I also bought a bottle of the limited edition CK One Summer and read an entire book during the flight (Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom - it's a true story and it was so powerful. I intend to read it again soon).
When we were racing along the runway and then I felt the wheels leave the ground and us lift off I was so happy. I just wanted to scream "I did it! I did it!"
I learnt a lot during my time in Madrid. About myself, who I am and what I can accomplish if I truly want to do it, believe I can do it and put my mind to it.
My accident was the worst thing tht happened out there but there were several other little mini "adventures" or upsets and I dealt with them all fine. I wheeled myself for absolute miles in my manual chair, handled not adequately dropped curbs with few issues and had a great time. I had to do something out there that I had been adament before I went that I was too scared to do and wasn't going too. I knew I had no choice in the matter however and I just got on with it. It's not something (riding the metro) I'd do again, but I coped and I showed myself just how strong i can be.
When I went to the airport to fly back there was a guy with CP (in a chair) and his mum on my flight too. The flight was slightly delayed and I was sat with them both at the gate and on the plane. We were chatting (well, mostly I was chatting with his mum) and she kept commenting about how brave I was to fly by myself and that she woudln't do it and she's not disabled. She then asked about where I stayed and upon hearing that I stayed in the hotel alone (which, btw, I loved!) went back to saying how brave I was. Her son was upset about leaving his friends they'd been visiting and she kept telling him "Emma's left her friends and is flying home by herself, if anyone is going to get upset it's Emma."
Going to Madrid by myself wasn't exactly brave - I do what I have to do and I had to do that. I wanted to go to Madrid and I knew if I didn't go alone I woudn't go. So I went.
I'm not going to lie and say that getting on that plane was easy tho, it's wasn't.
We landed back in the UK and they brought stairs to aircraft so we had to sit (for ages) and wait for an ambulift. I was sat there going "I didn't it. I went to Madrid by myself. I did it." and she turned to me and went
"Yes, Emma. You did. Well Done."