The One when I Got Sick at 36.000 Feet Above the Earth


Now this is something that rarely happen to me, getting sick while traveling. So when couple of hours ago I was struggling with weak body, dizzy head, nausea, and the natural reaction to faint in 36.000 feet above the earth in one of the planes of Qatar Airways, I was scared.

What makes me suddenly sick like that? Well, the best guess is to blame the ‘masuk angin’ – literally translated to ‘enter wind’ or ‘the wind that enter your body’. Strange huh? It is. It is the only term of sickness that you can only find in Indonesia. There is no medical term for this sickness and the doctors won’t admit it. Super awesome :D

So how come I caught the ‘masuk angin’? Well it is quite common actually to happen to us who believe that there is such thing as ‘masuk angin’. For me, I think it was because I didn’t sleep at all at the night before I travel. I’m so busy packing and finishing other tasks before I go. And because I need to go to several places on my way to the airport, I forgot to have lunch. Tired bodies combined with late lunch + the cold air at the airplane + waiting for dinner to be served makes me ‘masuk angin’. I was okay when I had my dinner and tried to get some sleep after that. But then I woke up with uneasy feeling. I have nausea, but I thought I won’t throw up. I felt sick, but still too proud to call the stewardess.

I tried to get to sleep for an hour and failed. I finally decided to ask the stewardess whether I can move to empty seats where I can lay down and sleep. She was so kind and understanding. She showed her empathy when I said I was sick. She then looked for available seats and moved me.

It was 2 seaters, I was unable to stretch my full body. But that was not the problem at that time. I almost fainted only for walking from front seats to the back of the plane. My hearing goes deaf, eyes couldn’t see clearly and rather black, my breath was fast and short. Yep, that’s the signs that I will fainted soon. I sat on the chair and was trying to concentrate on anything. By thinking while trying to control my breath, it was proven effective to maintain my consciousness.

Then I tried to lay down. And I wanted to throw up. I hurried to the toilet, luckily only 1 seat far from my seats. After that, I went back to my seat with another soon-to-be-faint feeling. The situations were repeated 2 times until the plane landed safely in Doha, Qatar. My stomach was empty. I was only wanted to drink water to prevent dehydration.

When we prepared for landing, the stewardess who previously help me was magically appeared on my side. She was working in the front area of the plane, so I did not expect her to come and see me again in the back seats. She asked if I feel better? I said no, not meant to be rude, because that what was happen. She hoped I will get better soon and then left me to continue her works.

She was so nice and I wanted to thank her before I leave the plane. While I still organizing my stuffs back in my original seat in front of the plane, she was greeting me again. This time I showed my gratitude to her, and told her that she was thoughtful and kind. She looked happy and again, showed her empathy by saying that she used to be sick when working, but now her body already adapted. Awww how nice is that! She was also talking about a passenger who shouted at her when she moved me to the back seat. Yeah I heard that. He was shouting for his drink. Now this made me learn to be patient to stewardess and other service staff. In which when they aren’t giving your request in time, maybe it’s because they need to handle urgent inquiries.

She then asked for where I was heading and how she wanted to go home. I told her to have a good rest, she told me to have fun in my trip. My attempt to shake her hand was more like holding hand together. We parted like best friend.

So what happen when you’re sick while traveling alone? Well it sucks, definitely. I felt so sick but I can’t tell others. But there’s also a chance to receive caring from strangers. Her name is Betsy. From hundreds of steward and stewardess I have met on my journey, I will not forget her. Thank you, Betsy! You’re the best!


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