and so our fantastic five week trip comes to an end and we return home at the beginning of December where I start to pay the price. We go from 30 degrees to -5 in one slow tortuous bound. I also develop leg cramps and am referred to hospital for an ultra sound scan. They do my right leg which is the most painful but not the left. In January we fly to Spain. I have been noticing a slight breathlessness and so we go on a tough mountain walk to sort it out. As I am coming down my left leg goes rigid with a horrendous cramp from hip to toe. I manage to massage it back to life and we continue down to the car, but when we get home my leg has swelled below the knee to twice its normal size. I go to the health centre where a doctor examines my leg and diagnoses muscle bruising. I spend the rest of the holiday walking very slowly short distances and lying down. I go to the doctors on our return to the UK and get the Spanish diagnosis confirmed. However as the swelling goes down I become more and more breathless, eventually puffing and panting just climbing the stairs. I go back to the docs for an MOT and after blood and breath tests, back to hospital where a CT scan reveals a large pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lungs). I have had DVT in my left leg since December and am lucky to be alive. I have a week in hospital getting my blood thinned and then home to a greatly reduced life style. I'm gradually clawing it back now but it's slow work with two steps forwards and then one or two back.
Women on the pill and people over sixty are high risk, something the airlines don't seem to mention. It will be support socks and a aisle seat for me every time I fly now and I would recommend that precaution to anybody, especially on long haul flights.
The landscapes are in Iraq