... a few months later I left on an Airbus four-day flight rotation, covering three to four legs a day to various European destinations, never suspecting it was to be my last!
I had been feeling very poorly for a very long time now, in fact I got worse since re-training on to Airbuses. I had to take sick leave more often than not, struggled to go to work, and felt worse with dizzy spells and constant headaches on practically every flight. I couldn’t stand those smells of dirty wet socks (or was it wet dogs?), which seemed to be present on every aircraft and always more intense than the previous time, which we still thought was normal after a long night flight and full house; the fumes of kerosene before take-off, and exhaust fumes that wafted through the cabin while on blocks or taxiing made me feel nauseous instantly. I continued having trouble with my balance and started having problems when the pilots changed heading, and when the aircraft moved to change direction or if descent was too fast. The movement made me feel dizzy; it felt like my brain was detached from my body, and my skull felt too tight with that pressure building up that felt like my brain was swollen and inflamed, putting pressure on my hearing. Often it took a day or two for that to settle down again. Now my doctors thought I was having low blood pressure problems...
Over the past months a new symptom had appeared. I was now in constant pain. Excruciating sciatic nerve pain had joined the muscular flu-like ache. Often I could barely sit or stand, never mind walk, without being bent over double. I had been receiving up to thirty injections of pain and muscle relaxant medicines which were administered along my spine twice a week to help that, but it always only lasted a couple of hours. The muscles were rock hard, the sciatic nerve area remained so painful, I could hardly move. Puzzled because other typical symptoms such as damaged or slipped discs weren’t apparent, the orthopaedic surgeon’s only other solution was exploratory surgery to ‘perhaps find something that way’, which I refused.
Who would have thought that toxins could also affect the spinal cord, which is the central trunk of nerves connecting the brain with the rest of the body?
Nerves and nerve roots become irritated and radiate pain from chemicals! The central nervous system (CNS), which is in the spinal trunk, was already irritated and damage was done, and the muscles were filled with toxins. So the sciatic nerve wasn’t jammed at all, it was radiating pain from the toxins! Again, another symptom of peripheral neuropathy due to toxic stress.
And as for the muscles, the toxins concentrate in parts of the muscle and that irritates them to contract; they stiffen and feel like rocks, immovable and pulling in all the wrong directions. I couldn’t walk, sit or lie without pain. And again, no matter what I said, they dismissed the thought of a chronic poisoning being the possible reason.
Flying frequently can be hazardous to your health. This is especially true for those who do it for a living. My whole system finally broke down.
© excerpt from The Air I Breathe -it’s classified by Bearnairdine Beaumont
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After becoming unfit to fly and being medically 'retired' Bearnairdine became involved in scientific research for the campaign 'improve the quality of aircraft cabin air' and the helping of victims to understand their ill-health; coming from a medical background she is also a health consultant & educator with over 25 years professional and personal experience ; she is a published author of three books in two languages and the founder of the " AEROTOXIC TEAM" and 'Global Aerotoxicteam', educational website and socialmedia pages. She not only became unfit to fly, but also unable to work in her former profession due to her severe central nervous system injury; she receives a small disabilty allowance and is still fighting to receive her workplace related ill-health pension. She lives in a beautiful, but secluded area of the Swiss alps and continues to support the aerotoxic campaign via computer and telephone. She is available for media inquiries.
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