As you all know by now, my trip to London was a bust. The best part was, that I was able to come home!! Actually, the best part was the treatment given to us by our hosts. If it were not for them, I am sure we would have been in bad waters.
We reached London on the morning of Thursday 29th June. Had a great time with my friends, who have settled in London for as long as I have been an expatriate here. We did a little local sight-seeing on Thursday and Friday. There was a huge banquet on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan. That was 48 hours after we had reached London.
it was a beautiful function, attended by almost two hundred families all from my town of Hyderabad, all dressed up in beautiful clothes, princely men and elegant women. We were seated at a grand table, and in attendance was the prince of Hyderabad, who wanted me to sit next to him. I did for a few minutes, and then realized that he was sort of creepy so moved back to my original place at the table. About 2 pm the appetizers started arriving. (Yes, all meals are delayed, and eaten very leisurely, at odd times.)
Just as the appetizers started making the rounds, I felt like I was sitting in a sauna. I looked around and everyone was happy, talking endlessly, same language all around, and they all looked very comfortable. I touched my forehead, and realized I had started perspiring. I felt like I needed ten pedestal fans around me, but there were none except for the central air conditioning. I decided I needed to get out of that hall, in order to get some fresh air.
I walked out but there was no fresh air there either. I remember holding on to the banister of the stairwell, and hoping I would stop sweating like a horse! Drops of sweat were pouring off my forehead and then I lost consciousness. I don’t know how long I was on the ground where I found myself when I came to. I kept looking at the ground wondering, ‘how did I manage to come down like this on the ground with such fine clothes? Why is my face next to the floor?’ Then I realized that I had probably fainted.
Because of the prosthesis in my left knee, it is very difficult for me to sit on the floor, and hence, like a turtle on its back, I struggled to somehow get up and again stand at the banister; after a couple of minutes, I sat along a ledge of a large glass window. My blouse was drenched in sweat, and I was continuing to perspire, and it looked as if the drops of perspiration kept falling like rain drops from my head, neck, arms and chest. NEVER had anything like this happen to me. I tried to feel my pulse, and it was thready and extremely feeble at best.
About five minutes later my friend Adila came looking for me. “Where have you been. I got worried. I though you were in the toilet, and realized you were gone too long.” I told her that I had fainted. She gasped and touched my arm, which was CLAMMY… ice-cold and wet! She ran to get her husband, who is a retired physician like me, and he catered to me getting me to hydrate myself, and we walked back in to the hall. About ten or fifteen minutes later, I started feeling better, the perspiration improved and because I thought I had a vaso-vagal syncope from stress of travel, improper eating habits, jet lag etc. I forced myself to eat some of the wonderful food they served.
Went home was given aspirin, and rested a little while my hosts started calling consultants about my condition. By this time I was feeling A-OK! Truly. No chest pain, nausea or shortness of breath whatsoever! Even went for a long ride to Central London to view the city at night and took lots of pictures.
I am going to stop here and continue this marathon tonight, and shall post some pictures hopefully.