I made it as far as the plane to Germany, and merrily got on board to begin another adventure. As the plane took off, I passed out (onto the person sitting next to me, who thought I had just fallen asleep!). When we eventually reached altitude, I left my seat... and collapsed in the aisle of the aeroplane. At this point, the pilot was alerted, and the plane was re-routed.
I begged them not to re-route, because I was so sure that I would be fine! (I have never been ill in my life!) However, apparently if someone passes out on a plane, it is standard procedure to divert (for future reference - should you ever find yourself lying face up in the aisle of a plane, you can expect to be diverted). The plane landed in Stansted (I never even made it out of the UK!) and I was taken to hospital by ambulance.
It turned out, I had massive internal bleeding in my abdomen, and I had keyhole surgery to patch up the problem and stop the bleeding the following day. I had lost so much blood that I also had to have a blood transfusion. I was in hospital for 3 nights and 4 days, before finally being allowed home.
I am much better now, but I still have a lot of bruising (spectacular bruises, actually!) and am not as mobile as I would like (although I have been able to walk the dogs the last few days). It is the first time in my life I've ever been struck down with illness I couldn't just ignore. I am the kind of person who just grins and bears it, and gets on with things, pretending that everything is OK. On this occasion, I really can't pretend.
I'm fortunate that I was able to have keyhole surgery, which will leave minimal scarring (if any), so there is no reason it should affect my modelling career. I don't honestly know when I will be back on my feet and able to make plans. I should have been in Europe, starting a new singing job, but as yet don't know if I will be able to return to complete the tour. Show-business is a very unforgiving industry, and I have no idea if I will be replaced, or even if I will recover sufficiently to do the job in time. If I don't go to Europe, then I hope I will look and feel well enough to resume modelling soon.
This has been a very difficult time, and has had more of an emotional impact (as well as a physical one) than I could have predicted. I have been very ill, but will recover... I've held myself together all week, but I confess I am struggling to look on the bright side this weekend.
Anyway, I wanted to be honest about my lack of updates. I don't feel I can sweep this misfortune under the carpet and pretend it hasn't happened, as I usually do. So now you know. I should have some photos from recent shoots (before I became ill) that I will share when I receive them back. I'm sure it won't be too long before I'm feeling well enough to be creative again, too.
These are some snaps of my bruising/stitches post surgery. I'm sorry, they're probably the last thing you want to be exposed to, and perhaps I have a rather odd way of dealing with things! However, they do show the reality of what I've been through, and documenting that has helped me cope with it. They also show how minimal the actual wounds from keyhole surgery are! Modern medicine is a wonder, really. (It's actually quite difficult to capture the bruising. In reality, I'm afraid it's worse than it looks in the photos.)
The top left image is intended to show how easy it is to hide the damage... both physically and mentally.