So about 30 minutes into my flight to visit my mom, I took my phone off airplane mode to enable my Bluetooth headphones. (I know, slap my hand, that is an in-flight no-no.)
When I did so, I noticed the voicemail icon was lit up. When I went to see the time the voicemail was recorded, it was when I was at the airport, so I was surprised that I had missed the call. When I checked the phone number of the missed call, it was my mom’s home phone number. In fact, there were two missed calls from her, about 30 minutes apart.
If Mom was calling me early in the morning, something HAD to be wrong.
Even though I knew it wouldn’t work, I tried to access the voice mail. No-go, despite my phone still showing a 3G signal.
Fortunately, the plane did not suffer from any issues due to my actions.
But for the rest of the flight, I was frozen with terror. My mind began spinning with all sorts of worst-case scenarios. Knowing Mom has been suffering from this mysterious ailment (most likely a hernia) for some time, I feared she had developed more severe symptoms. She called me wanting to know if she should dial 911 and now was waiting in agony for my reply. Or she had called 911 and was being taken to the hospital and I was several hours from arriving! There was nothing I could do up in the sky but wait it out. I had a two-hour flight, but it seemed like 20 hours.
Finally, we land and I immediately turn my phone back on. I listen to the voicemail. It was from the airport shuttle, confirming my ride. Whew, ok, that was a relief. (They usually call to confirm the day before.)
But what about the mysterious phone calls from Mom’s number? I called her when I got inside the terminal and all was (relatively) well. She had not called me. When I thought back on it, there were no missed calls from the shuttle company. Somehow, my phone read the shuttle number as my mom’s number (same area code, but quite different numbers.)
The point of this story? Caregivers have enough real crisis situations to deal with. Don’t invent imaginary ones, especially when you up in the clouds, helpless to take action.