Is WTC a Safe Place to Travel Alone to?*
In a word – Yes!
Due to my husband not getting a visa to travel to the USA, I had to travel to WTC on my own. The thought of traveling to another country on my own was terrifying plus not knowing what to expect from the treatment was keeping me up all night in the approaching days of traveling. To top things off further as friends and family started to find out I was traveling to America (on my own!) they all started giving me their negative experiences and bad experiences their of friends. No one knew my actual reason for flying to the USA on my own apart from my husband. There came a point in my final week before traveling that I was thinking of canceling the whole trip – but there was a small voice inside me that kept me from doing that.
The following are my thoughts and actual experiences:
* Airport Security
I had been told by a close family friend that she had been returned to the UK as soon as she arrived at JFK airport because they didn’t think she was actually visiting anyone there. Then another told me that they had been stopped at the airport for many hours (this time a non-Muslim friend). One friend told me about her experience at JFK airport and how she found that the staff was all horrible and no one really helps.
The thought of being returned from the airport without treatment was really upsetting me, or even be delayed for a couple of hours anticipating that my pre-booked taxi would then leave and I would be left stranded, were worrisome. On the day I was leaving I remember thinking I might be back tomorrow… As the plane was about to make a landing at JFK, the pilot announced that as part of routine check-up people may be randomly selected by Immigration/Customs to be searched and that was not just for foreign visitors but also included returning residents. I sat there thinking, well that’s me for definite. However, I was so wrong: I got called over, handed over my passport, the immigration officer asked my reason for my visit and if I was staying in Plainview for 2 weeks before passing back my passport and saying “enjoy your visit ma’am”. I was shocked, thinking, no, this can’t be it – there must be something up ahead. Well, the only thing ahead was the baggage carousel, and after that the exit! All that worrying about the Airport for no reason what so ever.
* New York Taxis
Yes, again, my friends and family had me worrying over the taxis! I was told by a businessman who travels to NYC many times a year to be careful of the taxis especially at the airport, “because many are not licensed and will come and ask you if you need a taxis; and on top of that, because you are traveling alone and have no idea where you are going, they will take you around ‘n around and make a bigger bill”. Well, when you are traveling alone to a place you’ve never been before you believe anything everyone tells you. This time I decided rather than having one extra worry, I would book the car service recommended by the Doctors at WTC. That was one less worry for me. Indeed, the service provided by Larry’s limo was excellent. On another note, I had the opportunity to sit in taxis (yep, one of the yellow ones) on a few occasions and, again, the service provided was great.
* How will I pass the time (2 weeks!) on my own?
One of the main worries for me was, how would I manage 2 weeks on my own and all within the hotel, as it would be impossible for me to go anywhere on my own? I would sit days on end thinking how will I fill my time, is it worth going for treatment as I will possibly not be in the mood due to being so bored, etc… The belief that I really wanted this problem cured was something that kept repeating in my mind so there was no way my silly thoughts were going to make me pull out. I thought I would take with me a laptop and books to read so that I could surf the Internet and do some reading to keep me busy. I had booked myself in at The Residence Inn by Marriott that provides WI-FI free of charge, which was great as I was able to use the laptop in my room! They had also put a DVD player in the room, which was great except that I had not thought of bringing any DVDs… However, Dr. Ross came to the rescue and gave me a bunch to watch. which was great. Having a bath in the room was also very nice, as I was able to pamper myself many evenings. It didn’t end there though: I got out and about on many of the evening’s thanks to the doctors at WTC who are excellent in providing all the details you need to get out and about and to stay safe while you are in their care. The comforting thing for me was knowing that they were only a call away if I needed them whilst I was not at the WTC.
* NY & Headscarf
One thing I forgot to mention above (not that it should matter) is that I am a Muslim female and wear a headscarf (not the long dress or face covering). Yes, I had my worries; and many people added more worries to top things off a bit more. I was not sure what people’s reactions would be in Plainview towards a woman wearing a headscarf. I had imagined Plainview to be a small village where everyone knew each other (well we all, or those of us that have been there, know that it is not a village!). Many of my friends and even family members were advising me to take off the scarf for my visit to New York as people will react to me differently knowing that I was Muslim. I was shocked and scared, but there was no way I was taking off my Headscarf, not even for treatment’s sake. I decided I was going to go with my scarf on whatever the consequences would be; I was ready to take on the reactions even though it would make me feel uncomfortable and even it meant being in the hotel 24/7. OK, now you are probably getting the theme that my headscarf was no problem at all. On many of my visits to the local malls, I got compliments from the sales assistants. I even got a compliment at the hotel and airport about how nice they thought I had draped my headscarf. This made me feel more confident in myself, not that I wasn’t because if that had been the case I would never have gone or maybe even taken it off (which I personally know I would never do).
Before traveling to NY I researched on the Internet for Halal meat in Plainview but my results were coming up blank. The thought that I would have to be a vegetarian for two weeks was killing me because I love my meat. However, once I got there, Dr. Ross managed to find me a couple of restaurants/ takeaways that served Halal food, and although they were in the neighboring town of Hicksville, they delivered to the Residence Inn by Marriott. I didn’t have to be a vegetarian for 2 weeks! By the way, In Manhattan (NYC), most of the hot dog stands were Halal too.
* Going to NY but not actually seeing NYC because I am going alone
“The weekends and evenings during the two-week program are yours to enjoy” was a great line to read when I received it from the WTC via an email. However, I believed that the weekend will really drag for me as I would be stuck in the hotel room because there was no way I was going to NYC on my own! How wrong I was. I did go to Manhattan and on my own. Dr. Ross helped me book an 8-hour tour of Manhattan, ensuring that I would be with a group and tour guide all day and not wandering the streets of NYC on my own. She also went through the finer details with me, getting taxis from the hotel to the yarn Station and then to the venue. That morning, as I was sitting awaiting the first taxi, I was thinking, what am I doing? I will get lost for sure! And, taking the train on my own??? Well, let me tell you — the whole experience was great: the train journey was great and I even made a friend on the train; the taxi from the train station to the venue was straight forward; I even decided to walk back from the venue to the train station as I felt very confident in being in NYC on my own and so got the opportunity to pop in and out of shops rather than getting the taxis back to the station.
We, humans, love quick-fix options or something on our doorsteps before we even consider looking further afield. However, sometimes the treatment requires you having to travel that bit further to get actual results. If I could only turn back the clock and come here first before having been given the dilators to work with at home by my doctor, and failing… The doctors at WTC truly are angels as many women on Facebook refer them to, as they make you feel really confident in yourself, believe in yourself. They tailor the treatment to suit you as an individual and take you through everything step by step. If you do as they say, then you are definitely on the road to success. They took great care of me during my two weeks there, I got to meet so many amazing people, I got to talk to many local patients with vaginismus, which was nice as it meant that all that suffering is so similar and that I am not the only one with this condition nor the only one who feels abnormal. From my experience, WTC is definitely the best place for the treatment of vaginismus.
Thank You, Drs. Ditza and Ross for getting me on the other side of Vaginismus*.
* Results may vary from person to person