Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fun Facts About Motion Sickness

I've suffered motion sickness from the tender age of 3 months. It's a constant companion, the violently nauseated elephant in the seat next to me on any ride anywhere of any duration.

My family learned early to give me the front seat in the car. My friends' parents learned late, which is why I had few friends in elementary school.

TT: I grew up in the age of the Chevy station wagon, that marvelous invention where all children can pile into the very back of the vehicle next to the smoking tail pipe with no fresh air and press their noses against the back window and look the wrong way at 35 mph. Oi. My stomach turns just thinking about it.

I stopped riding with non-family by the age of 12. I was tall enough at that point to put my foot down and mean it. I would rather walk home than puke in one more car.

Buses were out. Carnival rides? Don't make me laugh. Do you know how boring Worlds of Fun is when you can't ride anything, including the trolley from the parking lot?

Motion sickness only got worse with age. I hadn't realized how much it affected me until a 20 mile trip put me in bed for 24 hours with light blindness and nausea (the symptoms of motion sickness are much like those of a migraine headache -minus the pain- and can last just as long). That left some time for reflection on how telescoped my life had become. I don't travel much outside a 10 mile radius from my house, and motion sickness may be the reason.

This spring, I took the plunge and got those motion sickness patches everyone raves about. I had a wedding to attend and I didn't want to find a bucket to match my dress.

The patches worked. I was very careful, of course, to ride up front, keep my eyes forward, not bend over, not eat anything that might cause hiccups or a blood sugar spike - in short, I didn't trust the patches. But they seemed to work.

Huzzah! Freedom!

I used another patch on my recent trip to the Kansas State Fair, with fabulous results in the motion sickness department.

However, one side effect not mentioned by the pharmacist who gave me the patches is blindness.
Not permanent blindness, thank God, but when I lost the ability to read fine print on the last day of my trip, I thought 40 had caught up with me in one fell swoop. When my reading ability returned 3 days later, I thought brain tumor.

(It's not a tumor. It's not. Not a tumor)

Turns out scopalamine is a very powerful dilating agent. I suspect my eyes were wide enough to have a cop yelling "Out of the car! Who's your dealer?"

TT: Not that I think cops would actually behave that way. I'm exaggerating for humorous effect here, people.

Anyhoo, it's not a tumor and 40 caught up with me by making my eyes better. So much better, in fact, I now must drop a wad of cash to buy lenses that don't over-correct my improving vision.

The moral of the story? The next time a child tells you she must ride up front with you or bad things will happen to your upholstery - believe her. Some smells just don't come out.

1 comment:

  1. OH, my poor Turtle. I wish I could say I sympathize, but coming from a family of amateur sailors, I have never had motion sickness. I once got a little woozy because I spent too long in the cabin reading, but once I went on deck where I could see the horizon, I was fine.

    On my first flight home from St. Louis last weekend, we flew through some very rough weather. At one point, the plane lifted up and then down really quickly. I thought "cool; this must be what astronaut training is like." the lady next to me covered her mouth with one hand and her stomach with the other. She managed to keep it together, though.

    So that's the view from the other side. If you ever visit Orlando, stock up on patches, and we can go on my favorite ride: Mission Space.

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