Friday, October 14, 2011

"One of the best temporary cures for pride and affectation is seasickness; a man who wants to vomit never puts on airs." Josh Billings, 1818 - 1885



It is a well known fact in my family that I have some motion sickness issues.  My childhood is littered with embarrassing  moments of public nausea & the ensuing loosing of my lunch in the backseats of cars, bows of boats, & rides at the county fair.  I never had to "call Shotgun" to win the front passenger seat of the family car.  It was a given that I sat up front unless you wanted to take the chance of being barfed on. My mom has tried all the usually home remedies of ginger ale & Dramamine to no avail. The problem solved itself when I got my driver's license and became the automatic driver for all errands & trips.  


From the moment I started dating the hubbs over 30 years ago I have been the driver. I thought he liked having a chauffeur.  But I found out that my hubby has been spreading some nasty rumours over the years that I actually am just faking and  just want control of the wheel.  He thinks my nausea, vertigo, & grey pallor are just a front for my lack of trust in his driving & directional abilities. Control freak is not on my list of terms of endearment.  Our recent trip to the mountains of Pennsylvania was going to be our motion sickness smack down.  I knew Dramamine was out.  That stuff makes me just as queasy as being carsick.  A friend who is a frequent cruise ship vacationer told me about these bands that accessed a pressure point in your wrists that supposedly kept the motion sickness at bay. Walgreen's carried the Sea-Bands & also a ginger gum for nausea.  I purchased both.
I like the drug-free options if at all possible.  The gum  provided instant relief.  The bands - not so much.

The wristbands are supposed to work by accupressure at the P6 pressure point.  The gum was more effective for me.


 The morning of our flight I donned my stylish blue terry-cloth wristbands and placed the ginger gum within easy reach in my carry-on luggage. As the plane lifted off & my stomach returned from the ceiling of the cabin, the first wave of cold sweat & nausea swept over me.  I pushed on the pressure points of the Sea-bands like the instructions said to do & waited.  Sitting with my eyes closed I was mentally making the choice of the airsick bag or ginger gum. I fumbled a piece of gum from the wrapper and popped it in my mouth. Immediately, seriously, immediately the nausea got better.  The gum contains 25 mgs of pure ginger oil so it is quite strong but the taste is very pleasant. "Yay! Another public cookie tossing avoided" I thought gratefully. Score one for me & this awesome gum.


The next test was a trip down the smaller winding moutain roads to go sight-seeing.  I got overly confident with my Sea-bands & gum and sat in the back seat.  After succumbing to the vertigo I finally surrendered and lay my head in the hubb's lap until we reached our desination. I slowly recovered by walking it off in the parking lot.  On the return ride home the front seat passenger offered to trade seats. I was hoping there was no toxic level on the amount of ginger oil one can consume in a day but I just kept chewing away and I was fine.  The bands might make good ponytail holders in a pinch.  But the vindication was sweet.  As I lay with my sweaty, spinning head on my hubb's lap I heard him say through my nauseated haze, "Honey, I feel so bad. You really do get sick. You were right." I perked up my ears, "What was that last thing you said?" My ears were still slightly stopped up from the plane but I think I heard him say I was right. Validation & ginger gum....life is good.
Sitting facing forwards is crucial for anyone prone to motion sickness, and the front of the car is a great deal better than the back. However, if it is necessary to sit in the back, then sit in the middle seat where you'll have a view forwards through the windshield, rather than sideways through the windows. In addition to watching the road, it can help to fix your eyes on the horizon, or a distant point & chew lots of ginger gum.