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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Motion Sickness


I know I complain endlessly about the challenges of getting around Toronto, but bear with me, because there is more yet to come.

I am not talking about the traffic this time though, I am talking about how sick it makes me. Literally! By the way, if you have emetophobia (fear of vomiting) you might want to stop reading now.

I have been prone to getting car sick since I was 3-years-old.  My parents discovered this that particular year because we went to live in England while my dad was on sabbatical and my parents decided we would spend the summer driving around Europe.  They still tease me about how I left a trail of vomit the whole way.

I always dreaded car trips as a kid, and, unfortunately for me, we did lots of them, since all of our relatives lived in the U.S.  I remember, in particular, the things that were sure to set me off: mint (I used to try and refuse to brush my teeth before getting in the car; gas (each time my parents filled up the tank the smell would do me in; coffee; heat (air conditioning on or windows down is a must!!).

The severity of my motion sickness has waxed and waned over the years.  It was particularly bad during my pregnancies, which isn't surprising since I was nauseous during the first trimesters anyways.  So perhaps its hormone related, I don't know, because its very up and down these days too.  My sensitivity also now extends beyond cars to airplanes, buses, subways, and rollercoasters.  No more carnival rides for me, that's for sure!

Lately though, it is so bad that even the short commute to work can leave me green.  I can't read on the bus or subway, which has always been the only thing to make using public transport tolerable for me.  Also, once I get nauseous, it lasts for hours.  In addition, its bad in the car, even when I'm driving!  WTF, I thought you're not supposed to get motion sickness when you're in the driver's seat??

As a kid, Gravol never helped. I usually just puked it up.  Now it does help, but sometimes it knocks me out. Ginger never helps me.  I've had some success with those pressure-point wrist bands.  I can't find the ones I used to have, but I need to try them again!

Just in case you suffer as much as I have, here is some info about how best to prevent motion sickness (medical name = Kinetosis):

  • There are several theories about the cause, but we don't really know for certain
  • Do not read
  • Avoid sitting backwards in moving vehicle
  • If possible, get access to fresh air
  • Try to avoid strong smells
  • Avoid travelling while over-full or with an empty stomach
  • Don't eat fatty, greasy foods
  • Try the pressure point bands (research backs up their efficacy)
Essentially, according to my research, its impossible to entirely prevent it for some people, and many of the treatments, including medications, are not always effective. 

I think I am going to try a combo of the wrist bands, and some Gravol and hopefully this bad phase will pass!!

Happy trails my friends...

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