I am not someone anyone wants to invite for road trips. When you say to me, “let’s visit the country,” the first thought that comes to mind is that this will be a disaster for me. How long will the journey last and what is the car like? Is the country road bumpy–chances are it is.
All this makes my life a little harder. I suffer from Motion Sickness. I have suffered from it as long as I can remember, which is far back. When I was younger, my parents used to take me out to the country, which meant hours driving in a car or bus. It was awful for me, because I always missed the sights. I could always hear others gushing about the water and the trees, while I was slumped over, halfway buried in sleep and drowning in nausea. Sometimes, I could barely open my eyes I was so sick.
The most embarrassing part for me was when they had to stop the car so I could vomit. My nightmare is that I’ll regurgitate on public transportation, and many times I came close. My mother used to travel with paper and plastic bags, just in case I couldn’t hold it and we couldn’t stop. They tried everything with me. Ginger, mint, rubbing Vick on my chest, which occasionally helped, but not always. I initially thought I was nauseous because I often traveled hungry, but it turns out, traveling hungry is for the best. When my stomach is full, the nausea just has more stuff to clear from my system, which means I am more likely to vomit, and the vomit is more likely to be chunky and gross. Exactly.
Today, if I am traveling far, I eat nothing, except for juice. It’s easier on my stomach, in case of motion sickness. My parents are shocked that I still suffer from MS, with my father expressing his belief that I had outgrown it. And many people wonder how I can drive a car when this is an issue for me. The answer is not clear, except that distance is a factor in whether I become sick or not. Also, I don’t get MS all the time. In fact, it’s hard to know when I’ll get it. Today, while traveling to a place for nearly 2 hours on public transportation, I was fine. But, just as I was returning about three hours ago, I got MS and started gagging.The initial trip was fine, but not the return. Of course, my MS was instant on the return trip.
What I know about the causes of MS is that it occurs when there is a disconnect between perceived motion and my vestibular system‘s sense of motion. What does that mean? Apparently, when I feel and/or see motion, my vestibular system doesn’t, and this leads to my brain treating me like I’ve been poisoned, hence the vomiting to cleanse my body.
For me, the obvious causes include: the smell of fuel and metal (used to build vehicles and seats), the smell of leather (car seats), the bumpiness of the ride, the distance (longer it goes the worse it is for me), and the speed (too fast is not good).
The bottom line is that I am a traveling nightmare for my friends. They automatically know to put me next to an open-window.