Sunday, September 13, 2009

Motion Sickness Helps

So I married a private pilot. And I get motion sickness sitting still. Not the best combination! After our vacation with a TON of driving, I was thinking I ought to compile a list of different things I've tried and/or found that help. Here are some things that I've found to help me tolerate travel:

Dramamine was one of the first things I tried many years ago when I started having difficulty with motion sickness. For me, sometimes it seems to work better than other times. This year on our trip, I used the Wal-Mart generic version and was pleased. I also used Bonine for many years and thought it worked about as well as Dramamine. I would like to point out that I did not take either of these while pregnant or nursing!

Queasy Pops and Preggie Pops are something else that I've used for many years. After I became pregnant, I checked with my midwife to make sure the queasy pops were OK and she was fine with all of the ingredients, but check with your own health care provider if you are pregnant to make sure. The ginger ones are SPICY, and the sour ones are SOUR, but they both seemed to help with the nausea of travel. (I thankfully didn't have much trouble with morning sickness.) My favorite ones are the spearmint and peppermint, though I have most of the flavors on hand.

I think I lost these after a few uses, but I do remember having something similar to Seaband Wristbands. The key here seems to be finding the right pressure point and the right level of pressure, or tightness in the wristbands.

Plain old oranges right from the grocery store helped me some, too. I would peel back part of the rind, then pop the entire thing in a plastic bag. When I was feeling yucky, I'd pull it out and sniff - easy as that! Your mileage may vary, though - try substituting something of which you enjoy the smell and see how it works.

Something that helps in addition to other things are ice packs, especially on the back of the neck and/or the forehead. I am always amused that some people are cold on airplanes - during every flight I've taken, I've been HOT. Poor Hubs, he'll have us at such an altitude that the temps are around 60 and I'll think it's just about right. Woe to him if he tries to turn the heater on, too! Oddly enough, if he touches me, I feel cool to him, and along those lines his touch feels HOT. (So much that he gets the stink eye and immediately withdraws said touch.)

I picked up some MotionEaze on our trip. I usually used it in addition to the off-brand Dramamine, but it seemed to help. I like the smell, so perhaps that was part of it. I think it could be used on kids, so long as they didn't rub their fingers in it and then rub their eyes, and I can't say that sucking on fingers covered in the oil would be a good idea, either.

By far the most expensive motion sickness help I've used is ReliefBand. My mom gave it to me as a Christmas present in the hopes that it would help me be a better air passenger. Basically, it looks like a watch, but you apply a bit of the included gel and position the "face" of the "watch" over the inside of your wrist. It delivers a zap, basically an electric shock, I guess, every several seconds. (It's not as bad as it sounds, I promise!) There are five strength levels, and while I have used the fifth (highest) one, I do find it uncomfortable. My experience is that it doesn't necessarily keep me from feeling yucky, but it does seem to help me feel better sooner, once I stop moving.

Finally, I have found that riding in the front and/or driving is a big help, driving especially. If I'm concentrating on the road and I'm the one making the car move (haven't tried piloting the plane yet and don't particularly want to!), it seems to keep my mind off being sick. If I must sit in the back for some reason, I try to get a straight line of sight out the windshield - the middle seems to be the worst for me because the rear-view mirror is in the way. Reading, or doing other things that keep me from looking straight ahead (writing, crocheting, whatever) all contribute to the urpies

EDIT: one more thing that helps me - sleeping. Especially if you have a little one that struggles with motion sickness, you might try to time the curviest part of your trip for early afternoon, when the urge to nap is the strongest. (Or whenever their best nap time is.) On our vacation, I napped several of the days right after lunch while we were in the car and it really helped. Or, you might try either starting your trip at night after bedtime or getting up very early in the morning, provided your little one (or big one, whoever the sickie is) will go to sleep once strapped in. Do note that sleeping in the car isn't really good quality sleep like in a bed where you can stretch out and move around to get comfortable, but it can be a help to get to where you need to go.

A gift my mom gave Hubs several years ago has come in handy - a case of sickie sacks. Hubs keeps a few in his flight bag, and they've been needed on a few occasions, unfortunately.

Anybody else know of any good motion sickness helps? I'm always looking to add to the list!


Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

I love the tip about sniffing an orange. I don't have much experience with motion sickness, but I'll keep these in mind just in case!

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

Now see here girl, I'm trying to be on sabbatical and yet I saw your title in my mini-reader today when my iGoogle screen popped up and I had to see what this was about considering my current situation. I've been having horrible vertigo the last few days. So I feel dizzy just sitting on the couch or laying in bed. It usually only last 2 or 3 days, but this episode has hung on for 4 days. I've been to doctors and even a full neurologist testing at the hospital during one of my pregnancies when my OB was concerned about the dizziness. The meds don't work for me...even the anti-nausea injections they give me. Nope...I just throw up in their garbage cans. Thank goodness it usually only hits once or twice a year!

I also occasionally get motion sickness in a car if I read too long and don't stay aware of where we are or which direction we're going. Weird, eh? Being the one in the driver's seat helps tons. I guess you should just get your pilot's license! :wink:

I do a couple things to help when I'm having a legitimate bout of vertigo. First, I just try to keep still and keep my head straight forward. Sounds easy, eh? Yeah, not so much. Especially when chasing three little ones. But if I turn to the left or the right, my equilibrium totally gets off and I get sick. Second, I try to distract myself. I may be totally wrong, but I believe that at least a good portion of the motion sickness remedies out there are created to distract our keep our minds occupied with our other senses such as the feeling of a pressure point or a zap or a taste or a smell. Basically, something that makes us use several of our senses so that we're not so focused on our balance. Just my take based on absolutely no scientific investigation. How's that for helpful? that I've totally taken over your comment section, I just wanted to say that I'm out of blogland for another couple weeks. But I miss you and all your wonderful writings. I sure hope we can meet up on Friday the 25th if at all possible. :grin:



Lori said...

Ah, very helpful info here. I don't thpically have motion sickness, though I have been seasick before. Oh yuck. There's nothing worse than being 30 miles out on the ocean...with people catching stinky fish all around you...using squid for bait...while you're throwing up overboard! LOL!
BTW, never heard it called the urpies before. :)

Lenetta said...

Valerie, that and the ice are about as easy (and frugal!) as it gets!

Shaye, I didn't make a direct connection between this and your current ailment, but it's there. So sorry you're going through it! I've suffered from just a teeny tiny bit of vertigo with my motion troubles and it was awful. Can't imagine how you're doing. Sorry to have broken your fast :>) but I'm pleased you're online enough to be in your e-mail so we can hopefully connect in a few weeks!

Lori, isn't that an accurate description of how it feels? :>) I've had trouble with seasickness, too, though I've not spent a huge amount of time on the ocean.

Just realized one thing I forgot to mention - sleep! I'll have to go back and edit.

Angela said...

Great post! Lucky you - not having much morning sickness! But not so lucky on the whole motion sickness thing. I'm the opposite - no motion sickness, but HORRIBLE morning (all day) sickness when I was pregnant. I tried the Sea bands while pregnant, and wore them ALL the time, I thought the indents in my skin would never leave after wearing them for 4 months straight. I don't know that they helped a lot, but they must have worked some, or I wouldn't have kept them on all the time.