Motion Sickness and Me

I have a friend who likes to apply her make-up in my car after I’ve picked her up. That way she can save time while I drive. I get to drive in the HOV lane with a carpool. All was good until the day she sprayed perfume on herself with me a foot away from her.

“What? No!” I said, immediately rolling down my window.

You see, I am one of the unlucky ones that gets motion sickness, especially from smells.

As a child, I was the reason my parents had to pull over while on a trip. That was me puking my guts out on the side of the road while everyone waited. Or me not puking my guts out while everyone waited. It was because I’d been smashed in the backseat between people. After the vomit stop, I was usually got moved to the front seat.

Sometimes I get nauseated but can’t actually throw up.  On a train, I am in a perpetual state of nausea, especially if I try to read. If I stare out the window instead, I can make it, but it isn’t fun.

As for cruises, I will pass.  I will never forget the ninety-minute ferry ride from Germany to Denmark.  I made the mistake of going downstairs to the kitchen where I ordered a cup of tea. The line was long, the engine smelled bad, and by the time the attendant handed me a cup of warm milk with a tea bag in it, the string hanging over the edge of the cup, I was officially sick to my stomach.

If starts with motion, then a smell which turns into a headache, and finally it becomes nausea. By then, all I can do is get off or out of the moving vehicle and remain stationary until the sensation passes.

Motion is the enemy. Once a boyfriend was driving me to a hike, and he kept stopping, backing up and turning around, and trying a different court while looking for the trail head. It was a jerky ride as he became more and more frustrated.

“You’re making me carsick!” I said.  “Please slow down.”

“”You’re not carsick,” he said.

But the headache had already started, and by the time we got to the right spot, I was nauseated down to my hiking boots.  I had to go slowly until the vertigo stopped. I couldn’t eat the snack I’d packed. I didn’t lose the headache for the entire hike.

People ask me why I don’t: go on cruises, travel, ride roller coasters, spin on the tea cups, do cartwheels, etc, etc.  I have lived with this sensation that motion causes my whole life. Maybe it’s an inner ear thing.  I didn’t even like the waterbed my ex-husband brought to the marriage. I have traveled a lot, but now I’d rather not venture too far.  We all have our differences. Get over it.

So when the same girlfriend pulled out something to squirt on her face last week while we were in stop and go traffic, I nixed it.

“Wait until we park!” I said.

“It doesn’t smell that bad,” she argued. “Plus this goes on before my make-up!”

“You are really pushing it,” I said.

“I’ve never heard of someone getting motion sickness from a smell,” she said.

I stuck to my guns until she put the stuff back into her purse.

I made it to the music venue without feeling sick. She doesn’t understand that she could’ve ruined my whole evening. Smell, headache, nausea. How would I have danced?

If you’ve never met anyone who can get sick from a smell, now you have.

Be nice to us, and we’ll promise not to puke on you.

Couldda Wouldda Shouldda

I should always be the driver. It helps with the motion sickness because you know what the driver is going to do, motion-wise, plus I don’t drive too fast or slam on the brakes.

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