The motion of the ocean … or the car

Maybe I should have had one of these - Credit: ianmunroe/Flickr.com

I touched on this briefly in yesterday’s post about the winter rally I participated in as a navigator, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this topic of motion sickness in a car deserved a place of honor all its own; like the bottle of non-drowsy Gravol I so desperately clung to all night.

Motion sickness is truly a horrible thing; and what’s most horrible about it is the fact that it can rear its ugly, sickly head at any time in your life. You may, like I was, be perfectly happy reading novels in the backs of cars throughout your entire childhood and teenage years, then suddenly you’re not. Suddenly the world goes a bit topsy-turvy when you decide to look at the manual for something trivial while you’re a passenger.

The first time this happened to me, I thought I’d eaten something bad. I honestly thought I was just getting ill and didn’t associate the sick feeling in my stomach with the mail I’d been reading while we were driving.

The next few times it happened, I finally put two and two together — and I was peeved.

How could I get sick being in a car?! It was as if my body was betraying me, causing me to feel horrible in a place I usually only feel pleasure and enjoyment. It was like suddenly discovering I had a deathly allergy to chocolate … or sex.

Suddenly, a whole portion of the world of driving and being in a car was suddenly shut off. I could no longer lounge in the back seat with a magazine on long journeys. I couldn’t even give my husband Google Map directions without feeling light-headed after reading a few sentences.

I was devastated.

So, this past weekend was a bit of a facing of fears and limitations for me. Not only was I relinquishing power to another driver, but I was also tackling a fault I so desperately wanted to be rid of: my motion sickness.

I thought I’d come prepared with non-drowsy Gravol, diet Pepsi (for a bit of a sugar rush around midnight) and AudIan had stocked the A3 with water as well. I misjudged the power of the motion sickness though — really and truly.

About 4 hours into our drive and I was truly struggling. AudIan, bless him, noticed my green tint despite the dimly lit cabin of the car and slowed his pace (which inevitably slowed our time in the rally results) but I’m ever so grateful he did as I’m afraid had he not his A3 would have had a nice covering of veggie pita and Caesar salad all over the dash. Pleasant, I know.

I discovered the very worst thing to do was look up then look down then look up again. Which I, of course, was doing all night. I tried to angle my clipboard so it was almost parallel with the windscreen and I had less of a journey with my eyes, but then it only bounced around making it even harder to see and more sickly to look at. I needed it to be still on my knees, which required my head being tucked down. Add to that savage bumps and elevation changes that pushed my chin further into my chest and heaved my stomach up and down … and I’m feeling a bit nauseated just remembering it all.

However, when the Gravol eventually kicked in and I’d had a bit of fresh air and water, the freedom of being able to enjoy the sideways corners and calculate arrival times on a clipboard in my lap without feeling my dinner rise was amazing. Motion sickness is unlike any other stomach sickness (at least it is for me) and mostly because it seems to last long after you’ve stopped moving.

I spent the evening in and out of sleep and wondering if I needed to rush to the washroom. It was as if my bed was on wheels and I was still on the slidey, slippery, curvy course with AudIan. It was a bit strange and a bit off-putting. Clearly I should have popped a 6th Gravol before going to bed that night. Even Sunday I was a bit shaky and off-balance. The drive home in the MKX proved to be a bit nauseating as well — which could have been for other reasons.

I don’t wish motion sickness on anyone, really. It’s horrible and debilitating in a weird way. You’re powerless to it and that’s what makes me the most angry. I’m just hoping that it disappears as quickly as it showed up — and if not, then I’m just going to have to keep doing navigation on rallys until I’ve beaten my brain and stomach into submission (or gotten used to using sick bags and OD-ing on Gravol).

Drive on,
– M.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on February 14, 2011.

5 Responses to “The motion of the ocean … or the car”

  1. Apparently motion sickness occurs because your brain cannot understand how the body is in motion and yet you’re in a still environment. When you’re driving it’s fine, but when you switch constantly from looking at something static to a moving field of vision your brain gets confused and…makes you vomit.

    I suppose it works… 🙂

    • Hey there!

      Clearly, my brain could not for the life of itself comprehend how my body was in motion, sliding sideways, when I was in a “still” environment.

      Silly brain.

      Drive on (without puking),
      – M.

  2. Poor you! It definitely sounds like ‘sea-sickness’…because of the bed still seeming to move. That’s what happens when you leave the boat..the ground seems to heave, or seems to to, and if you lie down the bed seems to move the same way the boat did! Most peculiar! I have a cure I’m afraid…just gravol, fresh air and maybe gingerale not Pepsi/Coke! It’s that ‘Granny gene”, because I don’t usually get seasick….but I’ve never been able to read in the car, so , I might be guilty after all…:) Sorry!

  3. Poor you! It definitely sounds like ‘sea-sickness’…because of the bed still seeming to move. That’s what happens when you leave the boat..the ground heaves, or seems to to, and if you lie down the bed seems to move the same way the boat did! Most peculiar! I don’t have a cure I’m afraid…just gravol, fresh air and maybe gingerale not Pepsi/Coke! It’s that ‘Granny gene”, because I don’t usually get seasick….but I’ve never been able to read in the car, so , I might be guilty after all…:) Sorry!

  4. yeah nice

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