Motion Sickness

vomit.jpgMotion Sickness: My idea of the seventh level of hell is being stuck in winter ski-gear, in between two fat guys on a bus, in sunny weather, driving in circles searching for a parking space, backwards.

If you’re not currently puking your guts out and feeling woozy, it’s because your eyes, inner ears, skin, and muscles are sending signals to your brain about your bodies current position in space and tracking the direction of movement of all of your various parts. And all the signals are saying the same thing. That’s good.

If that’s not what’s happening and your ears, eyes and such are sending conflicting information and arguing about what’s going on with your body, that’s bad, and stand back because I don’t want you splashing anything nosesome on my shoes.

Motion sickness is that most noxious of feelings that happens to you when your balancing system gets overwhelmed by contradictory messages sent from the eyes and inner ears. Stuff like sweating, light-headedness, hyperventilation, nausea, vomiting and a remarkable ability to let loose incredible profanity without moving your head. If your eyes are telling you one thing, and the fluid of your inner ears are sloshing around telling you another, your brain seems to make a command decision and put everyone in time out.

For some people, motion sickness can be brought on merely by walking down the aisles in a supermarket or watching telephone poles whipping by a car window. Some people can even get motion sickness sitting in a theater and watching an action-packed film on one of those super-sized movie screens. Lets just hope that they’re not sitting right behind you.

Motion sickness in space is very common. Evidently your brain just won’t believe your ears that gravity’s been suspended for a while, and the Space Shuttle comes equipped with numerous barf ports. This is a good thing since who want’s to see that floating around in zero g.

What can you do to prevent motion sickness?

There are a number of options, home remedies, and hope. (There’s always hope.) By far the best option is to have your doctor prescribe a drug like Scopace (Scopolamine) which is an anticholinergic central-nervous system depressant. That’s good since it’s your anticholinergic central nervous system that’s trying to kill you. You want it depressed.