Seasickness, motion sickness remedies: My real-life results on curing the nausea - Dramamine, Bonine, Marezine, Scopolamine Patch, Motion Eaze, ginger root, wristbands.


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Folks, I'm *very* motion-sickness prone. As a kid I got carsick. I tried a rollercoaster. Just once!

I sail with a nonprofit group that takes inner-city kids out on "tall ships" to show them a different life than what they see on the city streets. I found I get seasick very easily.

So my experience has been on sailing ships and small boats - rowboats, dories, kayaks etc. But it should apply just as well to airplanes, riding in cars and the like.

I've tried lots of things to cure the problem: Dramamine, Bonine, the Scopolamine Patch, herbal cures, ginger root, ginger candy, wristbands (passive and electronic), etc. I hope to save you time finding what works for you.

I started out by going on a 1-day sail with the group 2-3 times a month. On each trip I'd try something new to see if it would help my sea sickness. Most things didn't work for me. And every "failure" resulted in me barfing over the rail. I hate doing that in front of an audience of a bunch of teenage kids and my fellow crewmembers.

If you've found this page, you likely know the feeling. Here's what I've learned.



Testing what works without going sailing:
To avoid too many "hey kids, watch me vomit" sessions, I've come up with a test that lets me evaluate roughly how well a possible "cure" will work for me:  I take the pill, or whatever. I give it time to take effect. Then I go out on my driveway or backyard and spin around and around 10-20 times, or until I fall down. When I can barely stand up, I do so. If I'm nauseated, the cure didn't work. If I'm better than usual, it partly worked. If there's only a second or so of nausea, maximum, it worked pretty darn well. To see if this test will help you, try it without taking anything. If you're sick when you stand back up, you've got a good test to use.

The etiquette of barfing:

THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: If you're on a ship, "feed the fish" over the lee rail. On a sailboat, that's the lower of the two, when the ship is heeling. It's the one where the wind is at your BACK. Folks, this is really important. You only have to throw up into the wind ONCE to have the lesson forever engraved in your memory. The stuff gets on your face, in your hair, on your clothes - and onto others around you or downwind of you.

If someone else is being sick, give them "effective privacy" to do it--pay attention to something else. If you see them getting queasy, give what advice you can. Offer to go get them a paper towel for "just in case" so they can wipe their face off afterward. Once they've slowed down, get a fresh paper towel and offer it to them.

Almost all sailors--no matter how experienced--get seasick at times. It just takes the right wave conditions to trigger it. For me, being in a dory, a rowboat, or a small kayak doesn't seem to bother me - at least inside the harbor. But outside the breakwater it's a different story.



And, going beyond just being sick, here's something that'll keep you from being LOST on the water:   Marine GPS with Man Overboard Button



I'd like your comments! If you can think of remedies to add, let me know.   Drop me a note.

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