"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andre Gide

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Motion Sickness and Nausea Antidotes

One of the first questions I asked Truman when he got home was, "Well, so, did you throw up?" and then "What do you mean, you didn't get sick at all?" and then, "How was this possible?"

Motion sickness was first described by Hippocrates; nausea being from the root word "naus" or ship in Greek.  Seasickness is something that every serious sailor takes seriously.  My own history with queasiness was the number one reason I was hesitant to buy a boat.  Motion sickness is very familiar to me; all deep sea fishing and whale watching trips turned into the most expensive naps on the planet as I popped Dramamine like candy! 

All joking aside, My captain went to Hawaii packed with anti-nausea ginger gum, MotionEaze drops, and over-the-counter Dramamine pills.  The guys spent two weeks working on the boat and sleeping on-board so they got used to the boat rocking in its slip.  But, the first venture out to Kauai was pretty rough. 

Truman says that he has never gotten seasick.  He admits to getting a little green in the past, but as long as he took the helm he was fine.  He didn't want to leave anything to chance in Hawaii.  And he didn't want to have anything threaten his performance as a crew member, so he premedicated with Dramamine two nights before leaving port.  He doesn't remember if he read somewhere to do this, but it sure worked!  He never used the gum or drops.  After leaving port, he took the Dramamine daily for the first 4 days at sea prior to his "sleeping" shift, usually 4am to 8am.

In looking back, if one is prone to seasickness, it would be good to have a large supply of scopolamine also at hand.  Scopolamine patches are great!  Apply 1 patch behind the ear at least 4 hours prior to exposure and every 3 days as needed; effective if applied as soon as 2-3 hours before anticipated need, best if 12 hours before.  I would go a step further and recommend that very sick persons use two patches, one behind each ear, and switch them on alternate days.

Despite not vomiting, Truman says that he had no appetite for food for the first 3-4 days.  He says that he didn't want anything spicy.  Bland food was best.  And he certainly didn't want any alcohol.  I am happy to report that he lost no weight on the journey.

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