Thursday, December 18, 2008

motion sickness

Erin has suffered from motion sickness since she was about two. We are talking violent projectile vomiting. Billy also has a tendency toward motion sickness and he is a bit of a sympathy chucker (i.e. if someone else throws up, he is ten times more likely to throw up too!). I also get a little woozy in the car, more so when I am pregnant (which seems to be all the time!). Beloved likes four wheel driving, we live in the mountains (lots of corners and curves and hills), it is at least a 20 minute drive to go most places and one of our major family activities is "the afternoon drive" where we jump in the car and just drive. How does all this go together? Not perfectly most of the time, but getting better! These are a few of our tips.

  • Eat when you get there when possible. We pack a breakfast and eat when we get where we are going or grab something there. This morning the kids ate breakfast in the car while I went to the Dr. We arrive at church a little early and have a 'special' breakfast of fruit buns and juice. We are mad picnic-ers. We like to go for a drive, eat, then go for a hike to let the food settle before the kids get back in the car (this also tires them out so they are more likely to fall asleep!)
  • Have bowls and ice cream containers (empty!) stashed within arms reach all over the car. Train the kids to get them AS SOON as they feel queasy.
  • Have an emergency throw up kit including a bottle of water, nappy wipes, upholstery cleaner, paper towel, a blanket (in case you run out of clothes), air freshener, and some anti-bacterial hand gel.
  • DON'T MAKE A FUSS! I can't stress this enough. When my kids get home, I want them to remember the trip as 'the time I found that funny shaped stone' or ' the time we climbed up to Devil's Gullet' NOT 'the time I threw up in the car AGAIN'. Just clean up, give a bit of comfort or congratulate them on their composure, then focus again on the positive. Once we were out for a mountain drive and Erin threw up no less than five times, we had just been to a church luncheon and Erin had 'overdone' it a little at the buffet! A few times Beloved and I suggested turning back but she INSISTED she was fine and wanted to see the top of the mountain. We clapped and cheered her for her resilience and persistence and we stuck with it. We saw the top of the mountain and now it is one of our most treasured family memories. Vomit can be cleaned up, character is forever.
  • Do not refer to the kids as "the one who gets carsick" or joke about the ailment. It isn't funny and if they start to label themselves thus, it is unlikely they will grow out of it in a hurry. Just deal with it and ignore it.
  • try not to seat the chuckers next to each other. Tricky to manage at times, but it does help.
  • Try remedies like ginger, barley sugar, acupressure bracelets, winding down the window. We have had varied success with all these. Keeping plenty of air flow through the car is the best for me personally. I would rather rug up a bit and have the car freezing than battle nausia.
  • Have a cheerful attitude. This is the same as don't make a fuss really, but I REALLY mean it. It probably helps that I worked in Animal Care for years before moving to child care so cleaning up various bodily fluids isn't exactly new to me. But if you are grumpy, the kids will interpret it as you being grumpy WITH THEM. And as someone who gets motion sickness herself, I really don't think that is fair. Vomit happens, it is your choice how you react to it.
  • We also encourage the kids to sleep in the car. We are blessed with heavy sleepers who sleep through some fairly heavy four wheel drive work! If they are awake we sometimes break up the trip with stops as well.
  • This may seem a little obvious, but don't give them books, drawing materials etc. Looking down makes you feel sick. I have been given such things by well meaning relatives to "help keep their minds off it". It is the fastest way to make them sick. Singing can help keep your mind off it, or books on tape.


Momma Bug said...

Jess, I don't envy you this one! ;-)

Also, I'm praying for your iron levels to pick up. I'm glad you're feeling pretty good.
Have you heard of taking chlorophyl?
(sorry about the spelling) It is supposed to be awesome for building the blood quickly.

I should be taking it right now since I am recovering from that transfusion, but it's one of those things better to order (Natures Sunshine here, I don't know what you can get your hands on there)than buy off the shelf - just because I haven't seen it ON many shelves!

It hasn't been convenient for me to order while on the road, but if you aren't already familiar with it, read up a little and see what you think.

Let me know how you fare!


TasJess said...

Thanks for the tip! And for the prayers! I shall look into it. The iron supplement that I started taking is, how do I discribe it? BLURGH!! Anything that will help and do the job though. Weird that I still don't really have any symptoms, I am less tired now than I was a few months ago. It was a good excuse for a steak dinner with Beloved last night though!