I've Spent a Lifetime Throwing Up

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It’s true. I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in my lifetime throwing up. And it’s not a particularly fun topic to read or write about, but there it is.

First of all, I have had severe motion sickness since I was a little kid. I got car sick all the time. My parents learned to keep a bag or little bucket handy in the car for me.

rollercoaster

Image: AJU_Photography via Flickr

Then there was riding the school bus. It was torture. We lived way out in the country. The bus picked us up at 6:45 am and dropped us off at the school around 7:45. That’s an hour each morning and then the same return trip each afternoon back home. I got sick most mornings and threw up. The school bus driver learned to keep a bucket with some sawdust in it at the front of the bus for me. It beat cleaning up after me every day.

A side note: our school bus driver was called Wombat. That was his nickname. His real name was Mr. Wimbush. But he drove the bus like a bat out of hell so everyone called him Wombat.

As soon as a I got my driver's license, I started driving everywhere. Because I don’t get sick if I am the one driving. Even now I drive most everywhere my husband and I go so I won’t get sick.

And flying? Well that is pretty tough for me, but I just grit my teeth and deal with it.

And yes, I have tried all of the motion sickness remedies but nothing helps or else it has side effects such as drowsiness that I would prefer not to deal with.

On top of the motion sickness, when I got pregnant with our daughter I came down with a condition called hyperemesis gravidarium. This is severe morning sickness. But I wouldn’t necessarily call it morning sickness because it lasted all day long for months. I threw up and threw up and threw up. I lost weight rather than gaining it.

And the really sad part is that my doctor never told me that I was suffering from this condition. He knew I had severe morning sickness but never gave it a name and just prescribed some anti-nausea medicine that I wouldn’t take because I refused to take any medicine while I was pregnant. I know! I was stubborn like that.

No one of my circle of friends or family had gone through hyperemesis gravidarium so they weren’t particularly helpful or even sympathetic. I think sometimes they thought I was exaggerating it. And back in those days (2000), we didn’t have the mommy blogs to tell us all the specifics to expect from pregnancy.

I worked six days a week throughout my pregnancy up until four days before my daughter was born. I had to work because we owned our own business, and if I hadn’t worked, the business would not have run. So lying in bed every day dealing with the severe nausea was only a dream. I remember driving the 30 minutes to work each morning and having to pull onto the side of the road at least once to throw up on the way to work. But I got through it.

Now, I still suffer from motion sickness, and I take care to stay away from situations where I might get sick. I stay off boats for the most part. I do all the driving in the car. I mostly stay off roller coasters and carnival rides. If I ride a train, I close my eyes most of the time or pull the shade down to block out the scenery moving along outside (movement in my vision makes it much worse.) I even have to avoid 3-D movies because honestly, I get motion sickness from all the movement in a 3-D movie. Crazy, huh?

And finally, I have to deal with all the dental problems that are a result of years of sickness. My teeth have been weakened from throwing up so much for so long. I have spent a small fortune on crowns and fillings. But at least I still have all my teeth!

So I hold out hope that someday, someone will create a cure for motion sickness that works for me. And I am so thankful that my daughter does not suffer from motion sickness.

www.julieheinrich.com

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