I moved to Myrtle Beach thirty-seven years ago because I fell in love with the area when I visited while in high school. The smell of the ocean enlivens me. But the motion of the ocean is another thing entirely. And in this case, I’m NOT talking about the beautiful gray-blue Atlantic.
Ever since I can recall, I have been burdened with motion sickness. My mom will gladly recant how many times I threw up in her lap while riding in a car. My uncle Rich will tell you about the time I threw up in his favorite hat which was in the backseat with me at the time. My grandfather would always giggle as he told me how I lost my lunch on the Ferris wheel with him at Olympic Park. And my new dad would never crack a smile one single bit as he told his friends how many times I christened his new car. Yes, NEW dad. He liked to say that I puked due to the way I felt about him marrying my mom when I was eight years old. And even though he was right about that, as I was not very pleased, I grew to adore him as the best dad in the world.
Yes, I have lost my cookies not only in cars but also in trains, boats, and planes. One time in church as we bowed our heads and closed our eyes to pray, I fell over. It was then that mom and I realized my equilibrium was screwed up. She and dad assured me that I would out-grow this, but from then on, I never closed my eyes to pray ever again unless I was sitting down.
As the years went on, I learned to fish. I was among the first class of women to be in the Pee Dee Bass Masters Club. As you may have guessed, all was well until the waters became rough, and then I was feeding the fish more than just jelly worms. Then I learned to water ski slalom style, but jumping the wakes made me sick for the rest of the day every single time. So, what was I thinking going on a honeymoon cruise with Chuck???? Everyone said that big boats have less rocking so I should be fine. Wrong!
Just a few years ago while working at a local radio station I hosted a cruise to Bermuda hoping I would be okay, but I never got my sea-legs. No matter how good the deal is, no more cruises for me.
Twenty-five years ago, Chuck and I took up Scuba Diving. I was told that Dramamine, Bonine, or the new medical patches would keep me in check. Eat saltines, take ginger tablets, watch the horizon was all given as advice. I was hesitant because of my crazy issues with motion sickness but the course instructor said getting to the location may be difficult for me, but once getting in the water I would equalize and regain balance. Trust me, friends, you have never truly thrown up till you are underwater with a regulator in your mouth that you can’t remove. TMI? (too much information?). Sorry. Just the facts, Jack.
Yet, we still go once a year to a great destination so he can pretend to be Jacques Cousteau as I become Jacqueline Bisset from the movie, The Deep. You know the one where she is in that sexy low-cut swimsuit. What a silly charade we play with each other! Bet the “Motion of the Ocean” never bothered Jackie!
Motion Sickness has interfered in my career as well. I was once brave enough to venture out with Captain Dick’s Marina for a TV interview about deep-sea fishing. The Captain promised me that since it was a lovely day, the waters would be calm. Forget about it! I was sicker than I have ever been in my whole life. By the time I got back to hallowed ground, I could not stand up or walk without assistance from my husband. He had to drive me to the TV station the next day for work, as I could not drive and barely got through my live show before he drove me to the doctor for some medical help.
It took three days and medication before I did not appear drunk to on-lookers and finally felt normal again. One week later I did the Captain Dick’s interview on land in front of the boat without sharing with the viewers about my dreaded experience. Usually, I am incredibly honest but did not want to scare away future deep-sea fishing customers. So even though I used to sell boats in college, I am not a boating fan for all the obvious reasons.
And the saddest part of this horrific reflux is that I was once offered a chance to fly with the United States Thunderbirds during the Sun Fun Festival for a feature story for my TV station but knew that it was here that I had to draw the line. Flying upside down and puking on those handsome young pilots at 4 G’s would have been the embarrassment of a lifetime? Are you kidding me? No way, Jose.
So even today, I still get carsick if I don’t sit in the front seat and continuously watch where I am going. Can’t read a book as Chuck drives. However, I am still hoping and praying that this too shall pass. Mom and dad said I will outgrow it and since they have been right about everything else they ever told me, I’m sure it will happen soon before my time on earth is done!