Rick's World

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Better Living Through Chemistry (and a little Accupressure too)??

It seems that the main topic of conversation as you meet new people on a trip to Antarctica (after the typical name and where you're from) is the Drake Passage and what sort of Sea Sickness remedies you've brought with you. I've been prone to some motion sickness in my life, although never really bad, so I'm not taking any chances. I've got:
  1. The Scopolamine Patch - This is a patch you put behind your ear that slowly releases the drug Scopolamine over 3 days. You need a prescription to get it and based on all my research it's the one thing that really works (although the Drake is still known to shake people into sea sickness even with the patch). Many people don't like it because it makes them feel a bit loopy (indeed, I put one on last year before going to bed when we thought we would be leaving over night and definitely felt a bit strange when I woke up, took a moment to figure out the boat wasn't moving). Scopolamine has also been used as a truth serum in the past, so I'm bringing extra just in case :)
  2. Dramamine - Also effective for many people, I went with the CVS version which has the same active ingredient, dimenhydrinate. I skipped the non-drowsy version, I figure if I'm not feeling well, knock me out!
  3. Ginger Pills - Ginger is another common sea sickness remedy that seems to work by settling the stomach. Last year, ginger candies were available on the boat at the drink station. Many people swear by it, other claim it's no help at all. Since sea sickness isn't really a stomach issue, but rather an inner ear/balance issue, ginger may help with the symptoms, but it doesn't seem likely to get to the root cause.
  4. Sea-Band - Another product that many people swear by, and an equal number claim does nothing for them. These bracelets go around your lower wrist and a small plastic nubbin pushes on an acupressure point that is supposed to help relieve nausea and motion sickness. I've had enough luck with acupuncture and acupressure that I'm gonna give it a try!
So, my "sea sickness cocktail" is going to be the patch, bracelet, and ginger as needed. I'll take the Dramamine if the others don't seem to be working, but given what I've read and heard I have more faith in the patch then anything. Should be fun :)

Forecast now reaches out to our meeting day in Ushuaia, check out the big blob of orange and yellow!!

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