A Migraine Life: Vacationing and Vomiting

Am I alone?

I know that I am not alone in my issues with motion sickness, vertigo, and/or migraine. How many more of us are out there? This is not something that we want to happen, but, all the traveling, sites, lights, and motion of certain modes of transportation, can trigger migraine attacks and the accompanying effects.

When did migraine get in the way of my vacation?

I can remember well two trips that were very important to me that this happened on. I was extremely sick on both. Even though I did not feel well, I had to let the trip go on. Why? Because I had already paid for them and this didn't happen often.

Trip 1

The first trip was a Spring Break trip for my kids to Branson, Missouri. I do not know why I decided to take them there, but had booked it in advance. We were going to stay at this nice little resort. I drove because for me, driving is better than flying. If I were to fly, I would be even more sick with vomiting and ear pain (many past ear surgeries).

How was the drive?

It took us about 10 hours to get there from our house. The drive went well. Weather was also good the whole way there. But…once we arrived, I instantly started vomiting when I got off the elevator and made it into the front door. Ugh!!! This is not how I wanted the trip to start.

How was our time there?

Needless to say, I had to cut out a lot of attractions while we were there. I did not want to see any food or move from the bed. I also did not want my children to go all the way there and not do anything. I managed to rest and medicate enough to go to two main things we had planned - the Titanic Museum (I sipped a Sprite while we were there) and a magic show.

The kids entertained themselves the rest of the time. Since they were in middle school, I did not have to escort them all over the resort. There was an activity center in the main building next door. They also had an arcade and indoor pool.

Trip 2

The next trip, which was planned many months in advance, was a trip for not just us, but my sisters, their families, and my mom. It was to Disney World in Orlando, FL. I was fine up until two weeks before the trip. I spent the next two weeks with severe daily vomiting.

The bad part was that we had to drive to meet the rest of the family in North Carolina for our annual trip there. Then we were all driving together to Florida. My family told me that I should probably just stay home in Texas. I was determined to make the drive to NC and then FL. This was a trip of a lifetime for us all. Plus...we were going together.

How was the drive?

It was the hardest trip from TX to NC that I had ever driven. I did have to stop a lot to get cool cloths, ice, medication, and a hotel stop overnight. There were times that I thought I would not make it there because of the extreme nausea and vomiting, but I made it.

The drive from NC to FL was not actually that bad. We got there without incident. We then got our theme park hopper passes, food vouchers, and rooms. After checking everything out, we ventured out to a different park each day. We had the passes for the water park, but did not use them.

Two modes of transportation bothered me while on the property. I am affected by where I sat and how I was sitting:

  • The buses on the Disney property had seats facing sideways, not forward. I had to keep my head down the whole time to avoid getting increased dizziness.
  • The boat we had to take to get to certain food establishments. I do not do water/boats because of motion sickness. I did not vomit on the boat, but was close.

What helped during both trips?

Sseveral things came in handy for both trips. Listed below are the items helped me make this trip a dream come true for my kids/family:

  1. Ginger gum
  2. Anti-nausea wrists bands
  3. Ginger candy
  4. Zofran
  5. Staying on my migraine medication regimen (gabapentin, Topamax, atenolol, Zomig)
  6. Ice and cool cloths to my forehead
  7. Rest

What would I recommend?

If you are not feeling well and need to travel, make sure you take as many breaks as needed. That may mean staying in your room while others are out. I had to do that while at Disney World a bit. Bring things to help you with whatever condition or symptoms you are having. I did not use this, but I think knowing where you can get medical attention is a plus also.

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