Fly, Nerves, Vomit


Flying – A Numbing Feeling In The Pit Of My Stomach


Flying commercially is pretty darn safe.  That’s what the statistics say, the experts swear by it, and I’ve never been in an airplane that has crash-landed.  So I want to know why I get nervous when I fly.  The doctors would say that it’s the crystals floating around in my ear canal that causes me to be more sensitive to motion.  The end result is I get freaked out whenever I fly, cause I feel vomiting all over my neighbor.  I hate vomiting.  Its gross, and I haven’t done it in awhile.  Usually when I do, I feel better, but the “thought” of vomiting horrifies me.  What the heck?


So I’m sure you are wondering where I’m going with all this.  Well, here I am again – on a plane and there is turbulence.  I’m nervous, and I can’t stop thinking about it.  Why not blog about it then?  Problem solved.  Well, not really.  We are flying in this tiny jet, and I almost can lick the overhead console cause it’s so low to my head.  I can’t see out the window, the airflow sucks and the vomit bag is tiny!  What am I going to do?  Let’s talk about the upchuck bags for a moment.  It seems as though the vomit bags keep getting smaller.  Are the airlines really that cheap? I do have something positive to say about vomit bags and commend United for this one – they are at least plastic.  I will say that it would be pretty gross is the moist vomit seeped through the paper sack as most airlines have.  Can you imagine vomiting and the bowel fluid that was regurgitated soaked through the paper sack?  Oh my! 


What is my remedy for this horrid situation? After spending extensive time getting these dumb tests from this expensive specialist, they diagnosed me with some sort of disorder that causes these calcium carbonate crystals to float out of the inner ear and float into one of the ear canals.  This is not good.  These little precious jewels help keep your balance.  Apparently, they adhere to this gel like substance and move around with motion assisting the signals sent to your brain to help maintain balance.  The problem is that when these crystals go where they ought not to, it causes my problem.  I used to have really bad vertigo from sleeping on my right side.  Imagine a spinning sensation so sharp that it wakes you up!  That really sucked.  Thanks to my expensive specialist, he performed these “special” maneuvers on me to help my ears train themselves to the condition.  Ideally, these maneuvers are supposed to assist the crystals back into the right spot.  I’m not quite convinced this worked for me.  I’m still sensitive to motion and I have to take drugs to offset the symptoms. 


The drugs are many.  They are annoying, my wife gets cottonmouth from them, and I turn into this lethargic sloth like creature that can barely keep his eyes open.  I suddenly become the best sleeper ever.  When I traveled I China in 06 with theMILL, I had to take several doses to last me through the 30hrs of traveling.  Noelle and I were dating then and every time she would come back to say hi, I’d be there with my mouth wide open and practically dead.  Asleep.  I was pretty much a worthless piece of trash that entire flight.  I barely remember anything except people telling me after the fact that I slept the whole flight.  Anyway, these drugs I’m on right now are making my eyes blurry, cause I’m having a hard time keeping them open.  Its ok though.  I think I figured a way to beat some of the side effects of this medicine.  If I don’t go to sleep while I’m on the drugs, I usually don’t get very drowsy.  The two drugs I’m on is Scopolamine and Mechlizine.  Usually the combination of these two wonder drugs will do the trick and help me not really care about the airplane turning or the feeling of falling to the ground.


I thought maybe I would need counseling because of my anxiety.  Noelle suggested that I don’t take the drugs on our honeymoon.  Well, I didn’t want to throw-up all over the place!  Come on people.  This is my honeymoon.  So instead, I slept on the flights and Noelle’s warm body sitting next to me.  So I guess I should ask myself, why am I worried about flying if I’m taking the precautions to counteract the symptoms of motion sickness?  What if?  What if the drugs didn’t work?  I guess the worst that could happen is that I would vomit and that brings me back to the small vomit bags – case and point.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Small vomit bags make me worry. 




1.Upon boarding any aircraft, trade seats with someone if not assigned a window seat.  You see, if I have a window seat, I can at least look outside which helps.


2.Once seated, check for vomit bag.  If a bag is nowhere to be found, steal someone’s.  (I like to have at least two in my little magazine cubby, so I usually steal my neighbors). 


3.Focus on not vomiting.


4.Drink ginger ale.  This beverage helps with nausea which I often have once I’ve boarded an aircraft because of my flippin’ nerves.


5.Dry clammy hands on jeans.


6.Lastly, don’t panic.  Only a few more hours till we land.


All this humor and truth is brought to you by yours truly, Jacob Goodlin.