Air Sickness Stories

My extreme motion sickness - planes are by far the worst

contributed by Kayikoni

I have suffered from extreme motion sickness since childhood. I used to be a driver's worst nightmare. However, nothing beats flying! I always got sick. But on my senior class trip to Florida the school nurse gave me meds and they worked wonders! Ever since then I could take them and survive flying... until my last trip back from Florida (again).

It was storming really bad so my flight kept getting pushed back. That started my stress as I knew I'll not make my connecting flight in Atlanta. Well, once boarded, we sat there again for an hour. Then taxied out and sat again. After a while the captain saw an opening and shot gun the plane into the air. He tried to fly around the storm but we hit it anyway. The plane kept losing lift and would drop so fast everyone on board would scream. The over-heads would fly open and bags would fall out. It was rough. I was too scared to even be sick! Finally we got out of it and things got stable... and that's when I started turning green. We started our descent - I can always tell. Realizing my anti-sick meds were no longer working, I started to worry. I tried not to, but it's impossible. As we started coming down and locked in our seats, I lost it. I always feel bad for those around me, but this time the young woman next to me was so sweet! She called for help, even while we were descending fast the flight attendant came. I filled up many sick bags till I had nothing left. I think many understood after the rough flight. The lady next to me fanned me with a pamphlet as the flight attendant had to leave me to buckle in.

We landed finally, and the flight attendant came back to check on me. She called for a wheel chair but after everyone else got off, I felt stable enough to leave under my own power. Though barely. Once in the airport I sat down in a corner and just cried. I didn't know what else to do. I still felt like death and I had to get on another flight to get home. I was upset that my medication had no effect because of how freaked-out the flight made me. So the stress was getting the better of me. The last thing I wanted to do was get on another plane.

When I felt better I got myself some water and crackers and went to my gate thinking I had missed my flight because of the storms, only to find out it was still there as well and delayed. So I lay down and did my best to calm down. I also tried to take more meds as I hadn't taken them in over 5 hours. I got stuck at Atlanta for another 6+ hours, but those hours were welcomed by me! By the time we were boarding it was dark and I was feeling loads better but I warned the flight staff about my earlier situation that day so they were aware of me. I was still feeling OK until we took off. It hit me as soon as the wheels left the runway and I just started crying again - and cried the entire 3 hours of my flight. None of the tips they tell you to do were working. Even closing my eyes gave me nothing. I just felt less close to death than I did with them open. I repeated over and over that it will be over soon. And I just wanted it to be over. The bathroom was my best friend and I oddly would feel 80% better going in there. Even just to sit. Or splash water on my face. I would have stayed in there the whole flight if I could.

Finally got through landing after tossing my crackers and water in the bathroom, and crawled off the plane in Philadelphia 18 hours after walking into the Florida airport. It should only take 6 hours. Sadly, I haven't flown since because I fear that medication no longer works for me. I know it was the stress of the whole day that caused it, but it's still a fear. This goes down as the worst motion sickness event ever for me. My friend flew for the first time ever last week and said he LOVES it and never feels more relaxed. And the motion of the plane puts him to sleep. I wanted to strangle him for being so lucky. (Not really of course!!) Planes by far are the worst for me. I will pick an 8 hour train ride over a 3 hour plane ride - something which I have done.


Mr. Nausea on November 1, 2014:
I'd try a combination of things - a transderm scop patch for actual nausea and a Benzo (such as Ativan, Xanax, or Valium) to keep you calm. These are both RX only.
SweetSofalo on July 11, 2016:
I have also suffered all types of motion sickness since a baby. My sensitivity to motion got worse once I went through hormonal changes. I can get sick when driving myself. As with the last poster, airplane flights are the worse. Turbulence is bad, but usually, the reaction begins when the plane starts to change altitude towards the end of the flight. My motion sickness is extreme. One example was on an international flight, with a connection. I became so ill, with a drop in blood pressure, shudders and disorientation, that I was taken off of the flight. I was admitted to the airport infirmary, given IV's for 6 hours, then put on a flight to my destination. I flew, because I needed to get to a destination. I have a long list of extreme motion sickness stories. With so many bad experiences, I also began to develop a strong psychological reaction to impending flights. Even when I would go to the airport to pick up someone, the smell of the airplane fuel made my stomach spasm. Ultimately, I have been prescribed medication that has helped. My doctor prescribed the Transderm Scop patch and Meclizine-25 mg (this is a higher dose than over-the-counter). I use these medications together. Since using this, I have not had a bad flight. Unfortunately, the co-pay of the patch has gone up 2 1/2 times since my last RX. (which is the how I happened in on this site I am hoping to find a less expensive source than CVS. My side effects are not significant, except needing hours of sleep at the end of my trip. I do not keep the patches on once I am on location. But, it does take a day to feel like the medication is out of my system. I do wish that there was a medical remedy for severe cases that could remove the need for constant medication.
Sameasyou on December 22, 2017:
SweetSofalo - did you ever get any more info on how to solve your problem? My son just had this extreme motion sickness on a flight from LAX to Sydney - wound up in the ER. He takes dramamine but I'd be interested to know if there's a solution. Thanks.
LADAZARIA on September 25, 2018:
Does anyone know if feeling hot and sweaty are also part of motion sickness on a plane. It only happened this year to me the first time (I'm 50) and only on descent. I almost feel puffed up, like water retention but with pain and tingling. And hot and sweaty and nausea. The nausea lasts in a milder form for half an hour after landing.
Helpout on February 22, 2019:
Has anyone considered trying the Reliefband? It's a band that sends electric shocks through your hand, blocking the signals of nausea to your brain. I am trying it for my flight coming up as I have severe air sickness/motion sickness. I have also tried the seasick bands from CVS and that helped about 50-60% of the issues.

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