Two years ago, I had agonizing back pain that would not respond to any treatment. I was completely incapacitated with pain. We saw a Spinal Specialist at one of the big hospitals and I can remember my Husband explaining to him that if we could just improve my back pain, that my quality of life would dramatically improve. My back finally did improve, but what we weren’t counting on was another whole set of symptoms replacing that back pain. Since then, that has pretty much been the path that my illnesses have taken. In an almost cyclical pattern, as soon as one thing improves, it is replaced by something equally as challenging to live with-or worse.
Apparently, the horrendous nausea I previously lived with has decided that this is an opportune time to return. Yay me. Can’t I ever get a symptom like uncontrollably happy? Feeling wonderful? Tons of energy? Well, clearly not. So, here we are. Again.
Some people would think that nausea isn’t really that bad. That it can be lived with. It can be lived with, but it IS that bad and it IS miserable to live with.
These days, I walk around nearly constantly nauseous. It feels as though I will choke, if I swallow one more time (without any food, mind you). It makes going anywhere, at all, nearly impossible. It affects my meal planning and nutrition. It recently affected my Daughter’s Birthday when I struggled to eat at all. And it seriously impacts my quality of life.
Nausea and gastro issues are common in both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I am also incredibly lucky that it also accompanies migraines (insert eye rolls here). So what can we do? Here are some of the things I do to manage the constant nausea. Like anything with these diseases, they only marginally help and not consistently, but over the years I have found a few things to share with you.
My medication arsenal consists of:
- Bonine, which has the active ingredient Meclizine in it. Meclizine can help with motion sickness related nausea.
- Zofran, which is often used for the nausea that comes from chemotherapy, but is also given for severe nausea and vomiting. Zofran does not work preventatively, instead it’s use is for once you’re already nauseous or vomiting.
- Scolpamine patches, which are patches to place behind your ear with a duration of three days.
Non Drug remedies include the following:
- Sea Bands
- Chewing gum
- Ginger supplements, tea, snaps, essential oil
- Digest Zen. An essential oil mixture sold by DoTerra
- Peppermint tea or essential oil
- Real Ginger Ale, such as Bruce Cost-which can be purchased below. Of note, the most popular ginger ales just recently faced a myriad of lawsuits over not containing real ginger as indicated.
- Gently applying pressure just above the wrist. This is actually pressure point-P6 and is used in accupuncture. It looks like this:
Here’s a short video from one of the best cancer hospitals in the country demonstrating how this is done:
As for food, it’s a battle these days to get anything, at all, into my system. The current state of nausea causes an adverse reaction to even seeing or smelling food. It reminds me of morning sickness. So when you’re so sick you can’t take the sight or smell of food, how can you adequately ascertain any nutrition? I go back to basics.
We often try to think of having complete, nutritional meals for optimal health. But if you’re too ill to eat or swallow, it’s important to remember that not all nutritionally sound “meals” need to actually be meals. Here is a list of my “go to’s”:
- Fresh organic berries
- Smoothies made from frozen organic berries. You can also add protein powder.
- Organic walnuts or pistachios are my favorites, but really any nut or legume will do.
- Organic chicken nuggets-made with all natural ingredients (below)
- Organic apple with or without organic peanut butter
- Organic baby carrots or pea pods
- Organic protein bar (be careful on this one, many protein bars have little to no nutritional value)
- Organic english muffin with organic butter
- Plain piece of organic chicken
I normally drink water like a camel. When I’m sick like this, water consumption becomes a huge challenge. Try adding fresh or frozen berries, cucumber or melon to it, to make it more palatable and to add some nutrients and antioxidants.
I no longer say “if this improves, my quality of life will improve”. In time, we learned that that is not how these diseases work. Instead it’s about managing each set of symptoms and trying our best to live within the confines that they determine. So for now, it’s nausea. How do you cope with nausea?
ps for those necessary car rides, try bringing a pot with a lid just in case
**Disclaimer** I am *not* a medical professional and this post should not be interpreted as medical advice. It is personal opinion. Please contact your Doctor and seek medical care for any symptoms or illnesses.