At least I helped with chumming

By Glenda Price: New Mexico columnist

Some people suffer from motion sickness. I’m one of them.

Horseback is about the only movement my body can tolerate without nausea. I’ve thrown up in airplanes, cars, trucks, buses, boats — even in water when the only flotation device was my body.

I’ve read that about half our nation’s astronauts have this affliction, so at least I have company. My fellow sufferers know this sickness is about the “sickest” feeling a human can have.

We usually get zero sympathy, too. My family deals with it by pretending they don’t know me. They act like that lady throwing up wherever is just an unknown traveler who happens to be nearby.

The official definition says it’s caused by a “failure to communicate” between the inner ear (the part that helps us keep our balance) and our eyes (which tell us what’s happening, supposedly).

I’ve taken the recommended drugs. They make me drunk, which is worse than the illness. I’ve worn the bracelet, the patch, everything. Nothing works.

My family knows just to let me drive on curvy roads, or be ready to stop quickly when I hold my hand over my mouth and say, “Stop. Now.” Something about driving helps a great deal, maybe having the steering wheel to hold onto.

In airplanes I know exactly where the little barf bags are, and I can find them quickly.

On the way from the airport to an island I wasn’t the only sick passenger, which helped a bit. Still, it was embarrassing to feed the outdoor plants during the hotel check-in.

Wind surfing seemed easier — no boat — so I signed up for it once. The ocean was big, the surf board was small, the waves were gentle. Didn’t matter. They had to rescue me.

So what was left? I figured I could make it snorkeling — nothing to ride. I got off the little boat, put on my mask and other equipment, floated about ten feet and – threw up. The sea had a gently undulating movement, which did me in. My companion couldn’t hide his disgust. Too bad.

I lay down in the boat until we reach shore.

My worst experience was during a deep sea fishing excursion. I took drugs, wore the recommended stuff, figuring I’d try everything.

Didn’t work. My husband had a great time while I fed the fish over the side of the boat and in the “head” below.

He caught a magnificent marlin. I made it upside in time to see the final capture. What a deal. My husband said, “The captain says he can get one for you, too. Wanta try it?”

I couldn’t even hold up my head, so I declined.

Later, at brag time for the wonderful catch, I quietly observed, “My chumming was what brought that great fish to you.”

After all, many fishermen toss some bait into the water near their hooks to entice the fish to check it out.

I figured I at least did one thing useful that day.

Glenda Price has been a contributing editor to New Mexico Stockman magazine since 1982. Contact her at: glendaprice00@comcast.net