Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Land Sickness

Every morning, in my online mailbox, I receive a message from the wellness website of Dr. Andrew Weil, MD. Generally in these mailings, the doctor addresses a question sent to him by on online member. Recently, an inquiry was made about “land sickness.” Being the wife of a retired Navy man, I knew about “sea legs,” but I never knew about this phenomenon. Here is a definition from the Mal de Debarquement Syndrome website:
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (or MdDS) is an imbalance or rocking/swaying sensation often both “felt” and “seen” by the sufferer that occurs after exposure to motion (most commonly after a sea cruise or a flight). Although other forms of travel have been known to trigger it.

After alighting or “debarking” (debarquement), the traveler continues to feel “all at sea,” unable to get their land legs back. Although most travelers can identify with this feeling and do actually experience it temporarily after disembarking, unfortunately in the case of MdDS sufferers it can persist for many weeks, months, even years afterwards.

The symptoms are with you constantly, they never leave, nor can they be alleviated by any anti-motion sickness drugs. “Like trying to constantly walk on a mattress or a trampoline,” is a good description of the main symptom, which is usually most pronounced when the patient is sitting still; in fact, the sensations are usually minimized by actual motion, for example driving.
According to Dr. Weil, the cause of Mal de Debarquement Syndrome is unknown; no medical test exists to diagnose the condition; and there is no cure. Research is ongoing, however, so there is hope that more information about the disorder will come to light over time. Until then, sufferers may want to investigate treatment options in both the traditional and natural medical fields.

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