Overseas travel has left young Amy seasick for a year
A YOUNG Sunshine Coast woman has told of feeling seasick for a year after travelling extensively overseas.
Amy Stewart, 22, of Buderim, wrote in a blog about her ordeal in the hope that she might find out how she can be treated.
She has already been to a string of doctors and specialists and had CT scans and blood tests.
"It all started after my first flight overseas,'' the radio journalist wrote.
"I'd flown 19 hours to New York City and was ready to feel like a big fat famous movie star. And felt like that I did, for 3 days at least, until I woke up one morning and suddenly couldn't balance properly.
"I was holding onto walls and constantly trying to find a place to sit down. Thinking I was air or car sick or suffering from some other travel-related illness, I started popping Travacalm tablets like they were breath mints.
"But this just made everything worse. I was now lethargic and off balance and had absolutely no idea why.
"I decided it must be an allergy to the Northern Hemisphere - I never felt like this after flying to Melbourne or Tasmania.
"So I resolved to pay my GP a visit once I got back to Australia and continued enjoying myself in New York.''
"When I got home from America, all the feelings of dizziness and off balance-ness disappeared though.
"So I forgot about the trip to the doctor and started planning my next overseas holiday.
"Five months later I made another long journey across the Pacific Ocean, this time to Seoul.
"A couple of days into that trip and I was feeling stable… then I sat through a rather traumatic taxi-ride from Myeong-dong to Gangnam (which saw me pursing my lips to keep the vomit down and ultimately launching myself out of the cab onto the footpath like a breaching whale).
"After the cab ride I OD'ed on Travacalm pills to try and get rid of the nausea. I passed out for a good three hours in my sister's apartment and then awoke to find the feelings of dizziness, rocking and swaying had returned and were more violent than what I had experienced in New York.''
A doctor later diagnosed a 'serious balance problem' and advised she she a specialist when back home.
Amy said she eventually discovered she had a syndrome called Mal de Debarquement.
MdDS is the sensation of feeling like you're on a boat or a really turbulent flight… all the time.
"Yep, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ok well maybe it isn't 24 hours exactly. I don't feel my MdDS when I'm asleep, although I do often have dreams about being on roller-coasters.''
"Not much is known about this condition. From all I've read and researched, it typically occurs in women who are going through or have gone through The Change of Life, and only after they've been on a cruise ship or long-haul flight.''
Amy told ninemsn she visited numerous doctors who were unable to diagnose or treat her condition.
"The main thing everyone was telling me is 'you're depressed, go see a psychologist'," she said.
"That was really frustrating because of course you're gonna get depressed if you feel dizzy all the time. But it's not the depression causing the dizziness, it's the dizziness causing the depression."
Her symptoms have reduced slightly since she started taking medication recommended by Dr Cha and visiting a naturopath.