People That Make Me Sick
Warning for vomit-related TMI
Last summer, I went to an amusement park in Maine and I left an impression on the ride attendant and my fellow passengers that they are unlikely to forget.
I got sick.
As in rivers upon rivers of vomit sick. I had to throw out my clothes because they were soaked in filth. I didn’t walk off that ride. I crawled because I was too dizzy to stand and I was still spitting up stray chunks.
I have been known to get mildly queasy on rides, but I’ve never actually gotten sick before. Needless to say, that put an end to my day at the park.
That’s hardly going to stop me from going all out at amusement parks, though. I have looked up tips to manage motion sickness and they work well for me: eat small, frequent meals; don’t eat anything heavy; take some ginger with you; ease up on the caffeine. Yes, part of managing motion sickness is taking it easy. I have to take breaks between rides, whereas I used to be able to go on rides one immediately after the other. There are also a few rides that I avoid entirely because they just plain make me pukey. (Gravitron, I’m looking at you. Never again, dude.)
Last but not least, I’ve got Plan B: Dramamine.
With all of that under my belt, there is very little I can’t do at an amusement park. Success story, no? Not exactly.
Every now and again, I get someone who will chastise me for managing my tendency toward motion sickness. Once I start talking about Dramamine, what began as nagging turns into full-blast scolding. In some people’s minds, it’s wrong to “cheat” when it comes to your health. The only appropriate way to manage an illness is to avoid triggers and to treat with diet and lifestyle changes. The fact that I refuse to give up amusement park rides, and that my management strategy has actually been working for me means that I am “unwilling to accept the changes that come with getting older.” I am “unwilling to take responsibility for my health,” or some such nonsense. Fuck if I know.
Some people seem to think that if you have a chronic condition, you must give up your life to the management of that condition. You cannot take any technological or medical shortcut to managing that condition because it’s unnatural or, like I said, it’s cheating.
If you have a disability, you know the mentality that I’m talking about. There is a curious bias against those who use technology, modern medicine, or some other “crutch” in order to live a a fulfilling life. In some people’s minds, the only “fulfilling” life a disabled person can have is a life spent trying to convince people you are able-bodied. Using a “crutch” to get through life is the ultimate admission that yes, you are disabled and a defeat in favor of being a cripple. My motion sickness is hardly a disability, but a minor annoyance. Even then, I get people telling me that I shouldn’t be relying on shortcuts to avoid some profound, transcendental reality about getting older that means I can’t go to amusement parks.
I can only imagine what happens to people who have high blood pressure or diabetes or eating disorders or some other “all your fault!” illness.
I know many older, mostly fat people who have diabetes and the lecturing they get is something that would drive me to the nuthouse. My aunt is a first-class nag about health. She will go right up to a stranger with an insulin pump at the beach and tell them that they should not be there or that they should be covered up. She will go up to a total stranger at a restaurant and tell them they should not have that soda or that piece of cake because of their condition. She will tell them that they are being irresponsible and childish, that it was their eating that got them sick in the first place and that their behavior is costing her money in taxes.
The fact that people with diabetes can have severe low blood sugar, not just high blood sugar, is lost on her. The idea that you can eat sugar as long as you watch how much you eat and take your insulin and your meds properly is lost on her. She doesn’t know what kind of diabetes that person has, what it was caused by, but it doesn’t matter because that person is a human being whose life is none of her business. That, especially, is lost on her.
I have a theory. If you have an “all your fault!” disease, people think that you don’t deserve to have a normal life. You need to pay, with restrictions on your life, for the rest of your time on Earth. You must wear a scarlet letter of some sort at all times that says “I chose to be a fat fuck and now I’m as disgusting inside as I am outside.” They feel that they have the right to abuse you in public as part of your penance.
People like that are wasting their own taxes because they make me sick.