Motion Sickness Is Ruining My Life

Motion Sickness Is Ruining My Life

I’ve always prided myself on being a very healthy person. I’ve never had a serious disease, I never missed school for being sick (although I missed plennnty of school), and I don’t get run down throughout the year with the seasonal colds and flus that ail those around me. I do however fight a different kind of battle.

This battle is with hills, waves and turbulence. It’s with backwards-facing seats on public transportation and those dreaded carnival rides. It’s with checking my phone while riding in any type of moving vehicle. Like my father before me and my seven sons after me, I have a lifelong case of MS (motion sickness) and there’s no cure in sight.

Save your Sea-Bands, your Dramamines, your acupuncture and your ginger. I’ve tried it all, and I’m more or less a goner. I’ll never get to experience the joy of reading a street sign from my car or turning around on an airplane to say something to the person kicking my seat. I’ve accepted that fact. The thing is I wasn’t always like this…

Until high school I never got motion sick. I frequented Six Flags Great America in the lovely city of Gurnee, Illinois and would ride each and every roller coaster to my little heart’s desire. Ones that did flips, ones that went backwards and that crazy spinning circle ride with all the mirrors. Just writing this sentence made my stomach turn over now.

When I turned 16, I convinced my two buddies to go to Great America with me because there was a new roller coaster we wanted to try: Vertical Velocity. If you’re not familiar with Vertical Velocity, it’s basically a roller coaster that isn’t one continuous track but is instead shaped like a gigantic letter U. One leg of the U was a corkscrew and the other was straight up and all you did was fly back and forth on both like a goddamn pendulum, forwards and backwards. It looked like this:

We arrived before the park opened so we could be first in line for the ride (our priorities at this age were different – none of us had been laid). When the gates opened we sprinted to Vertical Velocity and were the first ones on. We slammed the seat belts and chest protectors over our pubescent bodies and we were off. The coaster jolted forward and corkscrewed straight up and then flew backwards down the U shape until we were hanging upside down with our bodies dangling from the shoulder pads directly facing the ground. And then we stopped.

This was not supposed to happen. The ride was meant to go back and forth continuously; however, the coaster was broken and we were left hanging there with all our blood and organs being pushed into the front of our ribcages in the hot Midwest morning sun. Pause the video below at 0:28 for a POV shot of what I was experiencing.

We hung up there for 20, maybe 30 minutes. I don’t remember being particularly scared, more physically miserable than anything. They eventually got the damn thing to move and we were let off the ride with a halfhearted apology from the meth-head operating it. Believe me, if this had happened to 29-year-old JR he would have collapsed off the ride clutching his neck wailing for an ambulance and the best emotional distress attorney in the county. What can I say; I’m a lawyer’s kid.

We made our way to an old favorite to shake the stink of Vertical Velocity off of us: Raging Bull. Halfway down the first drop I puked my brains out on the seat next to me as well as the woman occupying it. So we tried Viper. I ralphed up my elephant ear on the Oat’s shoes. We even went on the tee ball of roller coasters, American Eagle. At this point, I was just projectiling bile all over my white And1 “I’m the Bus Driver and I’m Taking You to School” tee.

Ever since that moment in my life, my motion sickness has ruined me. I’ve had to:

• Bail on Fourth of July fireworks in Belmont Harbor by diving off a boat and swimming to shore because the waves were too choppy. In the harbor.
• Refuse to sit in the backseat of a single moving vehicle driving the hills of San Francisco. Yes, this includes Uber Pools where I ask the person sitting up front if they can move to the back.
• Curl up in a ball and cry on the hour long speedboat ride from Puket to the Phi Phi islands in Thailand because I thought I was going to die. Frankly, I would have welcomed death. See for yourself:


My ego gets the best of me a lot of and there are times when I think I’m invincible. But I’m not. Put an uneven surface beneath my feet and I’m as wobbly legged as a newborn baby deer. I’m writing this on an airplane right now and as soon as I’m done typing this sentence I’m going to go thro…

Never mind.

Thanks Vertical Velocity.


This week on Don’t Take It From Us, our first return guest Dr. Crick Watson MD rejoins Jenna Crowley and I as we play a modified trivia game for the resident PGP Bachelorette expert. Which does he know more about: modern medicine or a reality television dating show? We also review quite possibly the worst Bumble profile we’ve ever received and discuss how one should handle the dating scene in a small town. Enjoy!

Do you have a dating or relationship question you want answered on the pod? Make sure you send our way! New eps will be released every Wednesday, so check it out on Soundcloud below or on iTunes!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here for a first look at the dating profiles we’re grading and all sorts of content throughout the week!

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JR Hickey

Stand up comedian and writer from Chicago who now resides on the West Coast. JR can be seen performing at Cobbs Comedy Club in San Francisco and Zanies Comedy Clubs in Chicago. His work has been published in the Chicago Tribune and recently he was a part of SF Sketchfest 2015. JR's also the host of the PGP dating podcast Don't Take It From Us. He loves you very, very much.

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