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Chronic Sea Sickness

EpicBeardedMan

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What's the process if you're a chronic sea sick to change branches? I've had a few people mention it to me on ship but unsure as to what the process is.
 

luke_l

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I know I saw a link on the Esquimalt BPSO site... I know that the doc has to call you Chronic sea sick, and it's quite the ordeal.
 

medicineman

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You need a permanent medical category go through first...then the BPSO gets involved.

Edit to add - Or you can just apply for a VOT and see what happens.

MM
 

Colin Parkinson

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We had a Mate on the Coast Guard cutters that was nearly chronic sea-sick, his nickname was "Duke the puke" He is now a Captain of a buoy tender, so if you can work through it, all is not lost.
 

Cleric515

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so after a couple sails, it has come to the attention of my PA that i be tested for chronic sea sickness. I am curious as to what these tests are, people have told me some weird stuff they do but I'd like to get some info from someone who actually knows or who has been through the process
 

Pieman

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I don't know anything about the tests, however served in Afghanistan with a Sailor who had Chronic sea sickness. He got so sick on the water that he could not sail, which is not a good thing when you are in the Navy. Not much you can do for work if you are sick and puking your guts up I suppose.  They tasked him to the gym and dish washing on the base, and he did that for a few *years*. Then he somehow landed a gig overseas.

I did not understand why he would not just OT or pull out of the forces, but refused to leave because he liked the paycheck.  Minus his time overseas, it seems like such a waste of time, IMHO.

Anyway, I hope your circumstances are much better than his.
 

Ex-Dragoon

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Pieman said:
I don't know anything about the tests, however served in Afghanistan with a Sailor who had Chronic sea sickness. He got so sick on the water that he could not sail, which is not a good thing when you are in the Navy. Not much you can do for work if you are sick and puking your guts up I suppose.  They tasked him to the gym and dish washing on the base, and he did that for a few *years*. Then he somehow landed a gig overseas.

I did not understand why he would not just OT or pull out of the forces, but refused to leave because he liked the paycheck.  Minus his time overseas, it seems like such a waste of time, IMHO.

Anyway, I hope your circumstances are much better than his.

Odd......most chronics we have had over the past few years are not left hanging like that. Those that I know of were tested by a doctor and those that were chronics were either retained and given an OT or released. All within a year and at most a year and a half.
 

BernDawg

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Odds are that the guy left hanging around washing dishes etc. was not qualified in trade so they couldn't be re-mustered. I worked with and for a guy that didn't want to give up on his sea trade and was basically ordered to re-muster due to chronic sea-sickness. We're just lucky he picked our trade.
 

kawa11

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The CF's all about booting people that get seasick, eh?
Hopefully, they're not as quick to toss out Purple-traded individuals and opt for transfers to land.

Couldn't members just use Scopolamine patches?
 

MJP

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kawa11 said:
The CF's all about booting people that get seasick, eh?

They aren't, you have just failed to read what three people have said so far about them getting transfers to other trades.  Release is an option but it ain't what the CF is "all about"

Maybe some listening silence is in order?  Or maybe a lane change to the one you know about?
 

OldSolduer

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kawa11 said:
The CF's all about booting people that get seasick, eh?
Hopefully, they're not as quick to toss out Purple-traded individuals and opt for transfers to land.

Couldn't members just use Scopolamine patches?

I see you're getting some PT in - jumping to conclusions. Stop it.
 

Occam

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kawa11 said:
Couldn't members just use Scopolamine patches?

Ah, the panic button.  Not everyone responds to the patches, Gravol (oral or injection) and other treatments - hence the term "chronic seasickness".

There is no misery like someone who is chronic seasick - there is nowhere on the ship to go to escape it.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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There are different levels of "chronic" seasickness.

I have had a very successful 24+ years at sea career while "chronic". I had to be on the high dose gravol pills all the time, but otherwise was fine.  Bonus: It kept me from any temptation to drink at sea or on the day before any sailing.

On the other hand, I remember a then MARS but future log officer on my MARS II course who was so bad, it even became a serious psychological problem. He became useless the second we let the lines go (at least, I did not need pills on calm waters such as inside Vancouver Island). One time on board MACKENZIE we were scheduled to sail at three in the AM from Esquimalt, but ran into boilers problem - so they let the MARS II sleep in. When they piped wakey-wakey, he was sick as a dog while in harbour and did not believe us when we told him we were still alongside - until we dragged him on deck and he immediately recovered. He did not complete the sea phase before remuster :) .
 

Halifax Tar

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Occam said:
There is no misery like someone who is chronic seasick - there is nowhere on the ship to go to escape it.

This is very true. I know from first hand experience! But I got over it using the scopolamine patch.
 

Pieman

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Odd......most chronics we have had over the past few years are not left hanging like that. Those that I know of were tested by a doctor and those that were chronics were either retained and given an OT or released. All within a year and at most a year and a half.
I don't know his circumstances exactly. My impression was that he did not want to deal with being sick at sea, and he loved working in the gym (he is a very fit guy). So it may have been more his influence for staying where he was than the chain of commands....until he was put on dish washing duty that is. (He didn't like that so much)
 

Pusser

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Seasickness varies from person to person.  Although a few people claim to have never been seasick, I've always figured most of them are lying.  By the same token, few people are actually chronically seasick (i.e. so sick all the time so that they cannot function).  It is truly a miserable feeling as there really is no place to go to get relief (although they have been known to send folks up in the helicopter in an attempt to do so).

As the effects of seasickness vary, so do the cures.  Bonamine or Gravol can be effective, but also tend to cause drowsiness .  I've heard folks rave about the "West Coast Command Badge" (scopalmine patch), but I know that also cause wild hallucinations for others.  I've know people who swear by the "Sea-Band," which is a wrist band with a marble in it that puts pressure on a acupuncture point.  For some folks one or all of these methods work and for others, none of them work.  My own personal experience is that Bonamine or Gravol both work quite well as long as I don't need to do anything that requires me staying awake.  However, what works best of all for me is to sail on a clear calm day.  If we start the trip when it's calm, I'll be fine after the first day, no matter how rough it gets.  But, if we sail directly into crap, I'll be sick unless I've taken some Bonamine ahead of time.

A few hints:

1)  The ocean makes a difference.  Waves form differently in the  Atlantic and Pacific and this has an effect on seasickness.  I've never chucked my guts in the Pacific, but have several times in the Atlantic.  For others the opposite is true.

2)  Now matter how bad you feel, EAT SOMETHING.  This is the hardest thing to get across to people.  Having an empty stomach will NOT prevent you from throwing up, but it will make it more painful.  Dry heaves hurt like hell and can cause damage.  Having something in your stomach makes it less painful.  Dry crackers or plain bread is really good for this as they are easier to choke down (and softer coming up  :nod:).

3)  Gravol or Bonamine only work if you take them at least a half an hour BEFORE the motion starts and BEFORE you feel sick.  If you take them after the ship departs they won't be as effective and if you already feel sick, won't work at all.  In fact, taking them after you start to feel sick will often trigger vomiting as your gag reflex is hyper-sensitive at that point and they taste really bad.

4)  If you're on the upper decks (fresh air and seeing the horizon can help), make sure you understand the difference between windward and leeward and vomit accordingly.

5)  Seasickness is a common affliction and you will rarely get a lot of sympathy.  You are still expected to stand your watches.  Remember that the guy you're supposed to relieve on watch may feel just as bad as you - don't make him/her wait.

6)  Clean up your own mess.

7)  Prevent that mess by carrying a plastic garbage bag with you.  Traditionally, plastic garbage bags in the Navy are clear, because we all like to see what people had for lunch that day! ;D
 

medicineman

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I have a minor thing to add to that - Bonamine is no longer in the system.  The company that makes it in Canada stopped making it, so now I have to beg, borrow or bribe it from the Americans when they're here or get folks to buy some in Seattle when they pop in for what ever reason.  We did manage to get a pharmacy here to make capsules of it for us, however, some people in Ottawa found out and lost their minds, since it was sole sourced and no proper bidding war was started so was kiboshed...if it makes sense, yes we do the opposite.  It now has to be presribed by an MO and the pharmacist will order it it from where ever.

There is new extended release Gravol tablet I'm pushing to the dive crews that seems to do well with them without snowing them out.  Another thing I can say if you don't have extended release Gravol is try taking a half tablet at a time or take it on a full stomach - it slows the absorption down a bit so it doesn't hit you like a ton of bricks.  Like Pusser said, you have to take it BEFORE you start sailing (or flying), as you'll just end up gacking the pills back up.  If you don't like needles, Gravol also comes in suppositories, which are generally quite quick acting, if you get to the point where nothing is staying in.

MM
 

Pat in Halifax

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Pusser said:
Seasickness varies from person to person.  Although a few people claim to have never been seasick, I've always figured most of them are lying.  ;D
I am probably one of those liars. To me getting sick is throwing up and though VERY close on several occasions, it has yet to happen.  As mentioned in another thread on here somewhere, many of us are too mad to get sick (can't shower, can't sleep, can't stay in a chair...). As odd (and selfish) as it may sound, if there was someone around me who was worse off than me, I automatically felt a little better.
One hint that goes without saying (to the younger crowd) - Don't go on a bender the night before sailing....especially if you are headed for shitty weather!
 

medicineman

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Sea sickness is a really weird continuum - some people just get tired for a couple of days, others are gacking their guts out and everything in between.  Each to their own...literally.  I think I've just been lucky, since my sailing time is limited to a day and a half driving to Rocky Point and back on OTT, a couple of day sails on REG, and the dive boats...looking forward to a tender trip, since they're a tad top heavy and shallow draft  ;D.  Ferry trips to/from the mainland don't count around here as far as I'm concerned.  A buddy of mine's frist trip on his frigate was straight out of harbour into a Sea State 6+ gale - apparently almost a third of the crew were just done in, including him.

MM 
 
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