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Riding in car causes draining fatigue.

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by Dr.Patient, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    When I ride (not driving) in a car, I feel draining. This has made me homebound. I have to ask my wife to go slow, about 30-35 miles an hour, and I go less than 5 miles from home, about a couple of times a month. Any acceleration worsens my draining.

    Interestingly, flying does not do this.

    Any of you have any ideas on how to deal with this, thanks in advance!
     
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  2. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Could it be an OI issue? Many of us who are/were homebound don't typically sit upright with our feet down very much, so we compensate to some extent for OI issues while at home. When we have to sit up in a car, OI problems raise their ugly heads. If that were the problem, I'd expect you to have the same problem flying, though. o_O

    Perhaps it's an over-stimulation issue. Have you tried closing your eyes and wearing headphones during the trip to see if that changes anything?

    If acceleration or speed was the problem, I'd expect it to me much worse in an airplane.
     
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  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Or maybe a neurological motion sickness. It's a problem I get once in a while, and it can make car trips (or watching TV) very unpleasant.
     
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  4. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    Too much visual information definitely causes me problems. I can't watch most TV programs - frequent edits and shaky cam drive me nuts with anxiety. Before I can absorb a change in perspective, it changes again! Films and TV made in the Olden Days (before computers made it easy to have 60 edits per minute) don't have this effect on me.

    I can still drive the ten miles to the grocery a few times a month, but it's all rural, and there are few other vehicles on the roads I drive, so there are few moving objects for brain and eyes to deal with.

    I have a full-size pickup, which puts me up fairly high, and the world appears to go by the window a little slower than in a car six inches off the ground. I'm not sure what causes this illusion, but it's really noticeable in big trucks, which I used to drive, a very long time ago.
     
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  5. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    I think it is happening because of the close distance from the car to the ground, it is kinda putting me in a microjogging type motion with the vibration, which is causing immediate draining.

    On the plane, I am much higher up. The acceleration does not seem to vibrate me. Although lately I haven't been in a bad turbulence for some amount of time, I suspect I would experience the draining if I had been.

    If anybody has this riding problem, maybe they found a way to handle this?
     
  6. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    Yes, I have tried them, no difference.
     
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  7. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    Maybe a higher placed truck could help me...
     
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  8. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    @Dr.Patient have you tried lying down in the back seat? I do this on longer rides.
     
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  9. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    No motion sickness, I have no other symptoms other than draining fatigue.
     
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  10. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    Yes, I have. Made no difference.
     
  11. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    @Dr.Patient maybe a silly question but do you talk more when you're in the car? I do and the next day I can barely lift my arms from exhaustion.
     
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  12. SDSue

    SDSue Southeast

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    This may sound wacky, but you might want to consider optokinetic nystagmus, which has become a big trigger for my vertigo and/or fatigue. I can no longer scroll rapidly on devices, and I've learned to block my peripheral vision when riding in a car. This is from Wikipedia:

    Needless to say, it can use a lot of brain power. In planes, there are no telephone pole stimuli so the brain is more at rest. This is the reason many people experience motion sickness in a car but not on a plane. In slower cars, the stimuli are also moving more slowly and less likely to invoke nystagmus. This mechanism is the reason those with motion sickness are taught to focus on one object on the horizon.

     
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  13. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    No, I talk less because of the draining.
     
  14. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    I feel draining even with my eyes closed.
     
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  15. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    It sounds like @Dr.Patient is asking if anyone else has this problem and how they've dealt with it. Of the 6 people I know personally with ME, none of them have the problem of being drained of energy from motion without visual/auditory stimuli. Some people have dizziness and motion sickness. Others have trouble sitting upright and get exhausted from sitting up in a car. Visual over-stimulation wears some people out. But exhaustion from motion alone without other symptoms is a new one to me.

    Anyone else have this symptom?
     
    SDSue likes this.
  16. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    I find being a passenger in a car extremely exhausting. For me, I think the factors at play are the changing movement so that I need to use my core muscles for holding my position. I get very sore and tired very quickly. It's much worse in some cars than others, worse on twisty roads or in stop-start traffic. If I drive, then I can control the car motion to reduce some of that, but I get very tired from the concentration. I've always got car-sick so I have to see the road.
     
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  17. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    @Dr.Patient In the early stages of the illness when I was at my worst this was a significant problem for me. Just a short ride in the car to the doctor triggered nausea, dizziness, severe fatigue, constricted throat, loss of voice, difficulty breathing.

    Just the activity of riding in the car, sitting up and stabilising using muscles amounted to overdoing it and exacerbated symptoms. Like @daisybell the changing movements, stop-start and winding roads make it worse. I am much better in a plane, where the movements are minimal.

    This has improved over time, but I still can't tolerate longer distance car travel as a passenger. I need lots of breaks where I can lie down somewhere. I know I need to rest as soon these symptoms start to appear.

    Best wishes, Andy
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
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  18. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    I'm glad to read that plane rides are better!
    I find that the type of car makes a big difference too.. Soft seats, good headrests and not too firm suspension all help to reduce the problem for me. I also tilt the seat back a bit so I am more supported and can rest my head.
    Then I nag my husband to drive slowly!! (Which he hates.....both my nagging and driving slowly!)
     
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  19. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    Sadly, I'm stuck in the driver's seat far more often. But driving to take my son to his dad's is almost crippling for me.

    I've got things sorted where I have a lumbar support pillow added to my seat, drive with cruise control as much as possible, and have a heating pad that I can plug into an adapter which lets me apply heat to the various pain-points that come from being in the seat. Those are all things that would bother me (well except the need for cruise control) even if I was just a passenger.
     
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  20. cmt12

    cmt12 Senior Member

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    The only thing that can be done is to avoid the situation if you can. I've had a lot of experience with some grueling long car trips.
     

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