Feeding You Gingerly

, , , , , | Hopeless | June 18, 2017

(I am 18 and a frequent traveler, mostly by flight. Since a very young age, I avoid eating on flights, as I get nausea in the air and the food just increases it. There have been incidents of me vomiting, so normally I eat before I board the flight. I am on a five-hour flight and I skipped having my lunch due to late boarding. The time comes when they distribute food.)

Flight Attendant: “Hello there, how’s it going? Would you like our vegetarian or non-vegetarian option?”

Me: “No, thank you; I don’t eat on flights.”

Flight Attendant: “Oh… well, why is that? Is there something else you would like to eat or anything that I can help you out with?”

Me: “No, it’s not that; I feel nauseous with flight food and I’d probably puke if I ate food on flight. I didn’t even eat before coming to the flight, and my nauseousness is just increasing.”

Flight Attendant: “Oh, well, I’m sorry to hear that but I can’t leave you without you eating something. It’s a five-hour flight! Oh wait… I have a solution!”

Me: “What is it?”

Flight Attendant: “Since you mentioned you feel nauseous, here’s some ginger ale; sip on it and it will help you feel better. Here’s a snack mix. Have this whilst sipping on the ale. I’ll get you something small once you’re done with that.”

(She then kept checking on me EVERY 30 minutes and kept giving me small snack mixes and two more ginger ales and I couldn’t have thanked her more. These air hostesses work for long hours yet they manage to keep their chirpiness alive!)

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  • Why can’t other people understand? It is possible to go five hours without eating.

    • Leah

      Going without food for hours could actually contribute to the OP’s nausea, especially considering s/he said “my nauseousness is just increasing”. Increasing their blood sugar could help combat the nausea, and ginger is also known to help with travel sickness, which would be why the hostess suggested ginger ale. OP had the option not to eat it if they wanted but it sounds like the hostess’s suggestion helped.

      • Celoptra

        Ginger-ale or ginger is used for any naseous sickness

      • Leiko Burningbear

        I’m one of those peeps who gets nauseous and WILL vomit if I don’t eat regularly. (Not diabetic, before anyone suggests it.) I also get motion sick pretty bad. I can’t even play certain kinds of video games due to motion sickness.
        I salute this flight attendant to doing their best to help OP through the nausea with ginger ale and simple snacks. (Although there’s so little actual ginger root in ginger ale these days that it’s more likely the carbonation and the cold that helps with nausea. But if it helps, it helps.)

    • Rachel Schmachel

      Possible, but not necessarily pleasant.

      • Especially if you’re diabetic. I’ve got a six hour flight in August and I’m already stressing out about when to eat and still avoid getting sick on the plane (chronic motion sickness). I was going to bring some sugar free lemon candy with me because that always helps when I get carsick, but now I think I’ll buy some ginger pills too. Still need to figure out what to do about my blood sugar bottoming out but hopefully the ginger helps with the airsickness.

        • Rachel Schmachel

          Best of luck

        • AJofTX

          There is also ginger gum sold at pharmacies.

          When I was breastfeeding and couldn’t take the good medicine, I did a combination of ginger pills and wrist bands. You may also be able to do the motion sickness patch. I couldn’t because I’m allergic to the adhesive.

        • helen-louise

          If you want advice from a stranger, I’d suggest speaking to your doctor or to a friendly pharmacist to see what anti-nausea meds are compatible with your other medication. Because risking 6+ hours without any food when you’re diabetic seems like a bad idea. There’s likely something you can take, even if it’s prescription-only (virtually all anti-emetics require a prescription in the UK, don’t know about other countries). There are also antihistamines which are supposed to help with motion sickness (promethazine is AMAZING, though a little hard to get since it can allegedly be abused with codeine cough syrup for a high). You could also try those acupressure bands, although frankly if I feel sick the last thing I want is a tight band around my wrists. Whatever you try, good luck!

          • Thank you! These are all good suggestions. I was just at my endocrinologist earlier this month and mentioned it to her since she prescribes all my meds. I already take Dramamine (the non-drowsy kind) when the vertigo gets too bad, but she also said she’d prescribe some ativan if I wanted to see if that helps to calm me a bit. Maybe if I’m calmer I might not get as sick? There are definitely lots of options. I probably should try a couple OTC ones now so I can see if I react badly. I tend to have strange reactions to things other people can take just fine, like codeine. That makes me alternate between unconscious and violently vomiting for 12 hours or more. It’s been close to 50 years since I last had it, but I’m not really interested in finding out if I still react that way. LOL

          • I am Jenn

            Marybeth, I too have a weird reaction to codeine…a time dilation….I can think it’s been 4 hours and time to take more, when it’s been only 30 minutes…the doctor said it wasn’t an “allergy” per say, but that they didn’t want me taking it anymore anyway….

    • Leiko Burningbear

      The flight by itself was five hours. Add to that the time spent ahead of time going through Security, checking luggage, waiting to get on the flight, and the time after they landed waiting to get off the plane, collect luggage, find transportation, travel to destination…
      OP stated they skipped their pre-flight meal. So while someone can technically go for several days without eating, it is Not Recommended. Most people need at least a snack every few hours to keep their blood sugar up.

      The flight attendant’s job is to keep customers happy (within reason). The peep in this story did exactly that, offering drinks and snacks to help OP fight their nausea. They didn’t force-feed OP; they supplied options and let OP choose whether to eat or not.

      • Karen Donner

        yep. I am very prone to motion sickness; a big meal (or well, what passes for a big meal on an airplane) would be a major mistake. Fat of just about any kind is not going to sit well.

        What does work is nibbling dry, salty, non-fatty foods (saltine crackers, pretzels, etc.) with frequent small servings of sugary drinks (soda, tea). Bananas are also good, though it’s better to eat those before I get on the plane. I also carry mints and take a ginger supplement.

      • Rebecca Jones

        While it’s true she didn’t force-feed OP, she didn’t really supply options. She said “I can’t leave you without eating something.” Now, in the context that’s fair. OP implied that they would eat if they could, and there’s nothing to suggest she’d insist OP eat if OP just wasn’t hungry.

        But, as someone who doesn’t eat much and gets a lot of unwanted comments about it and people trying to get me to eat when I didn’t indicate that I wanted to, I understand why the “I can’t leave you without eating” wording rubbed Baccar the wrong way.

  • Noinipo

    Minty gum and/or some honey tea (just warm water with some honey dissolved in it) can also help a little with nausea. Good luck with your future travels!

  • Daisy Dancer

    Myth busters did a feature on this. They found that ginger root extract pills worked as well as propriatory motion sickness pills, but with none of the side effects.

    The flight attendant was spot on here- just enough snacks to keep the blood sugar up, and ginger to act to calm the nausea.

  • Snork

    Of course she treated you nicely. That’s how you get a good tip!

    • Serabeth

      Huh? You don’t generally tip flight attendants.

      • Snork

        And that, my friend, is why you don’t get good service.

        • Serabeth

          I can’t remember ever having poor service, and it’s often been pretty good. I’ve never heard of or seen anyone tip a flight attendant, either.

          • Snork

            I guarantee it would have been even better if you’d slipped them a $20. Try it next time!

  • AJofTX

    I wonder what she’d do with me. For a long time (including when I was the OPs age), I wouldn’t eat for 24 hours before a flight and take medicine to make it through. This is because, even on meds, I threw up about 50% of the time. Off meds, I always threw up. If I didn’t eat, I’d dry heave, which is unpleasant, but not nearly as bad.

    It wasn’t until my late 20s that I was able to eat a little bit and, with meds, didn’t vomit.

    I never had any issues, never passed out, didn’t even feel dizzy. As long as I kept my water intake up, I was fine.

    Five hours is not that long of time to go without eating. We do it nightly, you do it every time you have surgery, you might even catch yourself doing it on accident when your mind is busy.

    And I’ll tell you from experience, vomitting ginger ale sucks!

    • Alétheia

      Vomiting ginger ale sucks, but at least it’s better than vomiting diet cola on a mostly empty stomach… uugh…

      • Gnomer Denois

        Sprite/7up is easier to vomit, especially if it was nearly flat. and Jello. Pretty much all my food decisions when sick are based on “how will this feel on the return trip?”

  • Vulpis

    I end up looking at this from both directions. On the one hand, glad it turned out well for you. On the other, that attendant sounds kinda pushy in a way, forcing stuff on you when you already said no, and badgering you every half hour of the flight as well. :-/

  • Sandra F

    Hello there guys ! OP here.. just seeing all the comments.. I’d like to respond to some of them…:
    1. The attendant wasn’t being pushy… might’ve seemed in my typing but this woman was REALLY sweet, trust me :).She was only doing her job, making sure people got the service right 🙂
    2. Yes, ginger does help with nausea… Being Indian, my mom used to make ginger tea for me whenever i had nausea, was stressed out, and especially helps soothe my stomach during my periods.
    3.Yes, i did miss lunch, but I’m normally never too hungry on flights. Yes, it is bad to not eat for long ( i wouldn’t reccomend it; being a med student, it could lead to gastric problems and such in the long run). I’m also not diabetic, and my blood sugar levels were pretty good.
    4.No, i do not feel nausea ever when i go for long hours without eating.

    Also, since then, I’ve always had ginger ale on lights after that, and made sure i never miss lunch. That time, was also the first time I’ve EVER had ginger ale. It tastes pretty good tbh 🙂

  • Wendulka Glover

    I suffer terribly from travel sickness in nearly all types of transport and travel sickness tablets always help. It might be stating the obvious but do you take anti-emetics before flights?