Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
November 1, 2004
Submission Date: August 13, 2007
Event Date: November 1, 2004
Cruise Bruise: MdDS
Bruise Location: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Home Town: Wisconsin
Cruise Line: Unknown
Details: Mal de Debarquement Syndrome - a condition you don't want to have! It is not life-threatening, but it will change your lifestyle drastically for the worst. My story is a little bit different since I was not on a major cruise.
My husband and I, and 12 others, travelled around the Galapagoes Islands on a small boat for eight days. Within one hour of disembarkment we were on an airplane to Guayaquil, Ecuador for the first leg of our trip home. While on a short trip of the city, I began to feel the sensation of rocking as though I was in a rowboat. It only got worse as the day progressed.
Three flights later, we were finally home in Madison, Wi. and I was a basket case! My symptoms levels were a 10 and remained that high for several months. I was passed from doctor to doctor before I found one that knew what I had. Unfortunately, he knows of no cure for MdDS and has six other patients just like me.
How has this syndrome affected me? I fatigue easily and have memory problems. I used to be a whiz at math, but now working with numbers makes me physically ill.
I can no longer work on a computer for any length of time without feeling sick to my stomach. Typing this letter is extremely difficult and I am constantly correcting errors. For the first six months of this syndrome, I could not do any reading. The words were jumping all over the place and the letters were mixed up.
Now I can read for a hour or so, whereas, in the past I could read the whole night thru. I am getting arthritis in my hips from constantly catching my balance. I could go on and on.
My husband is just finishing up a trip to Alaska and will spend three weeks in Africa this fall. I would not dare take one of these trips. I am happy with my symptom levels of 3-4 and don't want to take the risk of having them increase and never lowering again.
That's life with MdDS. Thank heavens for the internet support group because that is the only place where we can go and others understand this hidden disability that we have.
Supporting Information & Resources:
Featured or New Cruise Ship Illness
Cruise Bruise Investigations - Cruise Ship Illness
Suggested Reading Cruise Ship Illness