No one likes a traffic jam. It doesn’t matter if you have Gastroparesis or are the perfect picture of health, you hate seeing a sea of break lights in front of you. People from all perspectives of health have experienced road rage and/or wanting to climb out of your skin because you simply cannot spend any more time in your car.
However, I have noticed that as my Gastroparesis flairs have become more common sitting in traffic seems to exacerbate my symptoms. What may start out as mild stomach cramping will become more and more severe with each push of the break pedal. Dizziness will start and I will begin to spin. Nausea will become practically vomiting. You feel that with each inch that you crawl that more and more energy is depleted. It is as if with each inch that you crawl that your body thinks it has just ran a mile at record speed. I was a long distance runner in my younger years and still attempt 5Ks and I can honestly say that sitting in traffic now feels like my body has gone through the equivalent to running a race. It is a very bizarre phenomenon and I can assure you that it is in a different world than what it “normally” feels like to sit in traffic.
There have been several times that I have almost vomited while sitting in traffic. There was one time that I actually did. I could tell that it was coming and that there wasn’t going to be any way to stop it. I proceeded to do what any GPer would do. I calmly removed the contents of my reusable lunch bag onto the passenger side floor, opened up the bag, and proceeded to vomit into it. I then zipped the bag shut, sat it on the passenger side floor, and waved to the busload of people in the lane next to me.
If you search hard enough, you can find a silver lining in just about anything. My silver lining in this situation was that with Gastroparesis you become so used to vomiting that you have an excellent radar for when it is coming, how much, how long, etc. You also have excellent aim. So I may have lost a reusable lunch bag, but at least I didn’t waste any energy cleaning the upholstery of my car!