March 13, 2012

STRUTH! Cruise the only cure for this disease

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says a 71 year old British woman is the latest to be diagnosed with an exceptionally rare condition that gives her the effects of seasickness while on land – and only disappears when she gets on a ship and goes back to sea again.

Barbara Farrand says she's taken 47 cruises over 17 years, but after her more-recent cruise holidays she's come home to all the symptoms of seasickness,  "staggering around my home as if I'm drunk, falling over daily, having to cling to furniture to stay upright, and simply watching TV making me feel ill," she says.

Yet the moment she goes back on board a ship, she feels fine. "It was funny at first, but it's now getting depressing," Ms Farrand laments.

Doctors say Ms Farrand is suffering an exceptionally rare disorder known as Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (Disembarkment Sickness) which gives sufferers the feeling "they're walking on a trampoline all the time."

And researchers who've been studying MdDS in the USA and UK say the number of people it affects is quite small, and that it's nine times more likely in females than males. "At this stage," one researcher said, "we have no cure – other than suggesting to sufferers they turn around and go back to sea again."

Pic: Barbara Farrand, 71, has a permanent case of sea legs that only constant cruising can cure. Nice one Barb! (Pic: The Sun)

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