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Jet lag mimics pregnancy symptoms

Posted Feb 25 2010 5:06am
Yes, it's true and leave it to me to be the one who discovers this. Flying back and forth from Shanghai to my midwestern city is at least a 17-hour proposition, on top of a 13-hour time difference. I've flown to Europe a bunch and am never affected this badly. But, it's a lot farther to Asia. Soooo... when I first did it in December, it totally wiped me out, but it wasn't until this trip that I discovered that the symptoms of jet lag are eerily similar to the early stages of pregnancy (not that I've ever been pregnant, but I've had enough fertility drugs in my system to understand and obsess over every little twinge).

#1 - you're exhausted. For me, anyway, it's an exhaustion like none I've ever felt. Way worse than the feeling of partying all night or pulling an allnighter in college. I can barely stay awake much past 9pm and there have been a couple of times where I literally don't remember falling asleep. I just pass out. Thank goodness this has only happened while I'm already in bed.

#2 - you're moody. It's probably a result of #1, but if you look at me funny right now, you are equally likely for me to bite your head off or for me to give you a hug. I have also cried at all Olympic footage no matter what the country or event, and I was sobbing at a story last night about a blind Husky who still pulls a dogsled because she loves it so much and can trust her teammates.

#3 - you're ravenous. Mostly it's because I should be eating breakfast at 8pm, lunch at 1am and dinner at 8am, and I can't override my body's feeding clock. I'll wake up at 4am, or 6am and be ready to eat anything and everything in sight. Yesterday, I think I ate almost every two hours. Thank goodness I've been hitting the gym.

#4 - your bladder fills quickly. I try to stay super-hydrated on flights, but the downfall to this is that you're constantly using the urine/disinfectant-smelling cramped toilets on the plane. I usually try to drink a lot a day or two after as well, so I'm running to the restroom as much as any baby-bellied babe.

#5 - you're achy and swollen. It's because you're cramped up for 17 hours. My feet puffed out like crazy and I almost couldn't get my shoes on when we landed. But should a plane ride, even for that duration, really make your boobs sore? Hmmm...

Case closed.
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