Michele-Marie Roberts went on a cruise with her husband and two sons in January 2008 but she still struggles with sea sickness and disorientation and has often blacked out, sometimes when chopping vegetables. Known as the Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS), the condition is very rare and even many doctors have not heard of it.
Doctors are unaware of what causes the condition or how to treat it with many patients often spending years together in search of a correct diagnosis. Michele-Marie underwent MRI scans and was tested for various conditions, including multiple sclerosis, before doctors at the Royal Berkshire Hospital arrived at the correct diagnosis six months after her cruise.
"I have days when I feel sorry for myself and there are days when I wake up and I wonder if it's gone away. But then it says, 'da-da - here I am'. It's like the disorientating feeling you get after coming off a waltzer at the fair - all the time. It's horrendous", she said.