Welcome to part 2 of the Chronic Illness chronicles! I gave a very basic overview of what Cyclical Vomiting is on the first blog but today we are going to explain what I experience. There are two different types of episodes for myself but there are a ton of side effects that happen with them. Once I’ve explained the types of episodes, I am going to give y’all more of a description on what I am experiencing with my current episode that has been going 18 days strong. Well I say this but this isn’t going to be posted for a little while. So 18 days strong as of 9/11/2023. Let me also buffer this is all explained from my personal experiences, everyone does not experience the same thing as other cyclical vomiting sufferers. Now let’s get into this!
The most common episode to have is a vomiting episode. This genuinely happens, for myself, starting at about the 2 am hour and that is when I wake up and immediately go running for the bathroom. Since Ive done this for 26 years, I have a specific way of preferences during this experience. Sounds ridiculous I know. But I basically get myself comfortable and then start doing everything I can too mentally fight this game and attempt to have myself not fall into the episode. In this time I try taking nausea meds and attempt any more natural remedies I can to stop the episode from starting. If I do not succeed in stopping the episode then I sadly start vomiting and end up vomiting continuously. I personally wait until I am about every 15 minutes I get up to vomit until I need to get some medical help. In the meantime after vomiting I will take that opportunity to take a nausea med to try and stop the episode again. But some times that just doesn’t work out.
During the episode, I do what I can to hydrate and fuel my body even though many people will say to not eat. It doesn’t matter if my stomach is empty or full, my body doesn’t know and will continue to vomit either way. It’s been so bad in the past that I have ripped my throat from the amount of bile I was vomiting. I have learned that it’s better to fuel my body, to give it something to vomit, then to starve it. Also as I am getting older my body truly needs the food because its less “damaging” feeling on my body. I’ve been learning what technics need to change as I have aged. But one thing I know is every 15 minutes is when it is time to call it quits on trying on my own and to get some medical help.
Once at the hospital, I just need some fluids and a shot of Phenergan. My body doesn’t do much to a shot of zofran and I have learned that Phenergan has been the biggest improvement to the episode stopping. At this point, after a few hours, I can be sent home to recover. As a kid though, I would be in the hospital, sometimes up to a week! It took a while for my body to stop vomiting and start the journey to recovery. Recovery for this varies. Some times its 1 day but when it’s a bigger episode, it can take a few days. Once recovery is done, I am back to my normal self and can go back on with life!
Second episode type is pain! I can have my stomach just be full of pain and I am down for the count. A lot of the times I am only able to lay in bed from the pain. I have medicine that I can take but this one I attempt to keep to a minimum as it relaxes your intestines and obviously its not something you want to do all the time. But if the pain gets too high it can trigger vomiting so I do not allow myself to get too high on my pain levels. This can last a day but also can last many days.
Side effects, oh how we have lots of them! I personally have spells where I feel like I can pass out, weakness, shaky, exhaustion, ripped throat from vomiting, brain fog and more. Some of my triggers are heat, being too happy, being too excited, stress, certain foods, certain smells, being too tired and more. I can be triggered by one thing and then the next day I have no issues.
Now let’s get into this current episode. Currently, as of 9/11/2023, I am on day 18 of this episode. I have been having a majority of pain during this time. But it has been triggering my nausea a lot as well. Every morning I wake up to feeling horrible but then it subsides and I feel like a normal adult. I will get about 1-2 hours of pure normalcy where you will find me busting butt and trying to get everything done in that time. Meaning anything outside on the homestead, dishes, laundry, cleaning up, work, taking care of the kids and whatever else needs my attention. Once this spurt of energy is done then I am attempting to relax and use random spurts of energy through out the day to actually get more done. But sadly only about 3-4 hours a day do I have the energy to function. The rest of the time is either spent in bed or pushing my body to do more than I really should allow it. Some days I just can’t sit around so, while I don’t recommend this, I get up and push my limits way too far. It definitely is not what I recommend for myself to try but it is what I need to do to keep my head above water on things that need my attention.
I have been feeling so drained and genuinely not feeling well today but we are still fighting and pushing the limits. Our next blog we are going to explain the future plans that we have in place for how to take care of my health. Things will most likely change as time goes on but that post will be of our current set of plans!