Friday, December 19, 2008

CVS - Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

I've never heard of this disorder until yesterday. My 5 year old grandson Jonah has been diagnosed with it. After reading the four phases of CVS and the triggers and symptoms, I totally agree with the diagnosis.

For a few years now Jonah has repeatedly awakened during the middle of the night or early in the morning with severe vomiting for no apparent reason. Poor little guy would vomit all morning until there was nothing left and then would have dry heaving. He was listless, pale and did a lot of sleeping when he wasn't vomiting. By mid afternoon he would be fine.
Last June, he was so excited about our 2 week family vacation to the Jersey seashore. It's all he talked about and he started packing his suitcase with toys weeks before we were to leave. The morning of our departure, Deana called and said he woke up vomiting. We were undecided about what to do but she brought along a bucket for him to use and he slept a good deal of the way. He did get sick once when we stopped at a rest stop and he didn't make it to the bathroom in time. By mid afternoon he was fine.
His school has set aside one day a month for the parents to visit and stay for the day ( or a few classes). He was very excited to have mom or dad come. At the Sept. Parents Day his mom went. Deana's plan was to spend the morning classes with Jordyn and the afternoon classes with Jonah. His first afternoon class was gym. During exercises he clutched his stomach and said he was going to throw up. Mom took = him to the bathroom where he was sick. She signed him out and took him home.
In October it was dad's turn to go to school. That morning Jonah woke up vomiting. Dad spent the day with Jordyn.
In November it was mom's turn again and Jonah was sick again that morning. Do you see a pattern here?
This month Jordyn asked me to go to Parents Day ( while it's called that, grandparents, aunts & Uncles and older siblings can go). That was yesterday. Mom was going to go to Jonah's classes in the morning while I watched Ayden and then mom would take Ayden while I went in the afternoon to go to Jordyn's classes. Deana called me early in the morning and said " you aren't going to believe this.....Jonah is sick again". I believed it. I worried that he has an anxiety disorder. I told her I saw a pattern emerging and then it got her to thinking too. The morning of Ayden's 2nd birthday party, Jonah was again sick. This was Dec. 12th.
She called his pediatrician. He'd been to the doctor a couple months back for the same problem and had several different tests done including blood work and CATSCAN on head to rule out a tumor. All the results came back negative, which we were relieved about, but still concerned as he keeps getting sick. Yesterday when Deana explained to the doctor that I wanted to know if young children experienced anxiety/panic attacks too and why I thought that, the pattern I'd been seeing, the Dr. conceded that yes they can and do and she now believed he suffered from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

It all makes sense now. Poor little guy would be so excited or stressed about events coming up that he made himself sick.

CVS is very hard to diagnose since there aren't any clear tests to identify it. Symptoms and medical history are used to identify it. Migraines are believed to be related and in our family history both myself and daughter Carey get episodes.

Although CVS can begin at any age in children and adults, it usually starts between the ages of 3 and 7. In adults, episodes tend to occur less often than they do in children, but they last longer. Furthermore, the events or situations that trigger episodes in adults cannot always be pinpointed as easily as they can in children.

This statement has me wondering if I might have had CVS years ago. There was a time when I would host all of the family gatherings for the Holidays. There would be my mom and Tom's mom and dad, my 6 brothers and sisters and their families. It never failed, the morning of the holiday I would wake up with what I believed to be a migraine and would be vomiting all day. I wasn't sick for a few hours but literally all day. I would miss the holiday meals and my company would have to finish getting the meals ready. Some Hostess huh? It's very possible I felt anxiety and was making myself sick. For the last 8 years, my eldest daughter hosts Christmas dinner and the last 5 years, my middle daughter hosts Thanksgiving, so maybe a lot of the 'pressure' I may have been feeling has been lifted.

I do still get recurring migraines but they are fewer and far between. I also haven't noticed any patterns, but now that I know about CVS I will be more alert.

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