Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome....Not Such a Pretty Title

My daughter had an episode of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome last night.

She is eight years old and was diagnosed with this unforgiving syndrome at the age of three; although we can trace it back to infancy.

Cyclic Vomiting is recurrent bouts of vomiting. It is thought to have a connection to migraines, and is often referred to as abdominal migraine. Many of the children, ( and adults), experiencing this syndrome have a family history of migraine, (as does my daughter).

CVS episodes are often times triggered by stress ...even good stress, like Christmas, the first day of school, or a birthday. Certain foods, like cheese, chocolate, or foods containing MSG can also be triggers. Other children (like C), are called "Calendar Kids", because they don't seem to have a particular trigger, other than time. C's episodes used to be 8 weeks apart. Not 7 weeks, 6 days...but 8 weeks to the day. Yes, we would put it on the calendar, and wait for it. Cal's episodes are now somewhere between 10 and 11 weeks apart. Yes, we are still able to put on the calendar and watch for it.

Because we know it is coming, we prepare ourselves: hair elastic, throw up bowl, water, tissues. I sleep in C's trundle so that I am right there for her. She stays in bed, and tries to fall asleep in between...although the stomach pains and nausea can sometimes prevent this.

We're "lucky" compared to other families experiencing CVS. Some children vomit so violently, and often that they frequently end up hospitalized. C has terrible vertigo the morning an attack is coming, is then fine all day...and once she falls asleep that night, the vomiting begins. It usually happens once an hour for the entire night. Once morning arrives, the cycle is broken. C has vertigo for 2-3 days, and then another 10-11 weeks pass before another episode. Some children have episodes that last for days.

C was diagnosed with celiac Disease in May. After 9 months totally gluten free, we still do not see a connection between Celiac and CVS, although we had hoped to.

CVS is still not a well-known syndrome. I have found it in medical books from the 1800's; however, you rarely hear anyone speak of it. We need someone like Ellen Degeneres to get the word out there. There has to be some hope of treatment for the future for this mysterious illness.

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