to not enrol ds in nursery because I have emetophobia

(69 Posts)
TeaCuresEverything Wed 15-May-13 21:26:04

please be gentle ladies, I know IABU but I can't help it.

I have emetophobia, which is a fear of vomit. its quite severe and it makes being a mum hard. I panic whenever ds looks peaky and if he is actually sick I barely hold myself together.

ds is 2.8yo and an only - mainly due to this phobia. he doesn't have any cousins so the only other children he mixes with are my friends children, though not very often.

I am going to see a nursery tomorrow with view to enrolling him there for 2 mornings a week. this is to give him a chance to mix with other children. I know he needs this, he is quite shy and reserved around other children at the moment.

but I am so scared of the thought of him picking up sick bugs from nursery. every one I speak to tells me to "prepare myself" for it. I don't want to let this phobia hold my lovely ds back. its the bane of my life. I've tried many different therapies to beat it, to no avail.

is anyone else in a similar situation? or has any coping techniques for me?

Saski Wed 15-May-13 21:40:49

Honestly, it will get easier. The ugly truth is that you will be exposed to vomiting quite a lot as a mother and unlike other phobias (like spiders, for example) - you'll feel compelled to intervene and with each intervention, you will become stronger. I promise.

Badvoc Wed 15-May-13 21:40:59

Tea...check out the "thrive - cure your emetophobia handbook" by rob Kelly.
I got mine from amazon.
£20.
I am working through it ATM.

MrsWolowitz Wed 15-May-13 21:42:42

Bless you.

I have a phobia. I've tried hypnotherapy and CBT but it still ruins my life so I understand how debilitating phobias are.

You know you are being unreasonable but I fully understand why. You just need to let him go. If its any help, my DC have never caught a vomiting bug from playschool.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 15-May-13 21:43:35

He might not get a sick bug from either school or nursery, but if you don't face the fear now, you will end up feeling exactly the same when he has to start school anyway.

Living with the fear of having to face the thing you are phobic against can be as bad as having a phobic reaction to the thing itself, so you might find that if you learn to live with your ds going to nursery, then this will help you for when he goes to school.

Phobias cannot always be cured, but you can learn to live with it in a way that doesn't hold your life back. My DH began conquering a phobia that had affected his whole life when he was 40. A few years down the line, the phobia hasn't gone, but it is no longer a major feature in his life, and it no longer something that stops him doing things like it used to.

TeaCuresEverything Wed 15-May-13 21:44:04

I do refuse to let the phobia ruin ds's life, as it has blighted mine. my grandma had this phobia, which is where it comes from in me. I will enrol ds in nursery tomorrow, because its what's best for him and that's all I want. thank you so much everyone. I feel happier x smile

TeaCuresEverything Wed 15-May-13 21:45:54

badvoc thanks for link I will buy that

pigletmania Wed 15-May-13 21:46:57

That's good tea, you do need to continue the CbT

shewhowines Wed 15-May-13 21:52:26

My dc are rarely sick when they are ill? They have cast iron stomachs. On the other hand, every slight bug my friends children catch, goes straight to their stomach, so it does depend on the child.

CBt has worked - you have improved. Keep at it and you may improve more.

You know you are doing the right thing for your son. Well done. Be proud of yourself for coming this far.

BabsCholmondeley Wed 15-May-13 22:10:38

Hi tea

I'm an emetophobe too, and have put off nursery for ds2 partly due to fear of him catching d and v bugs, and partly because I just don't see nursery as being that important and beneficial right now (he's 3and a bit)

Ds1 went to nursery aged 3, 2 afternoons a week, never got a bug there, BUT hated it. I felt I had to send him as lots of people told me he needed socialising. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken him out and let him potter about with me and see little friends regularly until school. If anything, nursery made him more introverted. He is now very confident and happy, despite being v shy when little. So I guess I wouldn't worry too much if you decide not to send him. I refuse to get hung up on or buy into the idea that 3 year olds HAVE to go to nursery or that they need it or you are somehow doing something wrong. Ds2 and 3 (aged 3 and 2) mix fine with little friends
and adults alike, and are doing just fine without nursery. As long as they have a few pals I just don't see the big deal. Sure I'm in the minority but happy with my choice.

ChangeNameToday Wed 15-May-13 22:22:40

If its any comfort, I waited till 3 to send DS and he hasn't caught any bugs at all - certainly no d&v style things. There might have been the odd sniffle but nothing worth speaking of.

I think you either have a sicky child or you don't. Growing up I and my siblings caught every cold going but never sickness things. Fingers crossed you get one like that!

WillowKnicks Wed 15-May-13 22:30:00

I have emetophobia. I have no advise, whatsoever but just wanted to say you have my utmost sympathy!!

I have 3 dc, all who attended nursery & probably could count on one hand the number of times they caught sick bugs there...but that's not the point, it's the FEAR of it, that's the killer!!

Think I'll head over to Amazon & check out that book grin

RubyrooUK Wed 15-May-13 22:42:38

I have emetophobia too and fully appreciate how stressful you find the thought of your DS getting sick from nursery.

But my DS has brought home two sickness bugs in two years and neither has been long lasting. (Although I have found them awful.)

In my heart, I believe small children are diseased vermin who will pass on bugs. grin In my head, I know this is all normal and the problem lies with me.

So I've just bought some anti-viral handgel recommended on the emetophobic thread on Mumsnet. Hoping that will fix everything! smile

Dancergirl Wed 15-May-13 22:52:16

Another emetophobic here too. OP, I think some children are more susceptible to sickness bugs than others, hopefully your ds will be ok. Good hand washing hygiene is v important in preventing it but I'm sure you know that.

badvoc that book has great reviews on amazon, I'm trying to decide whether to buy it. I've suffered for years.

Decoy Wed 15-May-13 22:55:57

Glad you've decided to go for the nursery and are happier with the choice now. It must be horrible for you to have emetophobia.

I'm also emetophobic and I completely understand why you're worried.

My DS is 4 and due to start school in September. He's attended a playgroup for a couple of mornings a week since he was 2. Every time I collected him I convinced myself he'll have picked up a D&V bug. Reality is it's happened 3 times in 2.5 years. I can't even hand on heart say that's where he picked it up as we'd been out and about to other places also.
I also have 1 year old DD. It was when I started panicking about her too I realised I couldn't carry on feeling so miserable about something I have no control over.

I've just finished 6 months of CBT and although I still have the anxiety and the panicky feelings they're not as intense and I have more confidence in my ability to cope. Maybe you could go back to your GP and ask for a referral for further CBT? I was told that I could be referred again if I felt I had relapsed.

missingmumxox Thu 16-May-13 00:11:14

I have this as well, as did my dad, my little Brother was the vomit child from hell, which didn't help.
When I have a vomiting bug I think I will myself not to be sick as I am so bad about it.
I haven't had any therapy and to be frank never occurred to me as it is an extreme of a normal curve as in it is a normal not to like vomit.
My Dad was a ambulance man in the days when they where all men, my Dad would drive if the patient was vomiting.
I became a nurse and you can't become the driver with that! I thought it might be an issue but found I could put a work head on, me but not me, I would stand, vomit bowl in hand, rubbing the patients back, smiling, and reassuring them that they didn't need to apologise, "people always apologise when being sick, I think my empathy over rode the phobia?" then go out to the sluice and have a minor fight back a vomit fest and melt down of my own! after 3 years of training I had less of the melt downs to almost none but still the retching in the sluice.
I can deal with my children when sick, not easy but I can morph into Nurse me in those instances...but friends, other relations your on your own, I am not to be seen.
you will manage, you love your child and hopefully you have a partner who understands your issue, my Dh tends to have to be first on call for this, but is away a lot, I cope, I find their distress over rides mine iyswim.
if you can't do it, don't beat yourself up, you just need to work round it.

PS remove all soft toys, they are the worst...really the worst. I am retching writing this.

MoistPlinth Thu 16-May-13 02:42:18

I'm asking purely out of curiosity and feel free to dismiss me as being rude...what makes you afraid of people being sick? Is it just an irrational anxiety?
I have an anxiety disorder myself so empathise completely. Just curious about how certain phobias work smile

quesadilla Thu 16-May-13 06:10:28

OP just wanted to say I used to have very severe emetophobia which is now much much better (to the point that dd has vomited in my bed and I have dealt with it which I feared couldn't happen.) Have you successfully managed to deal with any vomit episodes on your own at all? What happens when your DS is sick?

quesadilla Thu 16-May-13 06:15:26

MoistPlinth can't speak for OP but in my case it was just an abject terror of being sick. It dominated my life for years to the point where I went to literally any length possible to avoid anything which might make me vomit. I avoided any food which I thought would upset my stomach and carried a bottle of antacid with me everywhere.) if I saw or heard someone vomit it would make me sweat and shake. It's now almost disappeared, I have to say I'm still not crazy about it but can deal with it..

CinnabarRed Thu 16-May-13 06:27:14

I think you're marvellous OP - really good, brave decision. smile

FWIW, I'm not phobic of vomit but have the usual healthy dislike of it to the point that I find it very hard being around sick adults (and especially drunks). But I have found each of my children much easier to deal with once they reached roughly 3 and could aim for a bowl/toilet when the worst happens. I hope you find the same - yours is so nearly at that stage!

livinginwonderland Thu 16-May-13 07:47:36

Enroll him, and try and get some help for yourself. Could you maybe get some hypnotherapy or some help from your GP?

TeaCuresEverything Thu 16-May-13 07:50:39

Oh wow, such lovely kind responses. Its great to feel like I'm not alone in feeling like this.

moistplinth why do I have this phobia? to be honest I've had it so long I don't even remember. My granny had it when I was a child. We were never allowed to stay overnight at grannys in case one of us were sick. Thats my earliest memory of it. Then I had a very bad experience when I was 7, my auntie had driven me and my brother to Hastings for a day out and I was sick and felt dreadful and my auntie shouted at me and told me I'd ruined the whole day, I still remember how fast my heart was beating. Its a combination of things really. I'm also something of a control freak. I don't like being out of control and I don't like 'sudden' things happening. Last time ds was sick, which was in Nov last year, it was so sudden - he went to bed completely fine, then woke up at 3am crying, I went in and there was sick everywhere, it was such a shock. I worry every night that it will happen again. 3 days later I had d&v myself but I coped ok, because I had that element of control which I don't have when its others.

Nursery appt is at 10.30, I'll let you know how it goes. Again, I thank you, each and every one of you, for taking the time to respond to me. It helps more than you can imagine thanks

Badvoc Thu 16-May-13 07:54:32

I am working through it ATM and its really eye opening.
Still a way to go, but I feel optimistic smile

duende Thu 16-May-13 07:55:04

Good luck with your appointment. Similar experience here to others -DS started nursery when he was 1year old, he will be 4 in August and during this time he had the sickness bug once. Not even sure whether he caught it at nursery or somewhere else.
Good luck, I hope it improves for you.

Midlifecrisisarefun Thu 16-May-13 07:59:42

I too suffer from this, my dc learnt very early on that if they were sick they needed to be sick down the loo!
DH would deal with vomit, I dealt with poo!
Although DS2 still remembers having to clean the car himself aged 4 after he was sick in the back! DH was away at the time and I couldn't go near the car! blush
Unfortunately you can't avoid it totally by virtue of having children but you need to develop a few strategies to deal with it.
Even writing about it makes me shudder!
Good luck with the nursery!

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