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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?

coldwater Thu 16-May-13 08:00:38

Hi. I'm a fellow emet sufferer. I send my children to school but the whole time they are there i am worried they'll catch a sick bug. Every noise during the night and i'm straight up thinking one of them is sick. I dread them telling me one of their classmates has been sick because i know the chances of them catching it are higher. sad

I feed my kids a good diet, fresh juice and vitamins to keep them as healthy as i can. I spray their hands before and after school with an anti-viral spray i bought from Boots and hope for the best. I've also put in a hand gel in their lunch bags so they can use it after washing their hands but before they touch their food. The other parents look at me in the playground like hmm but who cares, it makes me feel better doing what i do.

Badvoc Thu 16-May-13 08:01:44

Tea...most emetophobes have someone in their life as a child was also an emetophobe.
It is actually learned behaviour and thinking patterns.
Your aunt was very cruel to you...that was probably your trigger.
Imagine shouting at a child because they are ill!? sad

Steala Thu 16-May-13 08:27:32

I have this too and have had two different types of therapy. I'm not cured but it dominates my life less than it did. The reason for this is that the therapist encouraged me to let go of the avoidance techniques and I had hundreds of them.

So, now, when DH gets up in the night, I don't ask him if he's going to be sick. When I go to a new place I now don't instantly check where the loos are so I'm not blocking anyone's escape route, should they need to be sick. If I get on a train I now don't scan every passenger to avoid those that potentially look sick. I now don't avoid cinemas, swimming pools etc. I no longer ask sympathetic friends to vet films for sick scenes before I see them. There is nothing on earth that would get me on a late bus on a Friday or Saturday though!

I was so scared to let go of all the avoidance strategies. I felt they gave me control. The therapist explained that I can't control it. It did still occasionally happen despite my best efforts. What the avoidance strategies were doing were building up the preoccupation. Instead, if faced with danger, I should acknowledge that it will happen and will be horrible but that I will cope.

I now feel lighter and happier, more free to do the things I want to do. It's still a phobia (I had a nightmare last night) but it is not the only factor on which I make decisions any more and it was before. You sound as though you are where I am a couple of years ago. If you choose not to put your son into nursery, I absolutely understand why. Having improved a lot myself, though, I don't think it will help you in the long run. It's an avoidance strategy. It won't control it but you will build it up in your mind as another thing you have to do to feel safe.

Good luck with your decision. Emetophobia is so poorly understood simply because no one likes sick. It's a phobia when it dominates your every move and I know it can take over your whole life if you let it.

mrsjay Thu 16-May-13 08:32:24

I think you are going to have to just go with it having a phobia like that must be horrible but you can't hold your child back because of it,

first nursery then school you can't keep him home forever because of your phobia but I guess you know that,
pre schoolers tend too IME get more colds that sickness bugs his nose will be forever running, and sickness bugs are really rare I think my dds have had about 6 in their school life and 1 of the dds has been left school for 2 years , send your boy and then try and not worry

peacefuloptimist Thu 16-May-13 08:34:36

Your post made me grin Midlife. My mum had this phobia too and I remember having to clean up my own as well as my siblings vomit off the floor quite often when we were children. As a consequence I now have no issues with people being Sick though do have natural revulsion and aversion to it. Mainly my dad dealt with us when we were sick but once we were old enough (lets say 5) we could be instructed from a distance. Hold on Op you just have to wait a few more years before you can hand your ds the mop andbucket and get him to tidy up himself.

BabsCholmondeley Thu 16-May-13 08:37:37

For anyone who doesn't know

Purrell Hand sanitising gel VF481 kills norovirus.

Lots of hand gels don't I found out recently.

It's very drying but it makes me feel much safer when we are out and about. I got it from amazon I think.

Saski Thu 16-May-13 09:13:05

I've read this is one of the most common phobias. Seems it is!

I find that I go into a kind of alternate state when one of my kids is sick (I restrict this to my kids because I would never, ever deal with anyone else's sick, ever). I'm kind of in the moment and I'm OK.

I can't deal with the anticipation. It absolutely kills me - the "mommy I have a really bad tummy ache" makes me absolutely not OK.

geeandfeesmum Thu 16-May-13 10:14:07

I have this too. I can't handle being sick myself or the children being sick. However, even if you don't send him to nursery, he will eventually go to school. The more you attempt to keep him away from bugs, the worse they will be when he does get them.

DH has to deal with all sickness issues in our house. Thankfully, he is wonderful and never complains.

Try looking into therapies etc. Good luck and hope all turns out well.

TeaCuresEverything Thu 16-May-13 14:35:47

just a quick update - went to see the nursery and ds fell in love with it, he was running around, touching the toys, touching the sand table, his little face was just shining. so I have enrolled him for 2 afternoons a week starting in a fortnight. ds cried when we had to leave! I promised him he could go back there. now just need to find the perfect Thomas the tank engine lunch box grin thanks again everyone x

CinnabarRed Thu 16-May-13 15:43:57

Lovely update - I'm so pleased for DS, and oddly proud (considering I don't know you) of you too.

WilsonFrickett Thu 16-May-13 18:13:19

Well done OP, I really mean that.

accordiongirl Thu 16-May-13 18:21:29

Oh, mum, I so so feel your pain on this - I have been exactly the same, to debilitating degree.. BUT I have truly found a thing that helps, really and properly:

I do courses through an organisation called Rigpa.

It trains you to step away from the anxiety. For me, CBT just reinforced the noisy anxious angry part of my mind and turned that negativity in on myself... Good luck, keep going, you're doing great. Hugs.

TeaCuresEverything Thu 16-May-13 21:21:48

Thankyou all so much smile accordiangirl I will look into that, thanks

skiesmylimit Thu 16-May-13 21:41:51

I'm an emataphobe, my ds had to go to a day nursery, he was always put straight into the bath as soon as we walked through the door. Wasn't allowed to touch anything. He was sick, often.

But now he's on pre-school he has been a hell of a lot better, I don't want to jinx it but not picked up a sickness bug from there yet. Even though many kids in his class did.

It really is inevitable, it does them so much good to go, what's a few days from a sickness bug to a well socialised happy child?

skiesmylimit Thu 16-May-13 21:45:12

Damn I really should read thread first

accordiongirl Fri 17-May-13 17:42:02

Hope you find it helpful - also recommended for everyone else. Seems there's a lot of us struggling with this!

LaGuardia Fri 17-May-13 17:47:59

You can catch a sickness bug from a supermarket trolley, a takeaway meal, a door handle, public transport, a petrol pump and inhaling infected droplets in the air, plus a million other things. I think nursery is the least of your worries. At least they wash hands there and keep sick children away.

LaGuardia Fri 17-May-13 17:51:27

p.s. norovirus mutates constantly. There is no hand gel or vaccine invented which kills the norovirus. WASH YOUR HANDS BECAUSE HAND GEL DOES NOT WORK ON NOROVIRUS.

appletarts Fri 17-May-13 20:04:21

I used to be very phobic but am a bit better now. I can't stand it when dcs vomit and it freaks me out that I will get it too and to make matters worse one kid is a pukey kid. I think this is something you just have to face as part of being a mum, nursery or not. You can't avoid it when they go to school. You mustn't let this run your life.

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