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Advice please for emetophobic mother with sick boy

(28 Posts)
Dumbledoresgirl Thu 02-May-13 09:49:52

Hi, not been here for a long time but some of you with long memories may remember me as extremely emetophobic.

Last night, my youngest son (aged 10) was sick - first time he has had a stomach bug since he was 1 year old. He was ok through the night and woke this morning saying he was hungry.

I am far too cautious to feed food to someone who has been sick though without first trying water so I gave him a small cup of water and told him to sip it, which he did. About half an hour later, half the cup has been consumed (so really not much at all - maybe 50ml?) and he was sick again. Sorry for TMI at this point but I have to go there - probably not all the water but some yellow stuff (bile?)

So my question is: if after 12 hours he is not able to stomach a tiny bit of water, what do I do next? I know I have to try to keep him hydrated, but I don't really know how to proceed ie how much water to try again in how many hours' time?

I know I should know all this, mother of 4 kids, youngest aged 10, and I probably do know it really, but the emetophobia is greater than anything else and I am panicking here. Please, just hold my hand and talk me through this. sad

CinnabarRed Thu 02-May-13 09:52:37

Ice cubes are often tolerated better than water - try giving him some crushed up ice instead. I'd give the ice to him immediately, TBH.

CinnabarRed Thu 02-May-13 09:53:56

And at 10 he should be capable of taking himself off to the toilet if he's about to vomit, or at least aim for a bowl. No reason for you to witness the event, or clean up afterward.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 02-May-13 09:58:50

Thanks CinnabarRed for the idea of ice. I will put some water in the freezer right away as I don't have any icecubes at the moment.

Re getting to the loo, you would think so wouldn't you? But he has never really been sick in his life (one bug aged 1) a couple of flying sickness incidents and a couple of other voms - that's it. None of those for over 5 years. So he didn't know it was going to happen last night. sad But he has done better this morning.

Millie2013 Thu 02-May-13 10:59:31

You might already know about this, but there was/is a support thread for this in mental health, which might help with the emotional stuff xx

CinnabarRed Thu 02-May-13 11:08:55

Good for him re doing better this morning. It will make your life so much less stressful once you're confident that he's learned to listen to his body. I hope he feels better soon.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 02-May-13 12:11:13

Millie, thank you, I did know. I used to be a member many years ago, but I don't actually find it helps me all that much. I feel it just helps me to dwell on the issue which I don't want to do more than I have to iyswim? But thanks for telling me about it in case I didn't know about it and wanted to share with likeminded people. smile

Well, 2 hours after last vom, just when I thought we should try water again, he voms again. So now I don't know what to do. The icecubes aren't solid yet.

CinnabarRed Thu 02-May-13 12:25:23

Bless him. Keep going with sips of water. 5 ml every 15 mins.

CinnabarRed Thu 02-May-13 12:25:58

(BTW, that's just the advice I used to overhear my GP father giving over the phone 25 years ago - I'm not medically trained!)

toffeefee Thu 02-May-13 13:02:50

Definitely keep giving him sips of water as cinnabarred says as I was told that even if some comes back, there will be some that has stayed down that will be helping to hydrate him. Could you try boiled water, cooled a little as this always helps me more than cold water if I am ill. I think my tummy tolerates it better than cold!

Other than that, keep bowls and towels close by in case he needs to be sick again, try to stay calm (I know easier said than done, but you don't want to alarm him), keep up good hand hygiene, and remember that this will be over by this time tomorrow. I feel for you as I am an emetophobe and my DC2 had a tummy bug that was going round his nursery a couple of weeks ago. Luckily he recovered quickly, but I had lots of washing to do the next morning! Yuk!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 02-May-13 13:07:29

Give him teaspoons of water rather than sips, even as adults we'd be hard pressed to estimate how much 5ml of water was from an open cup. Give him one spoonful every 15-20 minutes until it is tolerated well then slowly increase the amount given.

DottyDot Thu 02-May-13 13:09:32

Hi DG - don't know if you remember me but I'm the one with the emetophobic dp. Did you have any help last night? Hope you had someone with you.

I'd stick with ice cubes and tiny sips of water - don't give him too much in the cup so he can't gulp it down. With a bit of luck he'll be feeling better and better by the hour. Maybe try some toast later this afternoon/evening.

Hope you're OK - dp's just about to try having some more CBT from someone recommended to us - she's skeptical it'll work after suffering with emetophobia all her life, but it's worth a go - the CBT person says it's never too late...

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 02-May-13 13:26:27

Thank you everyone. He is asleep right now so hasn't had any water at all since the first lot that made him sick this morning. Plus he has been sick again, even without taking in water (but only a bit of spit). I am worrying, reading all your posts telling me to keep up the intake, but surely sleep will help him too?

DottyDot, I remember you well, and am pleased to be remembered by you. Say good luck to your dp from me. I understand her skepticism, and share it, but who knows? sometimes people talk of amazing cures. I haven't been too bad with the phobia of late because my children are rarely ill and 3 of them are now teenagers and I find I just don't worry about them getting ill in the same way as I used to worry when they were little. Hopefully, they would look after themselves mostly, and get to the loo. It has been a sharp learning curve for ds3 the last 16 hours. sad But my feeling on this phobia is, once the children are old enough to deal with things themselves, my phobia becomes much less of a problem than it was so hopefully I can manage without treatment. Don't tell your dp I said so though! I admire her for at least trying to deal with it.

DH was with me last night but he got the easy bit as he always stays with the ill child while I clean up the mess. It might sound odd that way around, but I can't tolerate the unpredictability of being with a vomiting person, and, although the clearing up isn't nice, at least I know it is done properly iyswim, which is very important to my piece of mind.

DH was meant to be out to dinner tonight, but he has cancelled that. So I just need to get through the next few hours, and hope no-one else gets it (cleaning madly all day!)

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 02-May-13 13:28:24

Oh, stupid mistakes in that post. It should be peace of mind, surely?

You can tell my mind isn't that peaceful at all right now!

CinnabarRed Thu 02-May-13 13:30:19

No, you're right, sleep is important too. Do check he's capable of being roused though, even if you don't wake him up completely. If he hasn't stirred by, say, 3 I think I'd wake him to give him 5ml of water - by syringe rather than a spoon, if you've got one.

Mintyy Thu 02-May-13 13:32:51

Aww its lovely to see you Ddg, but not in these circumstances sad.

Little sips of flat coke in a couple of hours time for your boy. Flat coke actually is magical at dealing with stomach bugs.

CinnabarRed Thu 02-May-13 13:43:37

Ah - if I might just say - it should be Diet Coke not regular Coke. Regular Coke can just provide more energy (sugar) for any bugs in his tummy, whereas Diet Coke won't.

Mintyy Thu 02-May-13 13:48:51

No, it can be full sugar coke (or lemonade) but it shouldn't be too fizzy. I believe heating it up and then cooling kills the bubbles.

DottyDot Thu 02-May-13 13:59:05

sleep is good - definitely don't wake him!

Yes I do the staying with ill child too and dp cleans up - thankfully our ds's are amazingly bug-free too...

Good luck with the rest of today and fingers crossed he wakes up feeling better.

Steala Thu 02-May-13 14:19:41

Hello! It's like an emetophobe reunion. I remember you all and always feel dragged into these threads.

Hope you're coping, DG. I had to deal with an incident recently and it was almost a relief. I had built it up so much in my mind and used so much avoidance behaviour that I didn't think I could cope, but I did!

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 02-May-13 14:40:42

Mintyy, and Steala too. <wipes nostalgic tear from eye>

Well, I just came upstairs, rather worried about him being asleep and not taking water, and he was lying there awake asking when can he have food?!

Not for some time yet matey. But the good news for the moment is that he is sucking away on some crushed ice right now. How long it will stay down, I can't say, but at least something has gone in, right?

CinnabarRed Thu 02-May-13 14:47:17


DottyDot Thu 02-May-13 15:20:05

definitely. very good start smile

DottyDot Thu 02-May-13 22:11:51

How's it going DG? Hope all's OK.

girliefriend Thu 02-May-13 22:18:13

Oh bless we have just had a similar horrible bug and I actually found after the initial being sick bit (which lasted 12 hours!!) having something like toast to eat settled the stomach and helped the nausea.

If he says he feels hungry try him with a piece of toast.

Hope he feels better soon.

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